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7 HVAC trends that all ventilation sales engineers need to know

7 HVAC trends that all ventilation sales engineers need to know

15 Jan 14:00 by Rob Bryan

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Ventilation sales is a great market to be in at the moment. Product innovation and development is on the increase in the ventilation and air conditioning sector following recent changes to legislation on health and safety issues and environmental concerns, including energy efficiency, as well as revisions to Building Regulations.

Ventilation sales engineers [link to jobs] are playing an exciting part in driving sales of new and enhanced products and systems, and those that can demonstrate a knowledge of the latest developments and legislative changes are in particular demand.

Published in 2017, the fourth edition of the 'Ventilation and Air Conditioning Market Report - UK 2017-2021 Analysis' gives a detailed and up-to-date review of the ventilation and air conditioning market in the UK. Having grown steadily since 2013, the market was slightly flatter in 2017.

The market looks set to remain fairly positive in 2018, with seven key areas likely to be of interest.

1. Indoor air quality (IAQ)

New and improved ventilation products and systems are being developed to meet revised air tightness requirements for buildings as awareness increases about the important role that indoor air quality [https://www.thornhvac.co.uk/blog/2017/09/how-air-conditioning-improves-air-quality] plays in keeping people healthy and comfortable at home and work. Part F of the Building Regulations is concerned with IAQ and Part L with air tightness and energy efficiency.

2. Increasing legislation

Legislation changes are reflecting the Government’s commitment to cut energy consumption and carbon emissions. Revisions have recently been made to legislation which affects the ventilation and air conditioning sector, including the ErP Directive LOT 6, Part F, Part L, ODS Regulation, EPBD Directive, Fire and Smoke and F-Gas.

3. Impact of Brexit

The health of the ventilation sales market, like many others, will be determined by the nature of the trade and legislative deals agreed during the process of leaving the European Union. There is no doubt it will impact on domestic and non-domestic construction, and therefore on the HVAC industry. But equally, it could also create future market opportunities in ventilation sales.

4. Government initiatives

The Government has introduced a number of initiatives in recent years as part of its commitment to cutting UK carbon emissions by 60% between 1990 and 2050. Many of these will help provide a long-term boost to the HVAC industry, including smart meters, the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme which aims to help large public and private organisations to cut their carbon emissions, and the Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme for businesses which use energy-saving plant or machinery.

5. Product development and innovation

Ventilation sales engineers will see new market opportunities arising from the use of technology and innovation to create products and systems with improved energy efficiency and operating costs. Recent developments within the ventilation and air conditioning sector include variable speed drives, multiple scroll compressors, EC motors, free cooling, DCV, VRF or VRV systems, smart controls, continuous mechanical ventilation systems, filter sensors and heat recovery systems.

6. Technology solutions for comfort and ease

User comfort and ease is being addressed in the HVAC industry by developments in smart systems and zoned heating and air. Smart thermostats are continually being improved to provide more comfort at a reduced cost, while zoned systems offer versatility in controlling ventilation and heating in different areas of a building. Systems and devices that connect over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are also increasing in popularity, as data can be accessed via handheld devices. HVAC apps are also helping providers and consumers to buy, deliver and service HVAC units and systems.

7. Retrofitting opportunities in existing buildings

Another trend in the ventilation and air conditioning sector that looks set to grow in the coming years is the adding of smart technology or new features to old and outdated systems. There are good opportunities for market share in providing replacement ventilation units or systems in buildings where the existing situation is undesirable. Replacement options include upgrades and retrofitting with smart technology, creating additional functionality and efficiency. Retrofit systems are benefiting from advances in wireless communication and embedded intelligence, helping to improve energy efficiency, reduce emissions, increase performance, streamline maintenance and provide operational data.