FIELDBOSS Releases New Video Library

FIELDBOSS is excited to announce the release of our new video library. With so much functionality within our software, it can sometimes be challenging to explain all the cool tools FIELDBOSS has to offer.

Our new video library offers an easy way to showcase the FIELDBOSS workflows and processes. Watch how we navigate a service call, a maintenance contract, a field request, and a quoted repair. We also highlight some of our unique features including dashboards, case types, and assigning cases.

As a single, integrated system, FIELDBOSS provides you with the tools you need to run your business more efficiently, and leverage the resources you already have.

Click here to watch our new videos, and be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with our latest features and functionality.

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Are Elevator Regulations Failing Us?

elevator regulations

Based on data from the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, 30 people die and 17,000 are seriously hurt in incidents on elevators and escalators each year. Most recently, issues in Washington, Texas and North Carolina are calling into question methods that are used to regulate the industry and keep riders safe.

Washington

Although Washington state law requires every elevator and escalator in the state to be inspected annually, more than half of the states’ 18,000 conveyances were not inspected in 2018. What’s worse, thousands of conveyances had not been inspected for two or three years, and investigators found three that had not been inspected in more than 10 years. The backlog has been blamed on a building boom generating more elevators and escalators in need of annual inspections. The state has also had a hard time keeping its inspectors from taking better-paying jobs with construction firms.

Next year’s audit may show an improvement now that additional funding allows the state to pay its inspectors higher salaries, and legislators approved more money to hire conveyance inspections. Technology is also allowing inspectors to spend more time in the field, rather than back at the office filling out paperwork.

North Carolina

The situation in North Carolina is a similar one. CBS 17 found that thousands of elevators are overdue for those inspections. This is shocking given that the North Carolina Department of Labor has full-time employees who have the responsibility of inspecting the 27,000 elevators and escalators across the state once per year. While the department does aim to meet that goal every year, a recent analysis of the inspection data for those devices found that’s not happening. As of late September, about 14 percent of elevators were overdue for inspection.

The biggest problem the North Carolina Department of Labor has is recruiting and hiring qualified elevator inspectors. To become an inspector, you need five years’ experience in the trade and become certified if not already. An added problem is that the private sector typically pays better. Starting pay for inspectors is $53,083.

Elevator owners are required to have contracts to maintain them, and the state will respond if you call about an issue. But the inspectors are supposed to serve as the extra set of eyes to ensure safety for the public. The department is aiming to get better at recruiting and retaining employees and has hired six new inspectors this year to meet this goal.

Texas

The story is similar in Texas, where a nurse was nearly crushed to death in an elevator at a Fort Worth hospital. State investigators blamed the incident on worn-out brakes caused by lack of maintenance. Since 2004, nearly half of all elevator accidents in Texas happened in Dallas and Fort Worth. About one-third of those occurred at hospitals, which typically have elevators running day and night, particularly in urban areas.

A WFAA investigation found significant problems in the state’s program to ensure the safety of Texas’ 40,000 passenger elevators — including missed inspections, neglected elevators, shoddy record-keeping and failing oversight. A major problem is that the state has no inspectors on its payroll. Although the state does have a chief inspector and a deputy based in Austin, neither actually completes inspections. So who does? Texas issues licenses to approximately 150 independent contractors to inspect elevators across the state. Some have more training than others and are of varying quality and experience. But what is the minimum required training to become an elevator inspector in Texas? A $50 state fee and a three-day class, records show. Needless to say, this is not enough training, when issues with an elevator can quickly become life or death situations.

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation enforces the annual inspection requirement. But analysis of the state’s own data shows 5,617 — or 14% — of all elevators are overdue for their annual inspection – some by years. There are a lot of building owners out there who are either unaware that they need to have their elevators inspected or that don’t care. WFAA also found numerous errors in the state’s elevator database, which is littered with elevators that no longer exist, as well as some inspectors faking inspections.

Conclusion

Lack of trained inspectors, insufficient funding, major inspection backlogs, and incorrect databases seem to be common themes amongst the three states- and likely in many others as well. Increased government funding, adequate training programs, increased inspector accountability, and better inspector vetting processes must all be put in place in order to see drastic improvements in elevator safety across the country.


FIELDBOSS
 stays current on industry trends to keep you informed on what’s happening in the elevator world. Read our blog and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest news.

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Hundreds Of NYC Elevators Yet To Be Re-Inspected

Elevator Inspections

According to a follow-up audit by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office, the city’s Department of Buildings has yet to re-examine 1,108 elevators more than a year after auditors found that they had been inspected by “ineffective” workers.

Elevators that fall under DOB’s authority must be inspected and tested annually by either DOB inspectors or private contractors. The city’s Housing Authority can perform inspections and tests in its buildings. Likewise, the MTA inspects and tests its elevators. DiNapoli’s June 2018 audit report found at least eight ineffective inspectors who did not work for the buildings department. Auditors recommended the agency go back and re-inspect the elevators they worked on.

But, according to the comptroller’s new report, the department only re-inspected 133 of 1,216 elevators touched by two faulty inspectors. There were 36 elevators handled by the other six inspectors, but the department only re-inspected 11 of them and provided support for just six of those inspections, according to the report.

“Failure to inspect elevators can be a lethal problem,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “Last year my auditors raised a red flag about poor elevator inspections across New York City, but shockingly, the problems persist. New York City’s Department of Buildings needs to immediately address the problems we found.”

The buildings department is in the process of re-inspecting the remaining devices, agency spokesperson Andrew Rudansky said. The department has “taken the Comptroller’s input seriously” and fired two contractors identified in the original audit, he said.

Safety activists have been calling on the state to impose government-regulated training for mechanics who work on the more-than 70,000 passenger elevators in the state.

FIELDBOSS stays current on industry trends to keep you informed on what’s happening in the elevator world. Read our blog and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest news.

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Contractors Need to Be Prepared for an Economic Downturn

Recession

You can’t run from a recession, but you can get your field service business in a better position to survive it. Recession talk is all around us these days, yet nobody really knows when the next recession will hit. Whether the economic downturn happens next quarter, next year, or later, odds are the economy will slow down sometime in the near future. And when a downturn starts, it can move quickly.

The savvy contractors are those who take the time to get ready for a downturn, whenever it might come. In highly volatile and uncertain times, organizations need to develop a resilience capacity, which enables them to cope effectively with unexpected events such as tariffs, trade wars, technician shortages, and interest rate hikes.

Given the volatility of the current economic environment, achieving resilience will require a new, flexible approach to operations as well as a robust, comprehensive contractor management software. By connecting out-dated, disconnected and slow processes, businesses will be able to quickly respond not only to the fast pace of change of digital and other innovations, but also to an aging workforce, increasing costs to run a business, and rising consumer demand for fast delivery.

Companies can increase their readiness for the unexpected by making real-time strategic and operating decisions that improve performance. Even in good economic times these are helpful actions to take, as they ensure an organization is ready, whatever storms may come their way.

Companies should act now, when the economy is stronger, so that they can adjust quickly to a changing environment. Automation, digitization, and analytics are changing industries faster than ever before, and the pace of change is only accelerating. And with political flux and trade disputes on the rise, economic disruption becomes more a question of “when” than “if.”

What worked five or ten years ago no longer works. To pivot in time, businesses need to be lighter on their feet and quicker in their reflexes. By understanding where your operations are slow today, you can take practical steps to become more resilient tomorrow.

So how can your field service company stay profitable in an unpredictable economy? You have to be prepared. A comprehensive field service management software can help your company mitigate risk to stay profitable in challenging times.

Here are 3 ways FIELDBOSS field service management software can help contracting business owners stay profitable in an unstable and uncertain economy:

1. Real-time visibility and reporting: A comprehensive field service management software offers an in-depth understanding of your business. If you know how many service calls you need per day for your service department to stay profitable, then you know in real-time if you are short on calls. If you are short on calls, you can advise your team to follow up on open repair quotes and see if the customer is ready to schedule. Real-time reporting also offers:

– A detailed, real-time view of the whole business

– Intelligence to recognize emerging trends

– Potential to seek and respond to new opportunities or threats

– Power to understand key areas delivering profit and loss

– Make fast, informed decisions based on accurate and live information

2. Maintenance Agreements: Maintenance agreements are the key to off-season profitability and economic downturn stability. They ensure companies stay busy and profitable. As well, many field service industries such as HVAC and Elevator Service are somewhat recession proof: people still need their equipment to work, so they opt for repairs over replacement. This creates more work, and, eventually, that client will still need a replacement. FIELDBOSS can help automate and efficiently manage your maintenance contracts and also alert you to which clients are not signed up yet.

3. Manage unbillable time: During times of economic instability, some contractors become more aggressive in their pricing in order to attract more clients. However, rather than lower your rates, look at what you can do to lower your overhead and expenses. Think about managing unbillable time — time between calls, organizing and inputting paperwork, or any labor you pay that does not have revenue associated with it. An end to end field service software can help decrease unbillable time by:

– pinpointing which technicians aren’t pulling in any revenue

– creating the need for fewer dispatchers, schedulers and back-office personnel

– invoicing more quickly

– eliminating duplicate data entry

– reducing technician paper-work

– increasing first-time fix rates

– decreasing technician drive-time

An unstable economy doesn’t have to mean the end of your business. Contact us today and learn how with a little lateral thinking and the help of a comprehensive field service management software, your company can sail through the hard times and come out stronger than before.

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Bipartisan HFC Phase-Down Bill Introduced in US Senate

Bipartisan HFC Phase-down bill

After months of hard work by industry stakeholders and government representatives, Sens. John Kennedy (R-Louisiana) and Tom Carper (D-Delaware) introduced The American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act of 2019. The Bipartisan HFC phase-down bill, introduced on November 1, would give the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to regulate HFCs in line with the Kigali Amendment.

Specifically, the bill would:

  • Authorise the EPA to set sector-based use restrictions.
  • Direct the EPA to establish standards for the management of HFCs used as refrigerants and for the recovery of used substances; and
  • Gradually phase down the production and consumption of HFCs through an “allowance allocation and trading programme”.

“The ultimate goal is to ensure a smooth phase-down that doesn’t disrupt jobs and leave the US behind in an emerging global market,” according to Mr Carper and Mr Kennedy.

“The world is moving away from hydrofluorocarbons, and the US is in danger of getting stuck at the starting gate. We want these new refrigerants to be produced in the US, not China,” added Mr Kennedy. 

The new legislation, which would authorize a 15-year phase-down of HFCs, would give the business a clear timeline for transitioning to new lower GWP refrigerants and lay the groundwork for a smooth transition to new technologies. This legislation would enable the U.S. to export these new refrigerants, not import them.

Many US companies have already invested billions of dollars to produce and sell next-generation technologies to replace HFCs. The AIM Act builds upon these investments, allowing U.S. companies to grow their manufacturing operations at home.

The legislation has widespread support from the industry. AHRI reported its hope that the Senate will move quickly on this bill, and that the House will follow suit so that this transition can begin.

ACCA also supports the Senate legislation, noting that it is a good start to create a uniform HFC phasedown schedule. ACCA has been advocating for federal legislation, because many states – led by California – are working to create their own HFC phasedown plans. According to ACCA, this will lead to a confusing patchwork of phasedown schedules, regulatory schemes, and other complications when dealing with new refrigerants. A state-by-state approach to the HFC phasedown could also lead to the sale of products to consumers, because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may not have authority to regulate new products since they are non-ozone depleting.

ACCA states that this legislation contains important safety, training, and certification language that would safeguard its members and allow for a safe introduction of mildly flammable refrigerants, which was ACCA’s highest priority in the Senate legislation. ACCA is also working with the House of Representatives on improvements to the Senate legislation, noting that it would like to see detailed language that gives the EPA authority to prohibit the sale of refrigerants to non-certified individuals. ACCA also supports including language that would protect contractors from liability involving accidents caused by new refrigerants.

Will this bill move forward? It’s possible but we will likely have to wait until after the 2020 election and see where the new incoming Congress and President fall. If things stay the same then there will likely not be a Federal HFC phase-down for quite a while within the United States. Instead, individual States will continue to adopt their own HFC phase-downs with each one being just a little bit different.

FIELDBOSS stays current on industry trends to keep you informed on what’s happening in the HVACR world. Read our blog and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest news.

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Geothermal Industry Launches First Awareness Campaign

geothermal

The geothermal industry has joined forces to launch its first awareness campaign through the Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO), a nonprofit trade association promoting the manufacture, design, and installation of geothermal heating and cooling systems, and it’s using real climate change deniers to sell it.

“Featuring real people in real conversations makes our message that much more clear, relatable and powerful,” explains Ryan Dougherty, COO, GEO. He adds his trade group needed to do “something disruptive” in order to raise the “extremely low consumer awareness.”

The “Energy We Can All Agree On” campaign includes a series of videos in which a left-leaning environmentalist/hippie and self-proclaimed geothermal spokesperson, Eric Caspian-Johnson Garcia-Marquez (played by actor Eric Satterberg), heads to “America’s heartland” to speak with real-life self-proclaimed climate-change skeptics about the benefits of using geothermal energy. Although the climate change non-believers haven’t come around on the findings of the scientific community, the GEO is reaching them through what matters to them: money. While they may not believe in climate change, the amount of money they could save is impossible to ignore.

What we learn from this campaign is that no matter where you stand on climate change and the environment, we can all agree on geothermal energy – even if the reasons are completely different. Both sides can agree on the benefits of geothermal, including cost savings, the fact that it’s 100% renewable, the consistent comfort and the independence from fossil fuels.

A recent Yale University study found climate change is the single most polarizing issue among American voters, even more so than abortion and gun control. Additionally, according to a Gallup poll, nearly half of Americans believe climate change will not affect them.

AN OPPORTUNITY FOR CONTRACTORS

By promoting geothermal, contractors can differentiate themselves from the competition. In addition, as energy dynamics and regulation change across the nation, geothermal should be considered as a potential addition to the portfolio.

The upfront cost may spook some customers, but that can be remedied by focusing on monthly cost versus system costs. Financing has really driven the automobile industry, and a similar concept could occur with geothermal. There is also a tax credit, which offers payback returns in as short as three years when looking at the cost difference between a conventional and a geothermal system.

FIELDBOSS stays current on industry trends to keep you informed on what’s happening in the HVACR world. Read our blog and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest news.

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HVACR Industry Reports Positive Outlook Heading Into 2020

The HVAC/R community reported a continued positive business outlook heading into 2020 in the latest AHR Expo and ASHRAE Journal Annual Economic Outlook Survey.

The survey is distributed to past and prospective attendees, as well as industry manufacturers, to assess the market leading into the New Year. The 2020 report includes input on trends, issues and opportunities as outlined by representatives from industry associations regarding their respective areas of expertise. The survey acts as a precursor to the AHR Expo, happening in February 2020.

How do 2020 prospects compare to 2019? You expect sales to…….

Top three 2020 market segments with a good or excellent outlook:

What market segments have the best prospects for 2020?

What’s on the radar for 2020? Opportunities, issue, concerns….

Download the full report from the AHR Expo website.

FIELDBOSS stays current on industry trends to keep you informed on what’s happening in the HVACR world. Read our blog and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest news.

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8 Ways Connected Mobile Software Increases Field Efficiency & Productivity

Mobile Software

The goal of any field service company is to get as much productivity out of their available resources as possible. Compared to other business models, running a field service organization can be especially challenging. In addition to the financial, customer service and administrative tasks involved with running a business, you also need to manage field service technicians, keep track of schedules and equipment, and ensure your organization continues to deliver fast, efficient and effective service to your customers.

Without a connected mobile device, technicians are wasting time and money by dealing with unnecessary customer issues or driving back and forth from the office to the client. If a team of 10 field technicians who work 250 days a year could guarantee one new service call per day, that would equal 2500 additional service orders worked per year.

Here are 8 ways connected mobile software improves field efficiency and productivity:

Smart Scheduling

Automated scheduling and dispatch together with a connected mobile device create a two-way connection between schedulers and technicians. Technicians can update their status so dispatchers see their availability and know the right person to schedule for each job. Technicians receive job
details, addresses, and service information on their mobile device. Since many service organizations receive dozens of calls per day, saving as little as five seconds per call adds up to thousands of dollars per year.

Save Time and Resources

Automating work order processes eliminates paper from the operation. That means no more illegible handwriting, lost invoices or important forms, and no more time wasted re-entering data. Empower your entire team by making critical data readily accessible in the field and in the office, providing the visibility and velocity you need to succeed in this competitive environment.

Eliminate Duplicate Data Entry

An end-to-end field service software will connect your field service technicians to the back office, dispatch teams, and management to eliminate duplicate data entry and enable seamless data sharing. Data entered once is instantly synched across the company. A connected mobile allows the technician to enter data once and eliminate thousands of man-hours of duplicate entry and re-keying errors.

Real-Time Warranty Information

Warranty and service contract leakage happen when a technician performs a service at no charge, assuming it’s covered by the customer’s contract. A connected contractor management software will not only help technicians spot the “leaks,” but also “plug” them by providing them with the data they need, when they need it, to ensure they don’t give away service or parts for free. That means more money in your pocket!

Turn your Techs into Salespeople

Technicians often find themselves at a job when a customer approaches and asks for a quote on a new job or a new piece of equipment that needs service. Empower your field techs to communicate sales opportunities right on their mobile device. With a click of a button, a new case can be created and sent off to the sales team for immediate follow up. Don’t throw away money that’s already in your pocket with lost paperwork, forgotten emails, and missed opportunities. With a powerful, cohesive mobile tool, your team can turn quotes around in hours instead of days.

360° View of the Building Location and Equipment

Service the right equipment at the right location. For mobile workers who are constantly on the go, trying to figure out which piece of equipment needs repair and where that equipment is located can be a chore, especially if there are multiple locations, assets and tasks. With a connected mobile device, the building address automatically populates into the service activity.  The technician can also see the complete make, model and serial number of the equipment, its location in the building, warranty status, what work was previously done as well as any notes from the last service call. No more guessing which piece of equipment needs what type of service.

Make Time Tracking a Breeze

A fully connected mobile device makes it easy for technicians to let the office know where they are and what their status is. With the click of a button, techs can set their position as arrived, in progress, or done. Their time automatically synchronizes to the back office making payroll a breeze. With mobile capabilities such as time sheet input based on clock-in/clock-out, task status and more, tedious and error-prone time entries are eliminated, opening up time for additional work while freeing field professionals from administrative chores.

Integrated Inventory Management

With integrated inventory management, field technicians can view stock levels at “warehouse locations”, mark inventory items as “allocated” at the time the Work Order is created, receive a warning when placing a Work Order for out-of-stock items and more. Get control over the inventory management process, so that technicians are not manually entering pieces every time they have to build an invoice. It also helps to ensure that technicians have what they need for each service call, resulting in greater first call resolution and more satisfied customers.

Conclusion

If you run a field service company, you know that technology is propelling the industry in a new direction. How quickly and efficiently you implement these technologies and processes into your business practices will determine how productive your technicians are, how profitable you become and how satisfied your customers are.

FIELDBOSS Contractor Management software is an end-to-end solution built within Microsoft Dynamics 365. FIELDBOSS is a flexible and configurable platform that allows you to work the way you want to work, now and in the future. Our focus is to help you get the most out of your labour resources and deliver the information you and your staff need to run your business more efficiently, profitably, and with lower risk.

Contact us today for a free demo.

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The Energy Efficient Elevator Market in 2019

Millions of Americans don’t realize that the elevators and escalators they use consume five times the energy Washington, D.C. uses every year. Elevators and escalators account for 2-5% of energy use in multi-story buildings, and much of that happens when the units are idle. Currently, the elevator industry lacks incentives and energy savings recognition programs that would encourage building owners to incorporate elevator efficiency into their building plans. However, there is a growing interest in elevator efficiency and the energy-efficient elevator market is expected to grow considerably over the coming years.

New Technologies

Today, technologies that are more efficient are helping commercial building owners reduce energy costs by as much as 40%, according to a study released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The report also offers a variety of public policy options to accelerate adoption of major energy-saving opportunities in buildings across the country. Providing utility incentives or tax credits for using existing energy-efficient elevator technologies, such as those that reduce standby power by turning off lights and cab ventilation systems while elevators are idle, will significantly reduce total energy use. Other technologies — such as coated steel belts that replace cable ropes and advance dispatching software that can reduce wait time while cutting energy use — are immediately available to building owners. Truly innovative technologies, such as regenerative drives that turn gravity from the elevator’s descent into energy to power the elevator when it goes up, can reduce elevator energy consumption up to 75 percent.

Embracing Change

1 World Trade Center is an example of a building that’s already embracing the change. The building’s efficient elevators use a number of systems that can cut a building’s overall energy needs by up to 30 percent. Not only are high-tech elevators more efficient; they can actually produce electricity. The 1 World Trade Center elevators are equipped with the aforementioned regenerative drive technologies, that generate enough power to potentially feed the building’s lighting system. Like a hybrid car, they take advantage of energy produced by the braking system.

Improved elevator technology can also enhance the experience of visitors by shortening wait times. At 1 World Trade Center, the elevators use a smart system that groups riders going to the same destination.  All elevators connect through a central electronic dispatching system. This prevents the stop-and-go associated with many people using an elevator at the same time; instead, each elevator is scheduled to go to one floor—with the people who want to go there—without a lot of stopping in between. This provides a dual benefit of saving energy and getting tenants to where they’re headed more quickly.

Another, relatively new cross-industry innovation is the cable-free elevator. These elevators can move both vertically and horizontally. These elevators are typically made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic and are powered by linear motors that can move cabs up and down, forward and backward, and left or right on magnetic rails. Cable-free elevators are energy efficient and reduce carbon footprint impacts dramatically.

Conclusion

The demand for efficient elevators is increasing. The reason for this growth is that developers and building owners are becoming more environmentally conscious. Green elevators not only improve building efficiency and increase overall property value but can also help a building gain U.S. Green Buildings Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system points, which are awarded in six categories, four of which are directly impacted by elevators.  With energy consumption reaching all-time highs, more and more builders are looking for green alternatives. Whether modernizing your clients elevators or installing new elevator technology, choosing green elevators is more beneficial for building occupants, owners and the environment.

FIELDBOSS stays current on industry trends to keep you informed on what’s happening in the elevator world. Read our blog and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest news.

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The Challenge of Cooling a Warming World

The world is heading for a significant growth in energy requirements for comfort cooling. With increasing populations and urbanization, and rising temperatures, cooling is no longer just a luxury, but an urgent priority for health and well-being, productivity, and in extreme cases, survival. However, the warmer it gets, the more we use air conditioning. The more we use air conditioning, the warmer it gets.  Therein lies the challenge of cooling a warming world.

The use of energy for cooling buildings more than tripled between 1990 and 2016, and is continuing to grow faster than for any other end use in buildings. Nearly 70% of this increase comes from the residential sector, particularly in developing economies. Nothing feels better than walking into an air-conditioned room after being outside with the sun beating down on a hot, humid summer day. But that air conditioning cooling your home relies on an electrical grid that most likely produces carbon dioxide emissions that are contributing to climate change causing hot, humid days to occur more frequently and with more intensity. With hot regions predicted to get hotter, there’s more need for cooling relief. Billions of people are at risk of exposure to increasingly dangerous heat conditions. They need access to cooling, but without warming the planet.

A global necessity

Our planet is getting hotter. Already, 30 percent of the world’s population is exposed to potentially dangerous heat conditions; by 2100, up to three-quarters could be at risk. Affordable cooling is becoming a global necessity, allowing for increased productivity, positive health outcomes, and accelerated economic development.

There are currently 1.2 billion room air conditioning units in service around the world and is estimated to grow to at least 4.5 billion by 2050. That number increases fivefold for developing countries over the same period.

The increased demand for air-conditioning units would place a massive burden on electricity grids that are already straining at their limits. When combined with the atmospheric impact of the refrigerants used by air conditioners, the energy consumption associated with mechanical cooling represents one of the largest end-use risks to our climate. 

The world needs a breakthrough air conditioning technology

One solution towards solving the problem presented by air conditioning – and one that doesn’t require a complete overhaul of the modern city – would be to build a better air conditioner. There is plenty of room for improvement. The invention of air conditioning predates both the first airplane and the first public radio broadcast, and the underlying technology has not changed much since 1902. The affordability of the air conditioner has widened, but as far as efficiency, they’ve improved but they haven’t leaped. Breakthrough air conditioning technology could amount to the single biggest technology-based intervention we can make to address global warming.

It is clear that the world needs a breakthrough air-conditioning technology, one that meets the world’s booming demand for cooling without contributing to runaway climate change. To achieve a profound climate impact, this technology must simultaneously address the indirect emissions from electricity and the direct emissions from refrigerants. International initiatives, such as those centered on the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, have made significant headway in addressing this challenge. While important, these initiatives are not sufficient to address the full consequences of cooling demand growth, as refrigerants account for only 20 to 30 percent of RAC-related emissions. Through technology innovation, we can solve the critical climate threat that comes from growing demand for room air conditioning.

Solutions

One plan to encourage engineers to build a more efficient air conditioner is the Global Cooling prize. The aim is to design an air conditioner that is five times more efficient than the current standard model, but which costs no more than twice as much money to produce. The contest has received more than a hundred entries, from lone inventors to prominent universities, and even research teams from multibillion-dollar appliance giants.

New air-conditioner technology would be a huge part of the solution but there are other ways to help reduce the emissions from air conditioners. Among the suggestions are planting trees, retrofitting old buildings with proper ventilation and no longer building concrete and glass cages that cannot withstand a heatwave. While these things are technically cheaper, they require changes in behaviour and major policy shifts – and the open secret of the climate crisis is that nobody really knows how to make these kind of changes on the systematic, global scale that the severity of the crisis demands.

Conclusion

We need to do all of these things to address the cooling challenge and shake up an entrenched industry. It is possible to solve the global cooling challenge and enable thermal comfort for all without warming the planet: the solution lies in a breakthrough cooling technology along with behavioural and policy shifts. The result will improve people’s health, productivity, and well-being, all while avoiding climate change.

FIELDBOSS stays current on industry trends to keep you informed on what’s happening in the HVACR world. Read our blog and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest news.

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