HVAC Trends to Look For in 2019By My Service Depot on Thursday, January 3, 2019
What does 2019 hold for the HVAC industry? Let's take a look!
It’s a new year! That makes now the perfect time to look at upcoming trends in the HVAC industry and start thinking about how you can take advantage of these trends for your business. We’ll be honest—there’s kind of a lot going on. Market growth, smart homes, skill shortages, and more. Makes you wonder if 2019 will shape up to be even busier than 2018.
We’ve outlined several categories below, each influenced by greater market forces. Where possible, we mention in this list the reasons for each trend. (Of course, many of these trends have multiple factors contributing to them, more than we can list in this one article.)
Hopefully, with enough knowledge to work with, you can use these trends to your advantage (or at least prepare for them, if nothing else). It may help to do some further research on your own if any of these topics interest you.
1. Market Growth Forecasted
First off, the market projects overall growth for many field service industries in 2019. Why? Consumer-focused home services will get a boost from additional construction, replacement of aging systems, etc.
For instance, the HVAC industry has grown every year since 2011. People continuously build homes that need new HVAC installation and homes built in the 90’s and early 00’s need their HVAC equipment repaired or even replaced.
2. Continued Skill Shortages
Many trades face a shortage of skilled candidates. Baby Boomers have started to retire, leaving the workforce and taking their skills with them.
The result? More challenges in hiring the right people, especially technicians. Some companies will have to get really creative to find workers in 2019. To find the right people, or to become the right person to hire, apprenticeship-type arrangements may be the answer. Or maybe using social media.
3. The Smart Home
Of course, it’s really hard to talk about current trends without mentioning the smart home. With Nest thermostats and Amazon’s Alexa in more homes, consumers look at their house as an autonomous unit and see more of the in-home systems as connected to a whole rather than separate, divided appliances and services. Customers think of their home’s systems in a more responsive, connected fashion.
People can now watch through an app as their favorite pizza joint cooks up pies for their order—why wouldn’t they also expect to chat live with their plumber via an app? The smart home represents one part of a growing trend of consumers expecting really connected service.
It’s also possible that soon automated homes will make the service requests themselves. This could have implications for advertising to reach new customers, forming contracts with parties like Amazon, etc. There’s a lot to think about, so it’s worthwhile to keep on eye on this one.
4. Tax Reform And Tax Discussions
Apart from what the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act does to income taxes, service companies face additional tax reform. There’s a push for reductions in the depreciation period for commercial HVAC, for instance. The current standard of 39 years is beyond the length most commercial systems typically last. That means that commercial customers don’t necessarily get as much of a tax advantage from replacing old systems, and might feel they can wait it out instead of upgrading.
One thing’s for sure, it’s unlikely we’ve heard the last of changes to the tax code.
5. Intelligent Products, Apps, and New Tools
Product invoicing, dispatching, and technical support for those in the field all take time and resources. Increasingly, businesses have turned to HVAC software and apps to help them get more done. Gone are the days when this kind of stuff could only be done on paper. Every year, there’s even more development in this area. Work order and dispatching software can make for a good investment in 2019.