Geothermal heat pump (GHP) sales have grown steadily in recent years, but manufacturers estimate that GHP installations account for only about 1 to 2 percent of the total market. As the economy improves, some industry experts predict sales of GHPs will command a far larger share of the market by 2016.
Geothermal systems can significantly reduce energy consumption in a traditionally built house, but when installed in conjunction with a tight thermal envelope, they can help a homeowner procure the coveted net zero energy label.
Many in the industry are still lamenting the loss of the federal tax credits for higher efficiency HVAC systems; however, most manufacturers believe that customers remain willing to pay a premium for better equipment.
Consumers often seek out products that are considered to be the best or most efficient in their class. For this reason, many only consider highly fuel-efficient cars, Energy Star labeled refrigerators, or televisions rated as top performers in consumer magazines. This principle may work with other types of products, but will it work when it comes to the purchase of a high-efficiency heating and/or cooling system?
Contractors are usually eager to learn about new products and services that could potentially differentiate themselves from the competition, and John Burrell definitely falls into that category. Read to find out how.
The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) predicts that during the May-through-September summer driving season this year, regular gasoline retail prices will average about $3.95 per gallon, peaking in May at a monthly average price of $4.01 per gallon.
Many commercial HVAC equipment manufacturers are expecting to see modest growth this year, although the data so far are not encouraging. The good news is that many economists expect the U.S. economy to continue to expand moderately in the months ahead, and that should result in modest gains in construction spending.
Many contractors (and big-box stores) try to grab customers’ attention by advertising the ubiquitous $29 tune-up. So is the $29 tune-up an effective marketing tool that can be used to beef up the customer base? Or is it a pernicious practice that lowers the bar for the HVAC industry? It all depends on your outlook.
Mixed signals make it difficult to determine what to expect over the next year, although most manufacturers echo Gary Clark, senior vice president of marketing, Goodman Global Group Inc., who stated, “Overall, we see 2012 being very similar to 2011.”
The economy has been tough for many HVAC contractors over the last few years, and the signals are mixed as to whether things will get better in 2012. On the positive side, construction employment rose in 28 states and the District of Columbia between December 2010 and December 2011. On the other hand, only 302,000 new homes were sold in 2011, which is 6.2 percent below the 2010 figure.