While the basic plumbing and heating needs of consumers haven’t changed drastically over the past several years, the approach to meeting those needs has continually evolved.
As customers look to save on energy costs, improve air quality and customize their heating and cooling needs in 2022, PHCPPros can be ready to assist them with these growing trends.
Geothermal energy: Energy efficiency has always been on trend, but the ways to get there are continually growing. Solar power may be the most well-known eco-friendly energy source available to homes and businesses today, but that could be changing.
A recent tax credit has brought geothermal energy into the spotlight, and for good reason. Geothermal energy is quiet, safe, and, though it’s more expensive to install than traditional heating systems, affordable to operate.
A series of fluid-filled pipes are buried underground, and they work with a geothermal heat pump above ground to heat and cool a space using thermodynamics.
Currently, only about 1 percent of buildings in the United States are utilizing geothermal energy, but that number is increasing daily, and heating professionals are reporting increased interest from home and business owners. This trend is expected to continue well beyond 2022.
Improved air quality: Indoor air quality has always been important to home and business owners. The focus, however, has shifted from concerns about dust, allergens, and pollution to bacteria and viruses as well.
Throughout next year and into the future, expect manufacturers to fill this need with more effective filtration products. Customers are already familiar with the air filters they change out routinely, and now they have more options, with different sizes and grades to remove a range of contaminants, and HEPA filtration technology.
Some may seek additional protection from pollution and pathogens in the air, especially in homes with at-risk family members or in medical facilities.
In these environments, air purifiers may be the best solution. Rather than filtering out the air as it passes through, purifiers disperse particles to attack the contaminants suspended in the air. Most people associate air purifiers with stand-alone systems, but many don’t know that they can also be installed in their existing heating systems.
In addition to filtration and purification, customers are also seeking system and duct cleanings to ensure that the air circulating through the building is as possible.
Smart home integration: Smart thermostats have been around for years, but many customers didn’t see the value in automating their heating and cooling needs until recently.
Now, people are automating everything from the coffee machine to the vacuum cleaner, so it makes sense to integrate a smart heating system into existing home automation.
The prevalence of WiFi-enabled products such as meters, thermostats and sensors allows users to not only customize their heating and cooling needs, but save money in the process. In fact, smart thermostats can reduce energy output by up to 35 percent, saving money and the environment in the long run.
Home and business owners will appreciate the professional assistance of a licensed heating technician who can address their needs and customize a unique heating and cooling solution.
Regular maintenance: Smart heating systems provide another benefit that helps not only the homeowner, but the plumbing and heating professional as well.
Most smart systems have embedded sensors that can relay real-time monitoring to customers and technicians. They can sense leaks, detect changes in air flow, and more, triggering an automatic work order when potential problems arise.
Some systems even self-diagnose problems, helping techs to prepare for the repair with the proper tools and parts before they even set foot on the property.
Through remote monitoring, small issues can be fixed before they become major repairs. Plus, techs can also use data generating from smart systems to identify trends and diagnose issues.
This is especially helpful in businesses where multiple heating systems are in use, particularly in the hospitality industry or property management firms. This regular maintenance will extend the life of the system and reduce repair costs by up to 40 percent.
Zoned heating and air: As home and business owners seek ways to save money and energy, a simple solution is to implement a zoned heating and air system.
When customers heat and cool only the areas of their homes or businesses that are being used, they can save up to 33 percent of their energy usage. That’s because systems won’t work harder than needed to moderate the temperatures in rooms that aren’t often used, like guest bedrooms and bathrooms or supply rooms.
Zoned heating and air can be integrated into a traditional heating system with a smart thermostat, though some may opt for a more sophisticated system with this technology. PHCPPros can help users to determine and set these zones based on preferences and ease of use.
Going ductless: Ductless systems have been commonplace in other parts of the world for years, but have begun to gain popularity within the United States recently.
One reason for the increase in ductless systems is home renovations. Homeowners want the character of an older home, but the amenities of a new one. Instead of a costly installation of a traditional HVAC system, they can achieve the same comfort with a ductless mini-split system.
Installation is simple and affordable, and if multiple systems are in use, they can work independently of each other. This allows customers to set different temperatures in different rooms, or only run units in certain areas. This targeted approach to heating and cooling will save on energy costs and output overtime.
While the need for energy efficiency, automation and healthy air quality have always been important to consumers, the ways to achieve them continue to evolve.
Throughout 2022 and into the future, the interest in geothermal energy will continue to grow, thanks in part to recent incentives and tax credits. Consumers will also prioritize air quality, seeking new filters and purifiers to ensure the cleanest air possible. Smart home integration will maintain its popularity as well, allowing home and business owners complete customization and helping HVAC technicians diagnose problems and perform needed maintenance. Finally, as the real estate market continues to expand and renovations are in high demand, ductless HVAC systems will increase in popularity as well.
As the trends change, plumbing and heating professionals need be ready to handle it all.
Alan Smith is the marketing coordinator of Spartan Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.