(Bonus) HVAC/R Industry State of the Union (Podcast)
In today's podcast episode, trade school student Chris Caldwell interviews Bryan about trends in the HVAC industry, his business, and the future. Chris works in the HVAC business as a service tech and attends trade school in Alabama.
New trends include spending more money on testing instrumentation. Nowadays, there is a greater reliance on test instrumentation to produce accurate measurements. Diagnostics have certainly improved over time. On top of that, Bryan sees the industry's potential to improve other practices like evacuations.
Customers have paid more attention to indoor air quality recently, and that trend is likely to continue. There is a new emphasis on comfort over energy efficiency, especially in humid climates like Florida and Alabama. As such, HVAC techs can expect an intersection between the HVAC industry and the building science industry. Customers also enjoy having integrated controls, such as thermostats that connect to wi-fi.
However, some service companies and manufacturers have focused too much on shiny new technology. Bryan owes this phenomenon to the “sales-first” business model. He would prefer to see techs and manufacturers focus on basic serviceability. As such, Bryan would like to see an emphasis on creating thorough solutions to problems instead of seeking quick fixes.
In the future, Bryan hopes to see further development of tools like measureQuick. He would love to see better data collection practices. He would also like to see more unified communication protocols between appliances.
Bryan and Chris also discuss:
- Solar solutions
- Human comfort and IAQ
- Communication between techs in the digital age
- New ASHRAE outdoor air standards
- “Sales-first” business models and the skills gap
- How to make the HVAC industry appeal to the new generation
- How to find fulfillment and validation in HVAC work