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Exploring Melbourne’s HVAC industry as we move into 2021

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Back in 2019, it was reported that the Australian and New Zealand HVAC industry would reach a total value of $3 billion by 2022. As we move into 2021, having been through a year of huge challenges for most industries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, changing the way that customers interact with businesses, and completely flipping the void between work and home life on its head, is the HVAC industry on track to meet its vast anticipated heights?

In short, yes, with much of the growth of the industry coming as a response to the nationwide drive for sustainable system upgrades and HVAC installations which create a boost in demand for the industry’s latest technologies and systematic concepts. This doesn’t all stem from the moral obligation to make better choices for our planet – in fact, the local government plays its own part in driving forward new construction projects with tightened regulations around the use of renewable energy resources. These expectations can be found across everything from the new players on the HVAC market with their energy efficient products, to the most basic way that new builds are designed to optimise their use of energy efficient sources and resources.

What is the HVAC industry?

The HVAC industry refers to Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning – an industry with huge demand both in the commercial sector and the private sector, with customers increasingly looking for solutions to their temperature control needs which have a lesser impact on global warming and which are cost effective and environmentally friendly. The fact is that with increased customer demand, comes a need to be able to control business operations to run seamlessly and smoothly across all aspects of the company: from the use of innovative technologies and high quality and efficient service provisions in customer facing roles, to a responsive pay roll and new starter system which allows your business to continue to grow alongside the anticipated demand.

In 2018, cooling systems amounted to the largest market share of HVAC demand in Australia and the Melbourne region, mainly because of the high temperatures seen locally. However, as many businesses will recognise, this is not necessarily as simple as it sounds – with a boost in information and knowledge leaving our customers more aware than ever before about the need for clean air quality, environmentally friendly ventilation solutions, and the ease and usefulness of cost comparison across the industry: essentially pitting us against our competitors.

So, what does that mean for 2021 and what should businesses be looking out for in the Melbourne HVAC market and beyond?

HVAC technology means more demand and more skill

We cannot escape the fact that across most industries, innovation is becoming increasingly more technical; utilising more advanced technologies and thus requiring more highly trained professionals to maintain and upgrade our increasingly complex systems. Automation plays a huge part in the growth and innovation of the HVAC sector, with more and more homeowners looking for systems and solutions which can be managed from their smartphones both when they are inside their home and outside their home. The more an internal ventilation or cooling system can be seamlessly linked with everyday life, the more coveted it seems to be to the modern audience of homeowners. More than that, consumers are spending more time at home after the pandemic, creating a circle of growing demand which serves much smaller and more intricate HVAC systems across private residences rather than largescale commercial properties.

What does this mean for the HVAC industry? In essence, it means that 2021 will be a year when innovation becomes intrinsically linked with an increase in demand for skilled professionals and apprentices who can become an important part of a growing industry.

Where is the HVAC industry going?

The HVAC industry in Australia tends to split down into three main categories: the commercial, the industrial, and the residential. Back in 2018 it was reported that commercial was the main driving force for growth in the industry, due primarily to the rapid urbanisation and economic growth of the area which led to a vast increase in the number of commercial spaces being constructed and used to bring footfall to the area.

As we move into 2021, the likelihood of increased commercial expansion has been somewhat thwarted by the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 which led to office use and large workspaces being put on hold. The way that customers, colleagues and friends are communicating and living their lives is changing, and so the HVAC industry needs to be responsive to those changes. Some of the most prominent changes we anticipate for businesses across the HVAC industry for 2021 include:

  •  An increase in the use of mobile-first communication, as customers become more used to getting in touch with companies virtually rather than through physical store presences.
  •  An increase in demand for personalisation and a more tailored service for customers.
  •  A huge spotlight on the idea of going green – with some HVAC reports and other environmental reports showing that customers are willing to pay more for a sustainable solution that they consider to be “green”.
  •  Efficient services for repairs and emergency solutions which meet customer expectations – both at work and at home.

There are other things that the industry can do moving in 2021 in order to boost and drive industry growth in the right direction. Increased education and awareness for customers around what it means to be “green” is growing increasingly important, particularly with more and more companies using the power of colour psychology as a way of driving customer interest without offering a truly environmentally focussed service.

The HVAC industry in Melbourne and wider parts of Australia is well on the way to meeting its 2022 goal, but in order to do so it needs to continue to adapt to ever-changing customer demands in 2021; creating user friendly and easy to control solutions which offer remote access to heating and cooling systems through innovative technology. It also needs to ensure that businesses are expanding and optimising their processes in line with demand, in order to continue to provide a seamless and streamlined service.

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