Most people are familiar with the term plug and play as it applies to technology. In this area, it refers to the ability to simply connect hardware devices or software without the need for configuration and adjustments. This was developed by gaming console companies and peripheral device manufacturers to make it easier for people with limited or no technical expertise to be able to use their equipment and software without any problems.
The HVAC industry has, in some ways, taken a large chapter from the plug and play benefits seen in other industries. This is found in the wide range of highly advanced equipment in use today, which can sense, detect and even adjust for all different types of issues, limiting the need for highly skilled HVAC technicians to manually make the adjustments.
Do-It-Yourself HVAC Systems
In any big box home improvement store, or through online sites, people can now buy entire HVAC systems for their homes or garages. They simply buy a “kit” system that is all pre-designed and boxed, ready to be unpacked and connected together to provide a reliable, efficient, and complete HVAC system.
Of course, the problem with these HVAC plug and play systems is they only provide the materials. The individual purchasing the kit has to supply the labor and the do-it-yourself skills, some of which are not as basic as some of the kit manufacturers market them to be.
Most consumers interested in this type of product are looking for a low price on the system. They know they do have some level of customer service support by phone, and if they have a problem, they can always call in a local HVAC service for assistance. This call is often a short service call to address a specific issue, and it still keeps the cost of using these pre-designed systems lower than a full custom installation by an HVAC service.
Commercial and Industrial Considerations
It is important to realize that the plug and play revolution for HVAC systems is not just for residential systems. These systems are also used in commercial buildings, with the entire system arriving on a truck all ready to drop into place and connected to ductwork and electrical wiring.
The systems are already pre-engineered and tested, limiting the potential issues the HVAC installation team may face. Additionally, with online access, commissioning of the system can be done remotely, further speeding up the process and limiting the need for large teams of HVAC technicians to get the job done.
There is a market for simple plug and play HVAC systems, with the industry moving more in that direction to accommodate customer’s needs for low cost systems, fast installation, and fewer HVAC technicians to get the job done.