HVAC or heating, ventilation, and cooling systems – one of those things that we all bicker about when we don’t have one, but, hardly ever think of when we do. With all the comforts we take for granted in this smart home age, it’s hard to imagine that just a couple short generations ago, HVAC was a luxury reserved for commercial use and only the wealthiest of individuals.
When you look to the future of the HVAC industry, there are two things on everyone’s mind. From the consumer perspective, automation through smart technology – and from the industry perspective, a republican presidency.
To gain some insight on those topics and more, we asked a group of industry experts…
What’s The Future Of The HVAC Industry?
Here’s what they had to say…
Scott Boose, CEO of Service Experts
“Home comfort systems will be more environmentally friendly as ozone-depleting substances like R22 are phased out by the Environmental Protection Agency by 2020. Systems will be more energy efficient and cost less to run with less sound pollution, and tap alternative energy sources like solar or hybrid. More households will use ENERGY STAR(r)-rated heating and cooling equipment. More homeowners will also use smart technology like the Nest wi-fi thermostat, which can help reduce consumption – sending alerts to homeowners about usage and maintenance. Future enhancements may identify a potential system failure before it happens and alert the repair company to schedule an inspection, allowing technicians to arrive with knowledge of the problem and the parts to repair it. Another advancement may be the development of infrared heat sensing in the home to allow zoned heating and cooling by determining which rooms are in use and allowing direct heating and cooling of those rooms.”
Keegan Hodges, Co-owner of Best Home Services
“The HVAC industry will become more commoditized and consumers will have accessibility to perform the entire transaction of purchasing a new A/C unit for their home entirely online. In 10-15 years, customers will be researching different models, efficiency levels, and SEER ratings that will accommodate their needs and application type the best. In addition, consumers will have the ability to perform an energy load calculation of their residence and select the proper size of equipment needed to cool the home efficiently. Easy to use consumer tools will provide details based upon mathematical formulas to calculate cfm and air flow management for air duct upgrades and replacements; along with plenums if needed. Lastly, the homeowner will be able to schedule their installation or repair around their personal schedule – directly from their sofa. However, no matter how many strides our industry makes with technology to improve the customer experience, we can never lose site that this is a technical business and a large percentage of people will always value and factor in top notch service when choosing a service provider. In the end, there will always be room in the market for companies that deliver high level, personalized and amazing customer service.”
Mike Brosseit, President & Owner of Top Notch Heating
“Home automation and smarter, more responsive technology will transform the way HVAC contractors do business in the future. We’re already seeing the popularity of products like Wi-Fi thermostats grow, and that will increase exponentially in upcoming years. Everyone wants to obtain the ultimate in home comfort and organization, and home automation systems make it that much easier by putting the controls right at homeowners’ fingertips. I think we’ll see them become even more advanced than we can imagine right now, with the ability to make precise adjustments based on a homeowner’s preferences without requiring them to do anything. As these ‘smart home’ systems become more widely available and less expensive, more folks will see them as a standard rather than a luxury. A big part of this is the push toward energy efficiency-the better you can program an HVAC system, the more efficiently it will operate.”
John Splendido, VP & General Manager of R.J. Murray Company
“I see a HVAC world driven by efficiency, safety and technology.
I see manufacturers developing products to meet new federal, state and local codes.
I see new refrigerants and higher efficiencies leading to safer systems with lower global warming potential.
I see homeowners using cellphones to set the temperature and humidity levels for their home.
I see the settings for each room customized to meet each family member’s personal ideal comfort.
I see dealers receiving an automated text message on a tablet that Mr. Smith’s system is running less efficiently.
I see technicians using an app to review system performance and diagnostics and then manipulating control systems before arriving, in some cases, eliminating a visit.
I see end users enjoying greater comfort, better service and lower energy usage.
I see manufacturers, wholesalers and dealers needing to keep up or be left in the dust.”
Zach Dermer , COO of Farnen & Dermer
“The HVAC industry is headed in a green direction. With energy conscious consumers, all heating and cooling products will be purchased based on efficiency ratings. As efficiency levels of equipment increases, homeowners’ out of pocket utility expenses decrease, as well as their carbon footprint. Newly-introduced products will reduce, if not completely, eliminate the need for fossil fuels as a main source of heating. Solar, geothermal, and other alternative energy sources will soon not be considered alternative. The cost of these energy efficient technologies will lower and become more common for everyday use, for every type of home.
In addition to the industry becoming more energy conscious, consumers will also demand more technologically-advanced gadgets. People want information at their fingertips and Wi-Fi thermostats (as part of a smart home), will soon be the norm. People will be able to use these devices to help reduce their energy consumption and be more aware of how they are using their home’s energy.”
Sri Deivasigamani, CEO of Intellihot
“The fundamental drive of “doing more with less” will continue, albeit the pace of innovation and integration will be sharply higher in the next 10 years than it has been in the last 100 years. The primary driver of disruption of the building construction trade will be by outsiders of the industry, notably technology companies. Multi-functional and integrated devices including IoT, will blur the boundary and traditional functionality of HVAC products to take them into the realm of systems. Higher level of comfort and safety will be achieved by automation, self-learning and the use of local and external data from a variety of sources.”
Jeff Conner, Dallas Service Manager at Control Concepts
“From a commercial HVACR standpoint, the future of the HVAC industry relies on innovations in automation & control technologies. Every heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration unit has electronic drive controls and logic circuits to keep the drives and motors running at the optimum temperatures and speeds. The control of HVAC units will get smarter by going mobile, using cloud-based systems, and communication between units. In order to achieve more efficiency, there will continue to be a push for more integration between HVAC controls and building systems.”