Top Emerging Trends Impacting HVAC&R Industry for Next 5 Years

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Technavio’s latest report on the global air conditioning market provides an analysis on the most important trends expected to impact the market outlook from 2016-2020. Technavio defines an emerging trend as a factor that has the potential to significantly impact the market and contribute to its growth or decline.

The top four emerging trends driving the global air conditioning market according to Technavio research analysts are:

  • Increased popularity of smart thermostats
  • Rapid adoption of inverter ACs
  • Demand for integrated systems
  • Introduction of air purifying technology

Increased popularity of smart thermostats

Smart thermostats such as Nest and Ecobee3 have witnessed increased popularity in both residential and commercial markets. These thermostats allow the monitoring of temperatures at home and in commercial spaces from mobile devices and PCs. The thermostats monitor humidity and temperature and alter cooling cycles, resulting in energy- and money-saving opportunities. These thermostats are further advancing in terms of technology.

“Tado launched the Smart AC Control in early 2015, a device that turns remote-controlled air conditioners into smart devices. This device works with over 85% of ACs globally, is connected through WIFI, and controls ACs using infrared technology. This is expected to maximize the efficiency of ACs and have a positive influence on the global air conditioning market,” says Abhay Sinha, a lead research analyst at Technavio for the home, kitchen, and large appliances industry.

Rapid adoption of inverter ACs

Inverter-type ACs reduce energy consumption by about 30% and are not as expensive to install compared to central air conditioning units, for which their adoption is increasing. They are incorporated with a variable speed compressor that switches off upon attaining the desired temperature and switches on when the temperature changes. In comparison to window air conditioners, they are cheaper to run by 30%-50% and occupy less space.

Japan has the highest ratio of inverter-type products, covering residential ACs. In Latin America and Europe, these products are gaining widespread popularity, and vendors such as Daikin are expanding their lineups to cater to this demand. Vendors have also introduced other features such as sleep-state technology, wherein a sensor detects when users fall asleep and controls the temperature settings for better comfort.

Demand for integrated systems

HVAC controls and building systems have become more integrated, driving demand among end-users who seek the benefits of streamlined systems such as lighting and access controls. This allows higher energy efficiency in managing building systems as it allows control from one interface. These systems facilitate the elimination of redundancy in systems and provide better occupant comfort, owing to better management. For instance, access controls integrated with HVAC controls allows the use of a single platform to monitor cooling and alter the cooling based on the number of people in the air conditioned environment. These systems have already gained popularity in commercial offices, and they are also gaining popularity in hotels, healthcare facilities, schools, and retail stores.

Introduction of air purifying technology

“Rising concerns related to the inhalation of polluted air have driven vendors to introduce separate air purifying technologies. Many vendors have integrated air purification systems in their air conditioners, eliminating the need to purchase a separate one. They contain multi-layered filtration and active technologies that rid the air of impurities,” says Abhay.

Panasonic has integrated Nanoe-G technology into its ACs, which makes air hygienic by neutralizing bacteria, viruses, and allergens through the release of small water molecules that have hydroxyl radicals. Daikin also introduced an air purifier that uses streamer discharge technology to remove unpleasant odors and allergens such as mites, mold, and pollen. This trend helps provide value-added benefits to consumers and differentiates vendors’ products in the intensely competitive global air conditioning market.

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