HVAC contractors seem to be feeling cautiously optimistic about short-term growth, at least according to ACCA, whose Contractor Comfort Index (CCI) scored a 76 in January 2016. But, there is still concern about the U.S. economy and conditions around the world, in general.
The hot ticket at the recent Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration (AHR) Expo was a seat at Building Services Research and Information Association’s (BSRIA’s) presentation on global HVAC trends.
The latest report from HARDI shows that average sales for HARDI distributor members increased by 8.2 percent in December 2015, but annualized growth for all of 2015 registered a bit lower at 5.7 percent. This compares to the 6.1 percent gain in 2014, the second consecutive year of slower growth since a 7.3 percent increase was reported in 2013.
Sales of HVAC equipment were somewhat flat in 2015, according to AHRI, which reported year-to-date combined U.S. shipments of central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps decreased by 0.6 percent, and shipments of gas warm air furnaces increased 2.9 percent.
According to HVAC manufacturers, customers are looking for highly efficient furnaces that shave dollars off their utility bills while providing the best possible levels of comfort. As a result, most furnaces displayed at the AHR Expo were designed to meet these market demands.
When it comes to figuring out what the market demands in a boiler, it usually comes down to the highest efficiencies possible along with advances in control technology. Indeed, efficiency and advanced control technologies were on display for most of the boilers introduced at the AHR Expo.
Numerous types of radiant products were on display at the AHR Expo, including heating, cooling, and snow melt systems. And, exhibiting manufacturers were all focused on touting the energy efficiency, sustainability, and safety benefits of their products.
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.