8 Challenges Faced by HVAC Industry in 2023 [With Solutions]
Table of Contents
The HVAC industry is currently in flux; technological advancements have made cooling and heating units smaller and more compact, among other things. Cooling and heating units are now smaller, more compact, and more efficient than ever before. But such advancements in technology also require the manufacturers and service providers to stay on their toes. The presence of a skilled workforce and training the existing one periodically becomes crucial for accomplishing routine tasks like installation and repair.
While the sector’s growth is undeniable and unstoppable, addressing the new challenges facing HVAC industry using latest tech-led solutions is important to ensure the pace of development doesn’t slow down. Here are some to look out for HVAC problems and solutions in 2023 and beyond.
Current Market Scenario of HVAC Industry
The reason to overview HVAC problems and solutions is related with the global commercial and residential HVAC industry’s expansion at an unprecedented rate. The global HVAC market is currently valued at USD 143.7 billion, and it is expected to grow at a 6.3% annual rate through 2030, when it is expected to reach a global value of USD 234.9 billion. Socio-economic trends in some of the world’s hottest regions, as well as an increase in median disposable income, have resulted in an increase in the use of air conditioners and heating and cooling devices. As a result of this rising trend, cooling systems now account for more than 10% of global electricity consumption.
When do people consider proper heating or air conditioning? Indeed, when the temperature is unbearably high in the summer or winter. During these times, HVAC companies are frequently overburdened by the number of potential customers and projects that must be managed concurrently. However, managing the company without financial loss can be difficult for the rest of the year when people do not feel the need for HVAC appliances. With the help of Augmented Reality (AR), planning and installing HVAC systems has become more efficient than ever before. Whether you’re a newcomer or an established HVAC professional, AR technology provides crucial information that can help you work with greater precision, reducing the likelihood of errors and minimizing the need for costly reworks. With AR, you can streamline your workflow and complete your projects with greater ease and accuracy, saving time and money in seasonal fluctuation.
2. Labour Shortage
The manufacturing industry as a whole is experiencing a labour shortage. Unfortunately, the HVAC industry is not an exception! Whatever the cause of the current workforce shortages, they are likely to worsen. As older technicians retire or leave the workforce, fewer young people are entering the trades. This is unfavourable for customer satisfaction. If you don’t have enough employees to serve all your customers or respond to an emergency, they’ll find someone who can. AR technology can help accelerate industry training and bridge the skills gap by providing step-by-step instructions and access to a secure knowledge repository. With AR, complex issues related to labour shortage can be effectively addressed and troubleshooted. AR technology provides a dynamic and interactive learning experience that enables trainees to learn at their own pace and provides immediate feedback for improved retention. By leveraging AR, industries can overcome the challenges associated with skill gaps and enhance the efficiency of their workforce.
3. Lack of Proper Management
The lack of skilled employees is not the end of the company’s internal issues! HVAC services are frequently time-consuming and entertaining. Aside from the staff who install the necessary equipment, you will most likely require a supervisor to oversee the entire process and the final stage. When we multiply these steps by the number of projects running at the same time, team management can become a real challenge. Supervisors must manage a variety of tasks, often while not physically present at the installation site! Companies decide to invest in project management software to gather and manage all information in one place to solve this problem.
4. Stiff Competition
Let’s take a step back and look at the big picture. As previously stated, many small and local HVAC businesses are established each year. With the fluctuations of busy periods, it turns out that market survival is not so easy. Of course, this may not be true for everyone! In an industry where customer loyalty is crucial to success, leveraging AR technology can give your business the edge it needs to stay ahead of the competition. By providing fast and efficient support, you can build stronger relationships with your clients and establish your company as a leader in the HVAC industry.
5. Adaption of new technologies
Modern technologies can be overwhelming, especially in the construction industry, where many employees lack the necessary skills and are unwilling to embrace digitalization. As a result, many businesses are hesitant to invest in digital solutions, preferring to rely on well-known tools. This strategy may be effective in the short term, but it proves to be the final nail in the coffin in the long run. Smart building is currently one of the most significant pain points for HVAC companies. Because having a smart house is becoming more popular, more and more customers want their HVAC appliances to communicate with integrated systems. However, it is difficult to obtain from the company because such technology frequently requires special software to operate, as well as constant internet access.
6. Client Requirements
The customer is a king. You’ve probably heard it before. Clients are important for any business, but they can also be difficult. Customers today, for example, want their appliances to be modern and efficient while also requiring quick and inexpensive service. They frequently want not only air conditioning, but also modern technology controlled by smartphones. It is very easy to lose potential customers if you are not creative enough. And it is even more dangerous for your company in today’s highly competitive market!
7. Effects on climate
Not to mention environmental changes! I’m not sure if you’re aware, but they have a significant impact on the industry! First and foremost, we must address the impact of hot/cold weather on demand from point 1. But, more importantly, the HVAC industry is impacted by the UK government’s decarbonization mandate. As a result, the requirements for appliances are already changing, with features such as energy efficiency and lower CO2 emissions. Modern technology that monitors and adjusts HVAC systems by turning off the air conditioning when no one is in the room may be useful in addressing climate needs. However, the cost of the investment may deter businesses from utilising tools such as IoT or AI.
The cost is most likely the most important factor. After all, businesses may be looking for new solutions to help with project management, reduce their carbon footprint, or solve labour shortages. Nonetheless, the prohibitively high cost is an impediment that they must overcome. The cost rises further when new appliances must meet decarbonisation requirements or include modern functions that meet the needs of customers. As a result, it may turn out that the most critical challenge that can kill any small, local HVAC business is cost. With the use of AR for remote support, organizations can cut their truck rolls and thus save on the travel costs. Similarly, in a long term, investing in AR and VR training not only provides superior training experience and outcomes, but also becomes a cost-effective option.
Tips to Overcome Challenges in HVAC Industry
Here are a few pointers to help you keep up with the HVAC challenges:
1. Provide On-Time Assistance to the Team
Your team is critical to your business. In HVAC, it will be helpful if you keep better track of the work assigned to the team and provide on-time support to them when needed. This makes it easier to overcome obstacles and improve customer satisfaction as well. This can be accomplished with AR-powered products like, Plutomen Connect and Plutomen Workflow which enable instant remote support and work instructions to the workforce.
2. Increase Track Driving Safety
When your technicians are speeding, for example, a visual or audio alert can notify them and allow them to change their behaviour. It can save money on fuel, speeding tickets, and accident insurance this way. This will require you to purchase such software. However, by utilizing Plutomen Connect, you have hugely chop off the truck rolls and thereby indirectly enhancing the safety of the on-field teams.
3. Vehicle Maintenance Scheduling
Nothing is worse or more predictable than a vehicle breaking down unexpectedly. It costs you time, money, and in the long run, it may cost you the customer. Routine maintenance can help reduce breakdowns, which can increase the cost of HVAC service companies. Plutomen Connect and Plutomen Workflow helps ensure timely maintenance can be conducted remotely, and with the help of AR-based step-by-step instructions.
4. Improved Asset Utilization
With all of the data gathered, it will be easier to improve the efficiency of business operations. This makes it easier to determine whether the job is being done correctly. Technology like IoT and AI-ML can help with this by collecting the relevant data and showcasing it through dashboards in easy-to-understand manner.
5. Cut Down on Overtime
Overtime can be significantly reduced by using a telematics system. Electronically monitor driver logs and assign your HVAC professional based on data-driven insights. Additionally, the efficiency of the workforce can be increased by empowering them AR products that are proven to maximize productivity.
How Plutomen Can Help in Overcoming HVAC Challenges?
Plutomen, a XR-powered frontline operations platform is designed to combat major HVAC challenges by:
Simplifying complex assembly processes by providing contextually rich and easy-to-understand digital training materials.
Reducing human error and captures data during work execution for continuous improvement of the training process.
Accelerating onboarding and upskilling processes for new and experienced employees.
Retaining tribal knowledge within the company and teaches best practices to new employees.
Making it easy to upskill experienced employees as manufacturing environments become more complex.
Delivering training through videos, diagrams, images, and step-by-step instructions, making it accessible to all workers.
Enabling workers to connect with digital instructions and subject matter experts through Extended reality, enhancing the overall learning experience.
Plutomen is an ideal solution for companies looking to simplify their training processes while enhancing the skills of their workforce. Request a demo today and see how we can combat your HVAC industry challenges.
Advancements in technology are impacting the HVAC industry in numerous ways, including improved energy efficiency, better indoor air quality, increased automation and control, and more sustainable refrigerants. For example, smart thermostats, variable speed motors, and advanced sensors can help optimize HVAC system performance and reduce energy waste.
Some common HVAC system efficiency ratings include SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) for air conditioners, AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) for furnaces, and HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) for heat pumps. These ratings measure the energy efficiency of the system and can help consumers make informed purchasing decisions.
HVAC systems can be used to improve energy efficiency in buildings by implementing strategies such as proper sizing and installation, regular maintenance and cleaning, using programmable thermostats, and upgrading to more efficient equipment. Additionally, integrating HVAC systems with other building systems such as lighting and occupancy sensors can further enhance energy efficiency.
Chirag brings with him 15+ Years of experience in Digital Transformation, and IT Leadership. At Plutomen, he holds deep experience in business with a track record of customer-centric approaches helping them build business transformation.
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