After a year in which the only thing that was predictable was the unpredictable, 2021 offers a fresh start. However with the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing and many changes to come after it is eventually overcome, there is still a fair amount of uncertainty surrounding the future of many businesses and industries.
For us and our students at the Training Center of Air Conditioning and Heating, that obviously begs the question, “what does the immediate future look like for HVAC?”
The global pandemic leading to lockdowns and calls to shelter in place across the country, people spent more time at home this past year. Because of this, the HVAC industry was fortunate enough to stay steady and serve the heating and cooling needs of folks in their homes in order to stay comfortable while they stayed safe.
But, will that continue to be a viable situation for the foreseeable future? After all, although a career in the trades equips you with a very special skill set, if the future for HVAC feels unsure, incoming HVAC professionals and technicians need to be aware of what is ahead of them.
While the pandemic will eventually be conquered and life returning to (somewhat) normality, it is still worth carefully considering the outlook of any professions you are in or currently exploring as we head into 2021 and the somewhat uncertain future that lies ahead.
When it comes to what the HVAC industry will look like in 2021, what better source to turn to than the leaders of the industry?
The Future Looks Strong
In a recent article, many of the HVAC industry’s most distinguished leaders were asked about what the outlook for the HVAC industry and HVAC technicians looked like in 2021. There was a common sentiment among every one of them: the future is looking strong!
Projecting the needs of customers and the outlook of an eventually returning economy, the leaders of the HVAC industry point to a multitude of factors that should contribute to a strong continuing need for HVAC services and technicians, as well as new opportunities that should begin to present themselves.
Our work is never done
The reality is that as the pandemic continues, and even after it is eventually past, folks will continue to rely heavily on the comfort provided by their heating and cooling systems. Many businesses and professionals will continue to work and operate remotely from their homes and drive the need for peak performance of their HVAC system.
The foreseeable increased reliance on home comfort systems by those working and learning from home, many of these experts predict, will drive the need for more regular equipment servicing and replacement over the next few years, providing no shortage of jobs and opportunities for HVAC service providers and technicians.
New growing interest in indoor air quality
Many of the industry’s experts noted that the airborne nature of the pandemic has also created an increased awareness of consumers on the need for improved air quality, especially in commercial spaces. Even following the conclusion of the pandemic, experts predict there will continue to be a demand for indoor air purification equipment for both homes and businesses – a need that will be filled by those in the HVAC industry.
As demand for air purification equipment increases, heating and cooling companies will see an increased opportunity for installation and servicing work surrounding these types of equipment. This will drive a need for HVAC technicians to thoroughly train and educate themselves with this type of equipment in order to better offer and market these services.
New regulations will create better practices
Normalcy will not return without changes to protocols for HVAC technicians to safely serve their customers. However, these changes, some experts predict, will ultimately prove to have positive effects on operations, particularly project management.
Brian Helm of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America Inc. in particular stated, “In 2021, I think contractors will use what we learned from working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic to simplify many aspects of project management. We will see the evolution of data management tools from the current desktop-centered format to a mobile-centric approach. This will make it easier than ever for our project managers to stay connected.”
So, should those considering a career in HVAC be concerned about the future of the industry? Quite the contrary! The 2021 HVAC outlook for technicians looks very promising. Here at the Training Center of Air Conditioning and Heating, we are continuing to educate and prepare our students for a HVAC career in a post-COVID world.