Experts agree, to run a prosperous HVAC company, owners and contractors must adapt to ever evolving industry standards, fast-paced regulation changes and technological advances. The HVAC industry is also rapidly growing, and in 2020, there are many trends that business leaders should be following and addressing. These industry changes are not only in the products themselves, but they are also impacting business cultures and the industry as a whole. The following is a summary of an article from Service Titans discussing these important trends to keep in mind in 2020 for HVAC businesses.

1. The Industry Is Getting Bigger—Fast

The biggest HVAC industry news for the foreseeable future? It's growing. An AHR Expo and ASHRAE Journal survey found that nearly 88% of respondents in the HVAC industry are reporting a “good” or “excellent” business year in 2019. 43% of those respondents expect 5-10% growth for their business and 23.5% expect growth at exceeds 10%. This is a slight dip from the previous year’s survey, but still a remarkably positive assessment of how current HVAC businesses are doing.

2. More People Are Working in HVAC than Ever

The most recent employment numbers for the HVAC industry are record-breaking. Over 2018, it was found that 1.2 million people in the U.S. were employed by HVAC companies. That’s more than a 5% boost over the 2017 numbers and speaks to the overall health of the industry.

3. Recruitment Should Stay a Priority

While HVAC job lookout remains strong, there is a worrying lack of interest among young people to consider the trades as a career. Despite this, over a current, ten-year period (2016-2026) experts predict HVAC jobs will grow 15%.

4. Company Culture Matters

If the HVAC industry is going to need to court a younger generation of talent to fill its ranks—and, at the rate that experienced Baby Boomers are retiring, it will—it needs to think more about the experience it’s providing its workers. For Millennials (and a growing number of other workers—88% in total) company culture at work is central to business results.

5. More Employees Prefer Mobile-first Communication

Company culture isn’t all about bonuses and occasional team outings. It’s also about adopting tools that make work easier and communication immediate and fun. We already know that phone calls are time-consuming and even emails are being seen as more of a burden by today’s workforce—nearly 45% of workers said they prefer text over email in one 2019 survey.

6. The “Internet of Things” Isn’t Going Away

A few years ago, the Internet of Things was a buzz-phrase that referred to a growing number of household appliances that were wifi-enabled. Televisions. Stereos. Refrigerators. Thermostats. Now, in 2019, it doesn’t look like “smart home” products are going anywhere soon. It’s estimated that over 14 million homes in the U.S. use IoT devices and products—and that number is only expected to go up.

7. “Going Green” Has a Double Meaning...

It’s true: More and more consumers out there are concerned about the environmental impact of the products and services they buy. But more than that? They’re often willing to pay more for options that are more environmentally-friendly than others. GlobalWebIndex found that rising number of consumers were ready to pay for more expensive, eco-friendly products, including 46% of Baby Boomers and 61% of Millennials.

8. Personal Touch Is Now a Must-Have

It isn’t just employee expectations that are changing—consumers’ are, too. For example, a State of Global Customer Service survey found that 78% of younger consumers expect customer service reps to have their purchase history and contact information as soon as they start speaking to one another.

9. No One’s Writing Checks Anymore

Okay, not “no one,” but it’s no secret that check writing has been steadily plummeting since the invention of the credit card and even paying with cash isn’t done as much anymore, either. Instead, mobile point-of-sale (POS) systems like Clover and Square helping small and medium-sized businesses—and even independent vendors and Girl Scouts—conveniently capture.

10. 2020 Could Finally Be Geothermal’s Moment

Geothermal heat pumps have been an eco-friendly solution for both warming and cooling houses for a long time... but they just haven't gotten the same spotlight as solar panels and other energy and money-saving solutions. Is that about to change? Some industry watchers think so. Geothermal heat pumps account for about only about 1% of the U.S. HVAC market. But, now that Congress has reinstated a tax credit for the technology in 2018, forecasters are hopeful for a bump in awareness, demand, and installations.

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