Elon Musk, the visionary tech pioneer behind SpaceX and Tesla, may be pondering a new smart home central air conditioning unit that communicates directly with your car in a bid to cut down on energy costs while intelligently dialing cool air up and down based on your comings and goings.
There is no patent in the works, yet, or even a company directive on this curious new technology. It surfaced during a loose interview on the well-known radio show, The Joe Rogan Experience.
Since Musk is currently at the intersection of three powerful technologies including Space Rocketry, Electric Cars and Solar-Powered Homes, he has a unique perspective and insight into how software intelligence my ultimately impact central AC units over the next few years.
One of the things that keeps him up at night is how to conserve energy in a typical American home, especially when tied into his solar battery technology. We have reported elsewhere on Air Pros that Floridian home ac units chew up to 40% of your utility bill.
He believes he can tackle this issue by harmonizing an intelligent and automatic communication between the Central AC system and the car’s onboard computer system.
“It should predict when you are going to be home and then cool the rooms that you are likely to use with a little bit of intelligence. We are not talking about a “genius home” – just basic stuff,” said Musk.
When you leave for work each morning the Central AC would detect the car’s engine is on and slowly dial down the air to lower temperatures around your home.
The CEO reminded listeners that their mobile app already tracks Tesla vehicles and all that’s now needed is a smarter central ac unit. Of course, he avoided other elegant approaches already on the market which may mitigate the need for this alliance between the home and the car.
Smart thermostats like Nest are already using advanced Artificial Intelligence to learn your lifestyle behaviors and adjust indoor cooling through your smart phone. In the future, wearable technology may disrupt the smart phone and use the clothes you are wearing to signal your Central AC when and which rooms to cool based on your location.
One of the reasons that Musk shared his thoughts on this new smart central air conditioning unit is because Tesla recently acquired a patent for a new car HVAC thermal system that may have some residual technology that could be applied to the home.
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We are living the age of disruption, and who better to shake up the HVAC industry than a man focused on getting a human colony established on Mars. Whether or not Musk follows through with a smart split-system central air conditioning unit is a moot point since the smart home is an inevitable consequence of the Internet Age and our unrelenting march towards building AI systems that solve big problems including inefficient indoor cooling systems & air quality.
When it comes to efficient Split-System Air Conditioning units, Air pros see homeowners making a number of rookie decisions when it comes to purchasing or installing new systems. Top of the list is purchasing the WRONG unit for home which is influenced by square footage, number of living occupants and the home’s layout and configuration. Failure to make the right initial purchase can lead to a number of install and maintenance challenges which can pile up costs in both the short and long term. It leads to poor system performance and higher utility bills. Improperly-sized equipment and faulty connections between new units and ductwork is a recipe for disaster, not matter how ‘smart’ your central air system is.
A flawed approach to purchase, installation and maintenance of the central AC system contributes towards eating up 40% of your utility bill which Musk is trying to reduce through his technology companies.
So while homeowners will (and should) purchase heating & cooling equipment directly through manufacturer sites and third party platforms such as Amazon, they will get the best results if they open a communication channel with their local HVAC contractor first. It’s really the SMART way to approach home indoor cooling systems both from a financial and lifestyle perspective.
By the way, if you are looking to shave some dollars off your annual utility bill also watch this video which gives you some useful HVAC tips for squeezing more efficiency from your Central AC System.
Meanwhile, watch this space for new developments in the “Smart” home space, including a possible announcement that Musk will be deploying a smart heating & cooling platform for your residence.