HVAC Industry Roundup from AHR Expo 2017Billy Pell
Get three or more HVAC pros together in one room and you’re sure to get an earful of thoughts on what’s hot and what’s not in the industry. Get 68,000+ HVAC professionals together for the largest industry tradeshow in the U.S., and you’ll get a good idea of the critical trends that will be driving HVAC business in the upcoming year ahead. This year’s AHR Expo (International Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition) took place in late January and, as predicted, the showroom floor was abuzz with talk about the latest innovations and developments that are driving business success. Here are some of the conversations we overheard during the show:
- Smart Controls: It’s only a matter of time before homeowners will be setting their thermostats remotely, using a computer or smart phone app to control their heater and air conditioner.
- Tankless Water Heaters: Less energy consumption, longer life expectancy, less space required – what’s not to love? The latest tankless heaters are being designed for the specific needs of U.S. homeowners.
- VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow2): Considered by some to be the “Rolls Royce” of air conditioning systems, VRF technology promises a new level of energy efficiency.
- WiFi: Not only will WiFi-enabled HVAC allow homeowners to set the environmental controls in their home, it will also open up opportunities for contractors to remotely monitor and adjust customer systems.
- Year of the Duct: Proper duct installation and performance has become vital to an effective HVAC system. Duct leakage is a root cause of uneven temperatures in homes, and simply replacing boxes is a thing of the past. It’s estimated thousands of home air duct systems will be sealed with Aeroseal in 2017.
- Connectivity: More home appliances – including heaters and AC – are connecting to the cloud. This is giving HVAC professionals the opportunity to offer analytics and other related services.
- Full Home Solutions: Room-by-room fixes is becoming a thing of the past. It’s now about systems that can manage the whole house. Multi-zone solutions and multi-room ventilation systems are here to stay.
- Energy Efficiency: As a new generation of homeowners move in to the neighborhood, energy efficiency is taking a front row seat in customer demand.
- Training: With 30% of the HVAC industry at or near retirement, getting the next generation of professionals up and running on the latest technologies will translate to an increased demand for quality training.