HVAC systems have become an integral part of life for many of us around the world. These systems keep us comfortable and safe in our homes, offices, car and nearly every building we enter. These systems are also crucial to the HVAC industry and with social changes and distancing, the HVAC industry is set to see changes that meet those needs and the needs of a changing workforce. As 2021 begins, we would like to look into the future of these essential HVAC systems and explore trends we can expect to see in the industry through stats and graphics that show the changes on the horizon.
Many of the spaces we occupy day-to-day, including offices, mass transport hubs, retail shops and movie theaters, were designed for efficiency and large capacities. But with an increased risk of viruses spreading in crowded urban areas, these spaces will require new designs with ventilation, distancing and no-contact interaction in mind.
As ventilated spaces have been shown to reduce the risk of infection according to a paper from SAGE EMG(2), providing ventilation and climate control in spaces where people are distancing will also be the focus of HVAC designs.
Supply chians across all industries have been impacted by the pandemic and suppliers at all stages are experiences full warehouses and decreased sales. Suppliers will have to pivot quickly to more accurately assess demand.
The HVAC industry will similarly need to embrace flexibility in calculating demands as over 42% of manufacturers expressed interest in redefining supply chain strategies since the pandemic. Methods for communicating with and informing suppliers throughout the supply chain will emerge in 2021 in response.
With as much as 86% of consumers willing to pay more for a better customer experience and the need for social distancing continuing into the foreseeable future, service-based industries will look to reduce direct contact with customers through contactless technologies that will also make interactions more convenient.
HVAC technicians are hands-on, but the HVAC industry will see mainstream implementation of technologies that improve the customer experience and offer safer communication with customers such as convenient contactless transactions and remote maintenance services.
With the number of people working from home expected to double in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, remote working is expected to become more of a norm than a brief trend as online meetings have increased as much as 48%.
People will demand smarter functionality from their homes and HVAC systems. The HVAC industry will address the residential sector with innovations that improve the home for more diverse needs such as precise zone control and more efficient VRF solutions for residential applications.
Concerns over the airborne COVID-19 virus have made people more conscious about contact with others and the air quality in the spaces they occupy. Spaces will be designed with methods of delivering fresh air to occupants while offering no-contact applications including motions sensors, voice recognition and proximity detection.
Since touchless control and air ventilation will become priorities, HVAC controls will be more personalized through smart devices and ventilation or air purification systems will show an increase in demand.
1. Response Source. (November 20,2020). Government Confirms Importance of Ventilation to Reduce Spread of COVID-19. Retrieved from https://pressreleases.responsesource.com/news/100448/government-confirms-importance-of-ventilation-to-reduce-spread-of-covid-19/
2. SAGE EMG. (2020). Role of Ventilation in Controlling SARS-CoV-2 Transmission. Retrieved from https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/928720/S0789_EMG_Role_of_Ventilation_in_Controlling_SARS-CoV-2_Transmission.pdf
3. Shipping and Freight Resource. (April 21,2020). 42% Will Change Supply Chain Strategies Post COVID-19 – Impact Survey. Retrieved from https://www.shippingandfreightresource.com/supply-chain-strategies-post-covid-19-impact-survey/#
4. Toma Kulbytė. (December 11, 2020). 37 Customer Experience Statistics You Need to Know for 2021. Retrieved from https://www.superoffice.com/blog/customer-experience-statistics/
5. Finances Online. (2020). 12 Essential Work from Home Trends & Predictions for 2020/2021 You Should Know. Retrieved from https://financesonline.com/work-from-home-trends/
6. Jared Spataro. (September 22, 2020). A Pulse on Employees’ Wellbeing, Six Months into the Pandemic. Retrieved from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2020/09/22/pulse-employees-wellbeing-six-months-pandemic/