While most of the Elon Musk press revolves around his on again/off again purchase of Twitter, the HVAC industry is most interested in the verbal breadcrumbs he continues to drop about getting into the residential HVAC industry.
On July 18, Tesla shareholder Owen Sparks tweeted a request to Musk, saying, “please make home HVAC with HEPA filer, the allergies are killing me [right now].”
The CEO of Tesla replied with, “It’s on the future product list. Especially important in places like Austin, which has next-level amounts of pollen in the air.”
This might be a natural jump for the electric car company. Tesla has focused a lot of time and effort on the indoor air quality of its electric cars. In fact, the manufacturer has integrated HEPA filters into some of the pricier models of their electric cars.
This is not the first time Musk has spoken about getting into the residential HVAC market. It originally started in the fall of 2020, at the company’s annual shareholders meeting and battery day event.
“Oh, you mean home HVAC,” Musk said at the meeting. "That's a pet project that I'd love to get going on — maybe we'll start working on that next year. I just think you could really make a way better home HVAC system that's really quiet and super energy efficient, has a way better filter for particles, and works very reliably.”
He went on to explain that what he is proposing had already been invented for the Tesla vehicle and pointed out that the heat pump in the Model Y is “really pretty spectacular.”
“I mean it’s tiny, it’s efficient, and it has to last for 15 years,” said Musk. “It has to work in all kinds of conditions from the coldest winter to the hottest summer. We have actually already done a massive amount of the work necessary for a really kick-ass home HVAC.”
Musk proposed stacking the units, depending on the size of the house and how much capacity is needed. His final thoughts on the matter crossed between ideas and brainstorming as he said, “You just have a very compelling, super-efficient HVAC that could also communicate with the car. It will know when you are coming home. The pack can communicate with the car and just really dial it into when you actually need cooling and heating. It would be great.”
Tesla’s HVAC system for their cars has received mixed reviews. According to the Auto Reliability Survey findings from Consumer Reports in late 2021, the results are not that positive.
“Tesla doesn't fare so well in our rankings, in part because of the reliability issues owners reported to us on heat pumps and air conditioning in their Teslas,” said James McQueen, communications specialist for Consumer Reports.
Many consumers have complained online that Tesla’s in-car heat pumps underperform in cold climates. Tesla launched its Octovalve heat pump system in March 2020. The goal of the new system was to allow Tesla to maintain efficiency as it started producing larger vehicles, such as the Model Y SUV.
Time will tell if Musk will develop a home HVAC system, but it is obviously still on his mind.