More than half of U.S. commercial building space is cooled by packaged HVAC equipment, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Additionally, existing rooftop units consume more than 1.3 percent of the country’s annual energy usage. It’s no surprise the biggest trend driving the rooftop market is efficiency.
Technology has come a long way in the HVAC industry, and not just in terms of the heating and cooling equipment. A number of software and data solutions designed to simplify HVAC contracting procedures were on display at the AHR Expo.
Perhaps the biggest work-vehicle trend at this year’s Expo was the somewhat sudden and notable presence of European-style vans. More maneuverable and economical than previous van styles, these vehicles are built with tradesmen in mind.
For HVAC refrigerants, the changes keep coming fast and furious at a time when the global demand continues to grow apace. Changes implemented via the EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program, combined with the continued phase out of R-22, will lead contractors to seek out opportunities to gain experience with the use of new low-GWP refrigerants.
GHPs may not often be a consumer’s first choice for heating and cooling, but many contractors remain dedicated to the technology, and they’re still finding consumers who want GHPs — even in areas where their benefits are not known as well.
The New York City Council voted unanimously to pass a bill that encourages the installation of geothermal energy and requires that geothermal heat pumps be considered for all new construction and retrofits of city-owned buildings.
While some folks are harder to please than others, HVAC contractors say there are proven practices that can help prevent a tense situation from escalating. And, with the right tactics, you can even turn an angry customer into a happy, satisfied one.
As customer interest in geothermal has increased, numerous HVAC contractors have begun offering GHPs as a way to expand their businesses and give their customers another energy-efficient HVAC option. But, while many of these contractors have undergone extensive training and took the time to properly design and install their GHP systems, others may not have been so careful.