We’ve seen some serious advances in the HVAC space over the past decade, but with a new year underway, it’s natural to ask, “What’s next?” While we may not have a crystal ball, we do know about five trends that are worth paying attention to in the coming years.
1. Increasing efficiency
Today’s heating systems are getting more efficient every day, and the trend isn’t stopping any time soon. Some of today’s condensing unit heater systems can achieve 93% and greater efficiencies, compared to the traditional 80% that’s standard across the industry. Even better, hydronic systems are being designed to run on high-efficiency boilers without compromising on heat, and that technology is making its way into other products, too.
Ductless mini-split units are another product showing promising growth. Many are choosing to install them in spaces where traditional heating and cooling products may not be available due to size or other restrictions.
2. The end of distraction
One of the biggest trends across the HVAC industry is in-room packaged ventilation systems. In the past, these systems weren’t a good fit for quiet applications, as the noise they make can be distracting or inconvenient. However, we’re starting to see units that are more heavily sound-proofed, with improved motors and compressors. That means they can be used in places that need quieter operation, such as performance spaces, classrooms and more.
3. Equipment that talks back
Imagine being able to find out if a greenhouse heater has failed in the middle of the night, long before crops can be damaged. With increasing building management system integration into heating systems, building owners can get notifications on their smartphones and other devices if a unit fails or needs maintenance. These units can also report their overall system status, so users can keep track of efficiency, power usage and more.
4. More integrated HVAC solutions
We’re also seeing a shift toward larger, integrated heating and cooling solutions that are designed for individual projects. Rather than just selling to individual HVAC contractors and technicians, sales teams are starting to work with project contractors and engineers to plan a building’s climate control systems from start to finish.
5. Changing standards
New efficiency and performance standards are shaping what equipment is required for certain applications. This includes the way buildings manage outdoor-air intake systems. Some product types are now required by industry standards to dehumidify outdoor air to a low dew point. These systems provide a few key efficiency advantages that make them worthwhile for many applications.
The industry continues to grow, and we’re growing with it
Sales in the HVAC industry are still growing. As the U.S. building boom continues, demand for the climate control equipment required by new offices and commercial buildings will increase right alongside it. We’re seeing that high-efficiency equipment is really taking off, and technology is radically changing the way we interface with equipment across a deployment.
From where we’re standing, the future of HVAC looks bright. From new products that are challenging the status quo to creating truly smart heating and cooling systems, the HVAC industry is on a high-velocity track to a more efficient future next year and beyond.