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.
Last year ended on a disappointing note for many, including distributors. On the bright side, distributors in all U.S. regions ended 2011 in positive territory and also reported higher inventory levels than the same time in 2010. What’s ahead for 2012?
Despite lingering economic blight, a gridlocked political climate, and mild winter temperatures, Paul Stalknecht, president and CEO of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), is beaming with optimism.
Technology can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, trying to keep up with changing technology can be a never-ending battle that consumes your time and budget. On the other hand, not bothering to keep up with technology can hurt a business. So what do HVAC contractors see as tech trends in the next year?
Demand for energy will rise through 2040 as global economic output doubles and prosperity expands across a world where population will grow to nearly 9 billion people, Exxon Mobil Corp. states in The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040.
Globally a mature product, its more recent adoption in the United States makes VRF something of a developing trend that more contractors are choosing for their businesses. The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) brought further legitimacy to VRF products when it launched a new certification program.
It’s a tough crowd of consumers out there. According to distributors, consumer behavior is leading to a drop-off in the replacement market, as well as a drop-off in the high-end market. Yet despite these worrisome trends, distributors are still seeing areas of growth and employing smart tactics to keep their businesses in good shape.