When you consider that heat contributes around 37% of the UK’s total carbon emissions, the heating sector has a huge role to play in decarbonising the nation. In fact, the whole HVAC industry is right at the heart of the net zero journey.
Industry representatives from the UK electricity, gas and oil heating sectors have welcomed the UK’s Sixth Carbon Budget, which sets out a plan to outlaw fossil fuel boilers from 2033 and ensure that most of the UK’s heating is generated by heat pumps and low carbon heat networks.
District heating networks and recovery of waste heat has helped countries like Denmark take a head start in the journey to net zero and other technologies such as biogas offer additional alternatives to natural gas, which is currently the predominant heat source in the UK.
Dramatic policy statements are being made, such as the recommendation that no home should be sold after 2028 without an energy rating of EPC C and the heating sector is poised for radical change.
Alongside this heat revolution, manufacturers of ventilation and air conditioning are focused on greater efficiency. Smart technology and the internet of things (IoT) are key to performance improvements, giving systems the ability to tailor energy use to the precise needs of a building. Ventilation and air conditioning systems now have the capability to automatically detect whether a room is in use and what the HVAC needs are of the people and equipment utilising the space.
Experts agree that it is simpler and often less costly to integrate the latest low carbon HVAC systems into new builds. The challenge is that the majority of HVAC systems exist in older buildings. This means that changes to building regulations alone will not be enough to achieve net zero targets and HVAC companies are looking at ways to simplify the transition of existing HVAC systems to modern low carbon options.
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