From a city in China, COVID-19 has swiftly spread worldwide and has taken the world by storm. The pandemic outbreak has harmed every business in the world. But the HVAC industry has been one of the biggest victims of the hit. Everything, right from implementation, maintenance, and upgrade in the HVAC systems, requires human intervention.
Since the virus primarily spreads from human-to-human contact, everyone is still worried about inviting a service member to deploy a new or clean and maintain an HVAC system. For instance, despite an urgency, no one during this time will be willing to call a trusted professional to their home for cleaning the ducts and pipelines of the HVAC system. Similarly, there have been many hits of the pandemic outbreak on the HVAC industry.
A decline in the demand
The demand for new implementation and maintenance services saw a decline due to COVID-19, and it is predicted to stay the same for the long-term. Hotels, restaurants, event venues, and hospitality where larger HVAC systems are implemented have been shut due to the pandemic outbreak. Besides that, even households are worried about installing new HVAC systems in their houses as it would need inviting a person.
The supply chain delays
The supply chain is a crucial part of every sector, and the same is true for the HVAC industry. Supplying the hardware components and products from the manufacturers to contractors and then to distributors is facing a constant delay. Due to the new work-from-home norm coming into effect, HVAC components’ production and supply have reduced significantly.
Looking at the numbers
A recent COVID-19 benchmarking survey by Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) highlights the impact of the outbreak on the HVAC industry. According to the survey, more than 70% of the respondents were worried about the medical implications. Employees in the HVAC industry are required to work with the filling of gases in the systems and cleaning the pipelines, which can impact the respiratory issues caused by Covid-19. 65% of respondents were worried about the long-term viability concerns, of which 9% thought that their business might not even survive the critical hit.
New measures to address COVID-19 challenges
Businesses in the HVAC industry have come up with a few measures to respond to the crisis and the problems it has brought in.
1. Following the government guidelines: The government has stated several procedures, such as frequently sanitizing, wearing masks, and maintaining distance to stem the virus’s spread. Following these guidelines ensures the safety of both customers and employees. Hence, organizations have trained their employees to abide by the guidelines while providing top-notch services.
2. Ensuring employees’ safety: Employees are the base of every business, and the HVAC industry knows that. Hence, they have come up with various strategies and plans to ensure their safety. For instance, many large events that required the technicians to travel to a far by place and go among a vast group of people for services have been called off.
Organizations have also trained their employees and urged them to follow safety measures such as washing hands before entering and leaving a customer’s house. Besides, various ventures have also planned and started work-from-home procedures. Also, several organizations have introduced mobile applications to streamline operations. For instance, if any service order comes, it will show up on the application. The employee staying closest to the venue location can then accept the service request and pay a visit to the customer’s home. This has eliminated the need for coming to the office and coming in contact with colleagues.
3. Providing video consultations: Various businesses have started providing video consultations for house owners. Technicians are put on a video call with the customers for an initial consultation. If there is nothing major required, the technician guides the owner for small processes and gets the job done over the video itself. But if any significant service is needed, the technician visits the house with full safety measures. Video consultation eliminates the need for visiting a customer’s home for small things such as cleaning.
Despite the adverse impact of the COVID-19 crisis, the HVAC industry is coming back on track. The demand for air filters and technologically-equipped HVAC components across households and commercial buildings is expected to boost soon. The industry valued at $130.19 billion in 2019 is expected to grow to $191.83 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 5%. The forecast numbers show a light of hope and a promising future that the HVAC industry will be back on track after the pandemic.