With new efficiency standards and added tax incentives, plenty is happening within the HVAC industry. How will these changes impact HVAC trends in the coming year? What will the HVAC market look like by 2024? Will prices continue to rise, or will HVAC companies and property owners experience some relief from inflation-related woes? What trends should property managers keep in mind this year? Keep reading for the answers to these questions and so much more.
The HVAC Industry
What’s going on in the HVAC industry? You might be aware of some of the following facts and figures, but there might also be some statistics that surprise you.
- More than 90% of U.S. households enjoy air conditioning.
- Heat pumps continue to rise in popularity. While just 2.3 million heat pump units were shipped in 2015, by 2020, that number had increased to 3.4 million. New tax incentives on the equipment can only further boost sales.
- China demanded the most air conditioners globally in 2020, with 42.1 million units. The country was the largest market for producing and consuming air conditioners.
- Heating and cooling make up about 43% of a home’s utility bills. Almost 30% of a home’s energy costs come from heating the property.
- The U.S. market for smart thermostats is expected to reach $3.2 million by 2028.
- The global energy demand for air conditioning is projected to almost triple by 2050, reaching 6,205 TWh – the equivalent energy consumed by all of China and India today.
HVAC Trends to Watch for
What trends are shaping the HVAC industry, and how will they influence the heating and cooling sector in the coming years? Whether you’re managing a property’s facilities or you are considering upgrades to your own home, be sure to watch for the following 10 HVAC trends :
1. Increased Efficiency Standards
To reduce emissions and combat climate change, the U.S. Department of Energy increased its minimum efficiency standards, or SEER ratings, for air conditioners and heat pumps from 13-14 to 14-15. This new standard is effective Jan. 1, 2023. The increase affects the availability of many once-popular yet less efficient units and impacts the price of the remaining equipment supply. However, by installing new HVAC equipment with higher SEER ratings, consumers won’t be able to avoid lower energy bills.
2. Price Increases
HVAC prices rose because of factors including higher efficiency standards, overall inflation, and continuing supply chain issues. They will likely increase more as the year progresses. Analysts say some HVAC equipment could increase in price by as much as 30%.
3. Smart HVAC
Smart thermostats will continue to be a hot commodity throughout 2023 as consumers seek ways to conserve energy and save money while adding comfort and convenience to their daily lives. But these popular gadgets aren’t the only intelligent HVAC components trending this year. Many property owners are also embracing smart zoning systems that turn each part of the home into an independently controlled zone for custom temperature control. By identifying temperature imbalances or vacant areas, these systems can save homeowners as much as 25% on their energy bills. But smart HVAC doesn’t end there. Property owners can now connect their HVAC to their entire smart home system, providing extra convenience and analytical insights into their system’s performance.
4. Mini-split Air Conditioning
With greater energy efficiency in mind, property owners will continue to opt for mini-split air conditioning systems. The air conditioners have an outdoor compressor connected to an indoor air handler. They cool spaces far more efficiently than central air conditioners since they don’t lose 25% of their energy in ductwork.
5. Safer Refrigerants
Increased SEER ratings are the only 2023 HVAC trend that will help protect the environment. New cooling systems must use refrigerants with a lower potential for global warming than traditional chemicals like R-410A. Newly manufactured equipment must now be compatible with R-454B, a more environmentally friendly coolant that is only mildly flammable. Unfortunately, retrofitting existing equipment to use R-454B is not currently possible.
6. Remote Monitoring and Diagnostics
With mobile software that connects to smart HVAC systems, property managers and technicians can now monitor HVAC performance and even diagnose issues remotely. Remote monitoring and diagnostics of HVAC systems provide convenience for professionals and help ensure the timely resolution of heating and cooling problems experienced by tenants and occupants.
7. Heat Pumps
Heat pumps will continue to be a popular HVAC solution. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, an air-source heat pump can reduce energy consumption by 50%. New tax credits on heat pumps make this an even more attractive investment for property owners nationwide.
8. Indoor Air Quality
We might see an official end to the pandemic, but people are still concerned about indoor air quality. HVAC systems that can remove viruses and other contaminants from the air will remain in demand. Equipping an HVAC system with antimicrobial air filters can help eliminate pathogens from many indoor environments.
9. Preventative Maintenance
HVAC equipment has always represented a significant investment, but rising prices only add to the value of existing systems. Property owners want to protect their HVAC investments, making preventative maintenance even more critical. Property owners must educate themselves on the recommended preventive maintenance procedures and frequency for the entire system when purchasing a new HVAC system, mainly when replacing older equipment with a smart HVAC unit.
10. Data Analytics
Data continues its dominance, and the HVAC industry is no exception. Thanks to cloud-based data analytics, HVAC users can access real-time data generated by their smart HVAC equipment. This can help them understand their system’s performance and adjust their usage to conserve energy and save money. The same software can even help users identify HVAC issues before they lead to costly repairs or higher energy bills.
11. Tax Credits
Only time will tell, but chances are more consumers will purchase HVAC equipment thanks to tax credits that became available on Jan. 1. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 provides federal tax credits and deductions for American taxpayers who make energy-efficient home improvements like purchasing efficient air conditioners and heat pumps. Homeowners can qualify for 30% of a project cost, up to $3,200 annually – up to $2,000 for a combination of heat pumps, water heaters, and broilers, and another $1,200 for various central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, and other improvements.