Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning are what make up the HVAC industry. It’s something that you’ll find in buildings, homes, and even vehicles. We often take these needs for granted, wanting to turn on the heat when we’re cold or the A/C when we’re warm. For owners or operators, the HVAC industry has trends, which must be followed to keep a building healthy.
Regulations drive HVAC industry trends. In the northern US, furnaces must have a 90% efficiency rating, but in southern states, only an 80% efficiency rating is required.
This means HVAC industry trends tend to be fueled by local and regional data instead of an overall set of trends. To discover what is in store for this industry, we must look at emerging technologies, integration, and how local regulations are evolving to get a picture of what to expect in the days and years to come.
The HVAC Industry is Getting a Whole Lot Smarter
- Many within the HVAC industry are beginning to automate their sales and service processes, allowing them to cut their customer acquisition costs to keep pricing competitive.
- Smarter technologies, such as they use of smartphone apps, allow building managers to control lighting, ventilation, and other processes with one control point.
- Better measurements of building environments thanks to the collection and mining of big data and analytic information will allow for more efficient HVAC systems to be installed in the future.
- At the local level, HVAC contractors will also be using software, SEO, widgets, and other online tools and strategies to help connect with local customers who are researching their system.
- Mobile solutions will continue to drive innovation within the HVAC industry as more potential customers look to meet their needs through the use of tablets, smartphones, or tablet PCs.
- As HVAC systems continue to develop innovative, but complex, solutions for buildings, consumers are expected to continue turning toward mobile technologies to set up preventative maintenance and service programs.
There will always be a need for the HVAC industry. The real question of the hour is this: how much demand is this industry expected to see year after year? Much of that will depend on how much innovation can be achieved within the industry. As the world continues to globalize, more information than ever before is at the fingertips of consumers. They can research best practices, installation techniques, and they want mobility like never before.
The Relationship Between Construction and HVAC
- An increase in new building construction will always provide a similar increase of HVAC unit installations.
- In both residential and non-residential, HVAC equipment installation are expected to be on the rise in the coming year.
- From 2014 data, the spending on construction projects for non-residential use rose 4.2% from the year before. In 2016, up to 7% growth could occur.
- Lodging construction projects with a need for HVAC unit installations saw an increase of 11.3%.
- Office and commercial construction projects saw increases of 14.7% and 8.4% respectively.
- Even sewage disposal construction projects with a need for HVAC components saw an increase of 13.6%.
- Residential storage heater shipments have seen increases of over 20% in the past 5 years for total shipments.
- Warm air furnace shipments have seen nearly a 23% increase thanks to the increases seen in new construction projects.
Once an HVAC system is installed, it generally needs maintenance only. This creates two unique sectors within the HVAC industry. On one hand, you have the installers who need new construction in order to find the revenues that will keep them in business. On the other hand, you have maintenance and repair personnel who receive an expanded customer base with every new system that is installed. Although the maintenance sector can still thrive when there is limited new construction, the industry as a whole sees a decline and that affects everyone’s revenues. This is why the relationship between the construction and HVAC industries is so critical.
How HVAC Innovations Are Inspiring New Trends
- Electronic air cleaners are 40x more efficient than a standard filter you would throw away to remove unwanted particles from the air.
- Rightsizing, system updating, and types of refrigerant used can significantly affect HVAC efficiency.
- Variable speed heat pumps can help to trim monthly costs by up to 40% for homeowners.
- Proper insulation for a home or building on its own can improve HVAC efficiencies by up to 30%.
- 75% of the utility costs of a home come from power that is used for home electronics that are being kept in a “standby” or “off position,” including HVAC equipment.
- Heating and air conditioning are two of the three most common expenditures for building owners today.
- A properly maintained air conditioning system will last 10-15 years, depending on the manufacturer and if it was properly installed.
- Filters must be changed every 2-3 months at minimum to maintain the efficiency of an HVAC system, which helps to fuel ongoing supportive revenues for the industry.
- Ductless HVAC systems could come to represent up to 15% of the total industry revenues in the next 5 years.
Did you know that someone who lives in a home with air conditioning actually loses some tolerance for heat? Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but it does go toward showing the importance of installing and using an innovative HVAC system for comfort purposes. With the average system operating at full efficiencies for 10-15 years, it is up to each owner or operator to find a qualified technician in their area to maintain their system. Otherwise the cost of a new HVAC system might come around sooner than necessary, and although that’s not a bad thing for industry revenues, it does take money out of your pocket unexpectedly. We always think our HVAC system will be useful, but if we don’t pay attention to new trends, we could be paying a lot more than expected.
The Global HVAC Industry
- Analysts forecast HVAC equipment market in China to grow at a CAGR of 8.51% through 2019.
- The global HVAC industry is expected to have a 4.34% CAGR through 2022. This is expected to generate total revenues of nearly $70 billion in total.
- Asia-Pacific continues to be the leading revenue generator in the global HVAC market thanks to the increase in demand for split-air conditioners.
- Global demands for HVAC equipment are expected to increase by 6% annually through 2020.
Both the mature markets for the HVAC industry and the developing markets have a lot of potential. It’s the new construction opportunities in the mature markets, which are fueling new revenues, while in the developing markets, it is innovative products and technician maintenance and/or installation. Although the HVAC market isn’t one of the larger markets in the world today, it is still a solid contributor to local and regional economies and that is why a healthy industry is so important.
HVAC Industry Forecasts
- The total HVAC industry in the United States is expected to see around $60 billion in revenues in the next 12 months.
- Industry revenues within the HVAC industry have been growing steadily at a 1% annualized rate since 2008.
- 28% of the HVAC industry is comprised of single-family homes. Another 6.1% of the industry serves apartment buildings.
- The healthcare industries contribute just over 13% of the total revenues that are collected by the HVAC industry annually.
- Manufacturing and industrial applications [10.5%] are just slightly higher than office building applications [10.1%] in terms of HVAC revenues.
- Demand for HVAC equipment is forecast to increase 6.8% annually through 2019 to reach a total of $20.4 billion.
- Shipments of HVAC equipment are expected to grow at 6% per year through 2019 to $16.5 billion.
- Imports are expected to account for a growing share of the demand for all HVAC products, exceeding 25% of the total demand for the first time ever in 2019.
- 44% of HVAC sales will continue to be unitary air conditioners, which are consistently the largest share of the demand this industry sees.
- Heat pumps and warm air furnaces are expected to see the highest levels of total growth in the industry.
When the recession started in late 2007, the HVAC industry took the same hit as the construction industry, but their pain didn’t make the mainstream media as often. The recovery being experienced within the industry is still continuing to build slowly, but at least the industry has come to the point where they have a positive annualized growth since 2008 at this point, even if it is at just 1%. The future looks very bright for the HVAC industry. Hopefully another recession won’t come along to damage the progress that has been made in recent years.
Source: Aeroseal; originally written by Brandon Gaille.
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