Like any other industry, the heating and ventilation sector is moving with the times. And as in other areas, the times are changing. What are some of the things that are going to be driving the HVAC industry as we move into a new decade?
We’re getting to the point where the millennial generation is starting to influence the property market, whether as renters or buyers. This means they are increasingly becoming consumers of heating and ventilation systems, and they are increasingly involved in speccing them for the workplace, too.
Why is this important to the industry? This generation is much more aware of its environmental footprint than earlier generations. They are going to want systems that do the job effectively but use less energy in the process. That’s going to drive demand for more efficient and eco-friendly HVAC solutions.
Of course, this demographic trend also has an impact on the industry directly as the older baby boomer generation begins to retire and a new workforce comes along. This will require training in the required skills, but it will also mean a move toward more automated ‘smart’ solutions as there is likely to be a smaller skills pool available. Technology such as artificial intelligence can be used to make better use of resources and give early warning of developing issues so that they can be addressed and taken care of before they turn into major problems.
Another issue the industry needs to face changes in fuel use. There will be increasing pressure to move away from gas, but that means finding alternatives. Whether these are in the form of hydrogen boilers or geothermal heat pumps, they will present considerable challenges.
Distributing heated or cooled air shouldn’t change very much. You’ll still find spiral ducts here but fashions relating to spiral duct are shifting. The current trend is to have a spiral duct on display as an architectural feature, but in the future, we may see more demand for these components of HVAC systems to be hidden.
This highlights the need for the HVAC industry to work closely with the construction sector to incorporate the latest technologies in new builds and in refurbishments of existing properties. Alternative technologies and fuel sources will need to be considered at the design stage.