Here is another good article from the 2014-12-15 edition of ACHRNEWS. It’s about using an aftermarket smartchip to squeeze all the energy from your current AC system. It’s designed to be read by the AC contractor but is still very informative.
Chipping Away at HVAC Energy Costs
Today’s consumer is smarter and has higher expectations than ever before, according to Paul Bigham, owner of Bigham’s One Hour Heating & Air in Santa Rosa, California.
“In the last five years, the consumer has changed a lot,” he said. “They’re much more educated these days and more demanding than ever.”
While Bigham is certainly focused on customer service to meet these demands, he’s also aware that smart consumers are looking for smart products.
“There’s a ton of things to look at and a lot of different products to choose from, but I always check out new things,” he said. That’s why, earlier this year, Bigham started offering the HVAC SmartChip Plus to his customers.
The SmartChip is an aftermarket product that intelligently controls both the fan and compressor runtimes to maximize HVAC system efficiency and, ultimately, save on utility costs.
“Adding new things into our lineup can distract us from the core of what we do, but when something like this is new and unique and offers such great benefit for customers, it just makes sense,” Bigham said.
Eddie Blanchard, president and owner of 72 Degrees Heating & Air Conditioning in Apex, North Carolina, agreed. He began offering the SmartChip to customers in October.
“Who’s not going to appreciate what you’re doing if you reduce their power bill?” Blanchard said, adding this product fits right into his company’s goal to be at the forefront of saving energy.
Peeking at the Technology
To learn more about how the SmartChip saves energy, the best person to talk to is Chris Leach of L&H Dynamic Business Solutions. L&H is the exclusive distributor of the SmartChip in North America.
Leach explained the SmartChip Plus is the newest version of this product, which now features two microprocessors. Each microprocessor performs a specific function to maximize energy usage.
The first microprocessor is loaded with operational and performance data from all leading HVAC brands, so that, once installed, the chip can monitor the actual length of a system’s cycle. According to Leach, all equipment on the market today features time-delay relays, which are normally set to extend fan runtime for 60 or 90 seconds. In contrast, Leach said, “What the SmartChip does is actually extend the fan beyond the time delay up to an additional two minutes.”
He noted the key phrase is “up to,” because the SmartChip intelligently calculates the exact amount of time needed to deliver the conditioned air to the home.
“Because it has intelligence, it’s able to determine how much energy is truly there within the cabinet and the ductwork,” Leach said.
Leach said this differentiates the SmartChip from a simple time-delay control, since it can potentially change the extended runtime after every cycle.
“After every single cycle period, it’s going to calculate how much energy is present, and then go and extend the blower