At a time when the HVAC industry is ultra-competitive, business owners must embrace the best HVAC marketing ideas to suit the marketplace. Studying both what HVAC industry trends 2023 exposed and how leading indicators can set your HVAC services apart from competitors in 2024 and beyond.
Valve+Meter Performance Marketing is a leader in HVAC marketing. Our team partners with HVAC business owners, HVAC manufacturers, and other experts within the HVAC industry to build a comprehensive review of 2023 and empower HVAC business growth.
HVAC Industry Trends of 2023
When marketing the HVAC industry in early 2023, many HVAC companies were still dealing with supply chain shortages. This was particularly true within the commercial HVAC industry.
Early in 2023, supply chain issues eased and manufacturers fulfilled many back-ordered commercial orders. These installations may have provided a boost for your HVAC company. There were leading indicators related to weather, inflation, and the release of SEER2 equipment that shifted the best HVAC marketing strategies in 2023.
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For a comprehensive examination of the data that rattled many HVAC companies in 2023 and how 2024 may be the year the HVAC industry returns to building Relationship Marketing, take a deeper dive.
A Review of HVAC Trends 2023
While there is a lot of muddled HVAC industry statistics, some key HVAC trends in 2023 included:
- Milder Weather: There is consistent debate on how a surge in demand during Covid-19 impacted HVAC industry sales. In 2023, residential energy demand dropped significantly across the United States. Especially in the early part of the year, the Midwest recorded exceptionally mild temperatures compared to prior years.
- Sustainability: Environmentally friendly HVAC services including more expensive SEER2 technologies, multi speed HVAC systems, heat pumps, and indoor air quality systems are rapidly rising in the residential sector. Regulations drove the rollout of SEER2 and many homeowners are seeking out solutions like geothermal heating and air source heat pumps to lower their carbon footprint and/or with the intent of claiming clean energy credits from the Inflation Reduction Act.
- Technology: The demand for smart technology and energy efficiency is also driving HVAC trends and illuminating a pathway for industry growth. Cutting-edge technology can deliver greater comfort, respond to the interests of younger homeowners, and help experienced HVAC contractors separate from unskilled counterparts. Manufacturers are focused on smart HVAC technology, accessories like smart thermostats, solar HVAC, and the imminent replacement of R22 refrigerant.
These three primary HVAC trends should guide all HVAC businesses in 2024 and beyond. Building a cadence within sales, marketing, and operations toward consumer demand will earn credibility and grow your reputation.
Before looking into the 2024 HVAC market forecast, many HVAC business owners left asking, “What did my 2023 HVAC marketing miss?”
Let’s take a closer look at the actual data around the HVAC industry.
HVAC Trends vs. Industry Growth and Revenue
During the pandemic, the HVAC industry experienced rapid growth, with increasing revenue opportunities for many HVAC companies. Many Americans increased focus on indoor air quality and sought out more comfort within their homes.
Increasing demand for energy-efficient HVAC systems and the increase in the average age of available homes remain some of the key factors contributing to marketing HVAC companies.
Energy efficiency has become a major priority for many consumers and businesses in recent years. As they look for ways to reduce their energy consumption and lower their carbon footprint, the HVAC industry is responding. An emphasis on manufacturing energy-efficient HVAC systems that can help reduce energy costs, while still improving indoor comfort is one of the leading HVAC industry trends that continue to meet consumer demand.
New homes and properties require high-quality HVAC equipment to keep everyone safe and comfortable while inside the building, making the construction and housing industries major drivers of HVAC market growth. The increasing urbanization and population growth in America and beyond are expected to drive demand for new construction and housing in the coming years. 2023 demonstrates home builders are focusing on multi-family construction.
The Most Distinct HVAC Innovations in 2023
- Smart thermostats: Smart thermostats are becoming increasingly popular throughout the HVAC industry as they offer a number of benefits, such as the ability to control your HVAC system from anywhere, receive alerts about potential problems, and save energy. The US smart thermostat market is expected to grow from $1.09 billion in 2021 to $3.86 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 17.2% during the forecast period. The market growth is attributed to the increasing adoption of smart thermostats by consumers, the rising demand for energy-efficient solutions, and the growing popularity of smart homes.
- Geothermal heat pumps: Geothermal heat pumps are a more efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional HVAC systems. This HVAC equipment uses the earth’s natural heat to heat and cool homes and buildings, which can save you money on your energy bills.
The U.S. geothermal heat pump (GHP) market size is expected to grow from USD 2.3 billion in 2022 to USD 3.9 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 4.5% during the forecast period. Rising government initiatives to promote the use of renewable energy sources has increased consumer demand and the declining cost of geothermal heat pump systems.
Energy efficiency is not the only benefit as these systems are considered to be more durable and provide homeowners a longer lifespan than other HVAC equipment.
- Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems: VRF systems are a type of HVAC system that uses multiple smaller units to distribute conditioned air throughout your home. This makes them more efficient and flexible than traditional HVAC systems. The U.S. variable refrigerant flow (VRF) market is expected to grow from USD 16.61 billion in 2022 to USD 29.89 billion by 2032 at a CAGR of 6% between 2022 and 2032.
- Solar-powered HVAC systems: Solar-powered HVAC systems use the sun’s energy to heat and cool your home, which can save you money on your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint. One of the fastest-rising HVAC market trends, solar-powered air conditioning units, heat pumps, and heating systems are positioned to appeal to many homeowners. According to a report by SolarReviews, the US solar-powered HVAC market is expected to grow from $1.2 billion in 2021 to $5.7 billion by 2028.
- Ductless mini-split systems: Ductless systems are being embraced by the construction industry and many communities because of the reduced materials needed to build the system. Like other heat pumps, this HVAC technology is considered a renewable energy. Some HVAC businesses are adapting to local regulations that limit conventional air conditioning and heating systems that generate direct carbon emissions.
The US ductless mini-split systems market was valued at USD 7.1 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 13.4 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 8.1% during the forecast period.
- Variable speed heat pumps, AC units, and furnaces: Variable speed systems adapt to changing conditions, providing precise heating or cooling while optimizing energy efficiency. When working in conjunction with smart thermostats or zoning systems, variable speed compressors enhance performance and customization options for different areas or zones. HVAC businesses are leaning into this technology and creating more personalized heating and cooling systems for families. The variable speed HVAC market in the US is expected to grow from USD 4.61 billion in 2022 to USD 6.5 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 5.90% during the forecast period.
Reshaping HVAC Marketing Strategies
While data informs how HVAC industry trends and innovations merge, HVAC marketing trends may need greater transformation. Take a moment to consider these bullet points:
- Consumer behaviors are changing: Whether driven by the economy, cultivating a greener home, or embracing the latest, homeowners discover HVAC companies through the internet. Specifically, search engines and social media are the primary focus of the best HVAC marketing strategies.
- HVAC technology is evolving: Due to consumer demand and regulation, HVAC manufacturers are designing more efficient HVAC systems. As technology advances, the price of these systems increases.
- Is your HVAC marketing strategy transforming?
At Valve+Meter, HVAC companies find a partner that understands an HVAC marketing strategy must adapt. More importantly, our team focuses on leading HVAC trends instead of only measuring past results. This proactive approach to testing separates marketing fads from repeatable and scalable strategies.
The future of your HVAC business may seem rooted in emerging technology, but in these next sections, let’s explore what the most cutting-edge HVAC marketing strategy may be, one of the oldest HVAC business techniques: personal service.
When demand is high and supply is limited, HVAC marketing ideas become transactional. In short, operational excellence is responding quickly and delivering quality solutions. The most responsive HVAC business is most often hired.
As demand wanes and more HVAC contractors vie for service repairs and installations, consumers have more choices.
Younger homeowners want and expect a more personalized experience with brands.
Aging Americans are staying in their homes longer.
Considering that technology is accelerating, homeowners will need the support of trained and skilled HVAC services even more than in the past.
Just examining these three basic consumer trends, building your HVAC marketing strategies beyond just prompt is wise. Savvy HVAC companies are listening to the local homeowners and building better content around complete services beyond the initial installation or repair.
As we move through the next sections, Valve+Meter considers how web designs and content marketing about maintenance programs, loyalty programs, financing options, e-commerce, and a relationship focused message around your locally owned small business can transform your HVAC marketing in 2024 and beyond.
Sustainable Technology and Maintenance
Customers are prioritizing sustainable energy HVAC systems. Consumers have many reasons and regardless of the intent, these systems have more features, advanced technology, and cost more than prior HVAC equipment.
What does that mean in terms of HVAC services?
Data would indicate that HVAC marketing strategies that position your HVAC business as a friendly, maintenance focused consultant are highly effective. Looking at the lifetime value of a HVAC consumer redefines your marketing efforts.
Simply put: Are you making your HVAC business indispensable to homeowners?
Explore this concept through the lens of these HVAC systems:
Ductless Systems and Indoor Air Quality Accessories
Systems like ductless HVAC systems and heat pumps are known to be among the most efficient systems for heating and cooling a home, but even newer furnaces and central AC systems are built with long-term efficiency in mind.
Placing an emphasis on the efficiency of newer HVAC systems can appeal to customers that are not only looking to take advantage of lower energy bills, but also those that want to lower their carbon footprint.
Additionally, marketing your maintenance and tune-up HVAC services can help you reach customers who are looking to keep their current HVAC systems running at peak efficiency for as long as possible. By offering these services, you can show customers that you are committed to providing them with top-notch heating and air conditioning services throughout the entire lifespan of their equipment. This is one of a wide number of key marketing tips to maximize success in 2024.
More complex technology in air conditioning and heating systems dissuades the DIY homeowners further contributing HVAC market trends toward more demand for professional services.
By speaking about the custom comfort ductless, heat pumps, and other HVAC systems deliver, your HVAC technicians can build rapport and encourage homeowners to register for membership programs and recurring maintenance.
Geothermal technology is predicted to gain momentum in 2024, offering a sustainable and energy-efficient alternative to traditional HVAC systems. One of the best solutions for energy consumption, geothermal can be highly profitable for HVAC businesses because competition is lower and homeowners are willing to invest in the technology.
Once a homeowner makes the investment in geothermal, your HVAC company should be able to offer whole HVAC maintenance. Homeowners who make the investment in geothermal are more likely to stay in the home longer, focus on enhanced comfort, and pay attention to energy efficiency. Maintenance and regular communications can capture future business for other systems.
Intelligent and Zoned HVAC Systems
HVAC systems are becoming more intelligent and “zoned” for greater efficiency, allowing businesses to optimize energy usage and reduce costs. Climatic control technology leading the year includes zoning, especially in homes with multiple family members. Remote work and permanent work-from-home culture have homeowners clamoring for more personalization beyond the smart thermostat market.
Even more than ductless systems, multi speed HVAC systems and zoned HVAC are precision driven. HVAC customers are more likely to purchase maintenance programs and ensure these systems remain energy efficient and run for as long as possible without the need for another investment.
IoT and Green Initiatives
The “Internet of Things” and green initiatives continue to shape the HVAC industry, driving innovation and new product development. In some areas of the country air conditioners and other conventional HVAC equipment is being phased out for more efficient HVAC systems. The smart thermostat, WiFi connected HVAC units, and other home automation offers another source of revenue for the HVAC service industry. While air conditioning and heating are seasonal services, home automation like smart lighting, smart locks, doorbell cameras, EV outlets, and other IOT devices are home services with year round demand through the residential sector.
A great HVAC marketing strategy to connect with this trend is to not only feature smart HVAC systems on your website and in your sales literature, but also diversify your home services to include home automation devices. This is yet another way for local businesses to forge meaningful relationships with homeowners.
HVAC clients who are investing in high priced and more complex HVAC equipment will seek out maintenance to protect their investment. As financing costs, competition, and labor costs cut into margins of new installations, consider how positioning your business as a local brand committed to long-term service can expand your profit center and keep customers loyal to your business.
Don’t simply offer HVAC contractor services. Make sure you are the first name homeowners consider when they experience issues at their home.
Skilled HVAC Technician Shortages
Data indicates skill labor shortages will continue through 2027. Finding talented, qualified employees in 2024 is difficult for companies in all industries, and the HVAC industry is no different. Businesses are facing challenges in finding skilled HVAC technicians and acquiring the necessary materials and equipment. While HVAC techs realize that a career in the industry is rewarding and fulfilling, the expense and time required for training is a hurdle throughout the industry.
As a result, your company should be focusing on ways to improve employee experience, in-field efficiency, and retention. Offering competitive compensation packages, providing opportunities for career growth and development, and creating a positive work culture are extremely common.
How do you go beyond competitors especially if you cannot match sign-on bonuses or other rival offers?
HVAC companies are adopting software to streamline work processes and prioritize recruitment efforts for skilled technicians. This reduces stress and fatigue on your staff.
Software automation can help HVAC companies streamline their work processes and improve efficiency. This software can be used for a variety of tasks, such as:
- Scheduling appointments
- Tracking customer data
- Managing inventory
- Generating reports
In the HVAC industry, prompt response to lead inquiries is essential to growth. Automating these tasks can help you save time and allow your HVAC technicians to focus on ways to better serve your customers. HVAC technicians can also feel more supported with your HVAC business with this technology. More time to focus on company culture, reduce personnel fatigue, and build your HVAC business are all positive trends.
Importance of Company Culture and Mobile Communication
Effective communication and a strong company culture are essential to any organization’s success. Not only do they play a critical role in attracting and retaining employees, but they are also crucial for a company’s marketing efforts. HVAC industry trends are focused on the quality of working life.
A positive company culture can help to create a sense of community among employees and foster a shared sense of purpose, helping all members of the business stay on the same page. This can lead to increased employee engagement, productivity, and job satisfaction, which in turn can lead to better customer service and a better overall customer experience. When employees are happy and motivated, they are more likely to go above and beyond for customers, ultimately leading to positive reviews, more word-of-mouth recommendations from customers, and increased customer loyalty.
Meanwhile, mobile communication is becoming increasingly important in the workplace. With technicians potentially having jobs on the other side of the city or even across the state, it’s essential that employees have the tools and resources they need to communicate effectively and efficiently, regardless of their location. Mobile communication can also help to streamline workflows and improve collaboration, which can increase productivity and ultimately help your technicians better customer service.
From a marketing perspective, an intentional effort to improve mobile communication can be used to deliver targeted messages to customers, promote products and services, and engage with customers on social media platforms.
Finding, training, and keeping HVAC techs will continue to challenge local businesses. Just like with consumers, younger workers expect a personalized experience at work. Building relationships and treating your team with genuine care goes a long way to making sure your marketing strategy results in revenue growth.
Personalized Customer Service
Some HVAC industry trends are backed by popular demand. Providing personalized customer service is becoming increasingly important, with customers expecting tailored solutions and experiences. Now more than ever, customers expect to be met with solutions to their problems that match their unique needs and preferences.
Homeowners don’t want air conditioning and heating, they need HVAC techs and HVAC business owners who care about the comfort and safety of their families.
Personalized customer service involves treating each customer as a unique individual, rather than treating your audience as one singular group. It requires businesses to gather information about their customers and use that information to provide customized recommendations, offers, and experiences that meet the unique needs and preferences of each customer.
By delivering personalized customer service, businesses can build stronger relationships with their customers, increase customer loyalty, and ultimately drive sales and revenue. Customers are more likely to return to a business that offers personalized service, and they are more likely to recommend that business to others.
Does Your HVAC Marketing Strategy Need A Tune-Up?
HVAC services faced many challenges in the last few years. If your HVAC marketing strategies do not adapt, then you may find your HVAC business falls behind more agile rivals. Contact Valve+Meter for a complete assessment and learn how our digital marketing strategies can transform your business.