Business Development Manager @ AACS Limited
Whichever way you look at it, 2020 didn't really go to plan for anyone did it! Unless you manufacture PPE or Hand Sanitiser, it probably wasn't the best year. Onwards and upwards I always say... 2021 is shaping up to be the year of rebuilding, the year of promise, the year we get back on track!
This applies to the HVAC Industry too, today we will be identifying the upcoming trends that are set to shape the next 12 months of our industry in 2021, providing we don't get another global lockdown that is.
As an industry, HVAC has always been about heating and cooling, I know that sounds obvious, a simple change that people can feel almost immediately. However, with Coronavirus and the rise of COVID-19, the focus has shifted so that we aren't just focusing on people's comfort, we are also looking at their health and wellbeing, with air quality coming to the forefront and being an interesting talking point for manufacturers around the globe.
Whether it be an app that allows you to connect your phone to your indoor unit and measure the quality of the air or an independent consultant that comes to measure your 'Air Health' it is an important area that will be highlighted going forward and could be one of the main reasons you invest in a system for your company or even your home, it could even be the reason you finally get that service.
The technology available today allows for a smarter and move innovative way to exist with your HVAC system.
Green Technology and Smart Homes
The environment stood centre stage when the world shut down, however in recent months with COVID-19 reportedly coming back for a second wave, political campaigns raging and basic human rights being debated every day. It is easy to forget we are still responsible for our little rock floating in space, in 2021 it will be no different, it won't go away.
New, green, environmentally conscious technology is sure to grow yet faster in 2020. This could mean heating being fuelled by electricity or hydrogen, or myriad smart inventions to provide cleaner solutions. Innovation in the HVAC sector has the chance to be at the vanguard of change. With growth in the green sector, the market for HVAC will have a big part to play in the rise of sustainable energy.
Smarter ways of thinking are complimented by the Smart Homes we live in. From an app on your phone allowing you to turn the lights on, cook a chicken and set the temperature in your home at the click of a button, smart homes are paving the way to a more intelligent and environmentally friendly society. Nest & Hive Thermostats bring another level of usability to the market that is likely to increase the appeal to make your home smart in 2021, if even just for the novelty factor at first, people will start to realise that these things we thought were pipe dreams 20 years ago will become a necessity we cannot be without.
Daikin Control Systems allow you to be in control of your HVAC at all times, with App access to up to 50 units at any one time, home owners and Facility Managers alike will rejoice in the holy grail of HVAC technology. The ability to change the temperature and settings room by room, time scheduling to make the systems work around you , energy usage to monitor consumption and see where you can save and the ability for the system to learn how you live and work.
The future is now, long gone of the days where an air conditioning unit would be the talking point of the office, mostly for the wrong reasons, the technology available today allows for a smarter and move innovative way to exist with your HVAC system.
A New Breed
With new technology, comes new training. Global demands for HVAC equipment are expected to increase by 6% annually through 2021. The growth of the HVAC market brings with it extra demand for skills across a company.
The baby boom generation are entering retirement and the millennial generation may be much less likely to enter a skilled trade. Companies are therefore looking at the way they recruit and train staff, investing more in employee training and skills programs as they adapt to change.
AACS Limited work with a local North East education provider, Northumberland College, to find the best local talent through a vocational way of learning, we have to adapt and bring the next generation of Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Engineers into the game.
VR and AR Technologies
Designing a new system can often be a complex job, with everything only ever existing in a 2D world until you get to site, however AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) is changing the way design engineers plan and demo the latest systems in different spaces.
VR is often described as Immersive Technology, once you don your goggles you are sucked into a virtual world and can move around within that world. AR works slightly different, adding digital elements into a live view, usually incorporating the camera functionality in a smart phone or tablet.
Instead of a design purely being 2D, HVAC Design Engineers can visualise anything from the smallest component to a full system with the help of rendering technology in a simulated space using the latest CAD software.
This brave new world for HVAC can also help with training and maintenance, allowing Service Engineers to fix a problem in the safety of a workshop before they get to site, many of the AR apps allow for a built in manual which will in turn help the Engineer learn as they go.
Immersive technology is changing the way the industry designs, sells and services the products by adding an exciting new tool for those working in this fast-moving and dynamic industry,
An Exciting Time
Nothing is certain in this day and age, with trends changing faster than the temperature in an office, however the HVAC industry continues to strive and change for the better. With new technology and a consumer market with changing priorities, we are in a great place to see out the next 30 years as we have done since 1990.