Top HVAC Industry Trends for 2024

Feb 2, 2024DMA Engineering

Top HVAC Industry Trends for 2024The HVAC industry is grappling with a critical shortage of qualified technicians, an issue exacerbated by the imminent retirement of the baby boomer generation. In the current competitive labor market, HVAC companies are striving to train skilled personnel for profitability. As demands on technicians rise, commissioning plays a crucial role in optimizing HVAC systems. The need for engineering oversight through commissioning becomes particularly pronounced with modern equipment designed for efficiency and code compliance, ensuring functionality.

The Current State of the HVAC Industry

The global HVAC market is on a robust growth trajectory, estimated at $159 billion in 2022 and projected to increase to $227 billion by 2028, reflecting a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.1% between 2021 and 2026. This expansion is fueled by several factors, including heightened construction activity, building renovations, a growing emphasis on energy-efficient systems, and automation in HVAC systems.

In the United States, the HVAC market boasts an annual revenue of $150 billion, with a projected CAGR of 6.1% from 2022 to 2030. Additionally, over 3 million heating and air conditioner systems are replaced annually in the U.S., indicating sustained demand and market growth.

Despite the projected annual estimate of 37,700 openings for HVAC technicians in the US from 2022 to 2032, the current shortfall of trained technicians raises the questions: Who will make up the workforce to handle this volume of work, and where will the technical checks and balances lie?

HVAC Industry Trends

In addition to overall industry growth trends, we are witnessing a notable shift in consumer preferences, as more than half of HVAC customers are inclined towards investing in eco-friendly and energy-efficient systems. This trend reflects a growing awareness of sustainability within the industry, aligning perfectly with DMA Engineering’s founding business principles on energy-efficient systems.
Consumer interest in indoor air quality (IAQ) is also driving the popularity of smart thermostats. The U.S. indoor air quality market, valued at $9.8 billion in 2022, is expected to reach $11.9 billion by 2027, indicating a steady progression in the industry’s technological landscape—essential for the proper functioning of increasingly complex HVAC systems.

HVAC Industry Challenges and Issues

The repercussions of an HVAC technician shortage are far-reaching, already resulting in errors due to the involvement of unqualified technicians in critical HVAC tasks. In addition to the aging and retirement of the workforce, the estimated shortage of 110,000 technicians is also attributed to a lack of awareness about career opportunities in HVAC, the prevailing perception of HVAC as a physically demanding job, and a shortage of training programs and skilled professionals entering the field.

DMA Engineering: The Critical Role of Commissioning in Ensuring Success

Over the past year, as DMA undertook the commissioning of multiple systems, various issues came to light, including incorrect piping configurations leading to operational problems, errors in the sequence of operations, an improperly installed humidifier, a fully balanced system with a malfunctioning actuator, inadequately insulated and labeled piping, and equipment installed contrary to industry best practices. Additionally, thermal expansion valves overheated during installation.

Despite these challenges, the engagement of DMA Engineering as a third party expedited the resolution, efficiently delivering the desired building outcome for clients. The importance of commissioning in navigating these challenges is evident in achieving optimal system performance.

See how DMA Engineering’s commissioning services supported the implementation of a new, high-efficiency HVAC system in a multi-tenant setting. Download the case study.