Plumbing and HVAC Industry Outlook for 2021

The past 12 months have presented numerous challenges for those in the home services sector. In this article, we’ll briefly discuss the industry’s current situation along with growth prospects for 2021 and beyond.

HVAC Industry Growth Projections

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, HVAC technicians are poised to see 4% employment growth through to 2029. This places the sector right in line with expectations for the broader American economy.

These optimistic projects should come as no surprise given the HVAC industry’s essential nature. The vast majority of customers seeking HVAC services do so not for entertainment but rather to ensure their family’s comfort and safety. 

In fact, HVAC sales have boomed throughout 2020 as consumers spent more time at home and experienced a heightened awareness of the need to take care of their respiratory health.

Consumers aren’t pinching pennies when shopping for HVAC equipment, either. According to Trane CEO Michael Lamach, sales of the company’s costlier high-efficiency units skyrocketed in 2020.

Jackson Comfort Systems, another major HVAC manufacturer, also reported record growth in the summer of 2020, with indoor air quality products leading the way. The company also saw its replacement unit sales increase by 25%.

The takeaway? The HVAC industry’s growth prospects are very strong – not necessarily in spite of COVID-19 but, arguably, because the pandemic has driven people to upgrade their existing systems.

Plumbing Industry Growth Projections

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, plumbers should also see 4% growth in employment through to 2029. Again, this places the sector in line with the overall economy’s projected growth during the same period.

Like HVAC, plumbing is not a discretionary service. Consumers seek it out to remedy a particular issue, often urgently.

In some parts of the country (like Arizona), equipment such as water softeners is absolutely essential for ensuring quality drinking water. In my experience, many consumers – upon switching to working from home – found themselves lacking the high-quality drinking water they had at the office, which prompted them to purchase filtration devices, including softeners.

The takeaway here is, again, that the COVID-19 pandemic has fueled growth in the sector despite challenges.

Health and Safety Considerations

While the HVAC and plumbing sectors are in strong positions at the end of 2020, adjusting to the new climate hasn’t been easy. Gone are the days when technicians could show up to work showing any signs of illness whatsoever. 

As we head into peak cold and flu season, this will continue to represent a challenge for companies that may not have enough personnel to comfortably handle employees staying home sick.

Companies will also need to account for continued spending on personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves, which is not an insignificant cost.

So while the plumbing and HVAC industries have arguably emerged from 2020 with stronger footing, we have our work cut out for us as far as continuing to grow.

The exact ramifications of this challenge remain to be seen. However, as anyone who’s been involved in the HVAC industry for an extended period, there’s no reason to expect we won’t comfortably rise to the challenge as we have countless times in the past.

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of Building Performance Community to add comments!

Join Building Performance Community

Leaha Maisonneuve replied to Matt Pickston's discussion Retrotec Blower Door System in Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase
"Just checking to see the status of this equipment. I'm still very interested. rodicon@f-m.fm"
6 hours ago
Emily Ambrose posted a video
The federal solar tax credit (ITC), has long reigned as one of solar energy’s most important demand drivers. But the turmoil in Washington and the step downs in the credit have created some market uncertainty and confusion in the minds of solar…
8 hours ago
Emily Ambrose posted a blog post
- By Cory Allyn, Content WriterThe Local Search Ranking Factors report, which has been issued annually since 2008, is one of the best resources digital marketers have to stay up to date on current best practices for local search.2020’s report,…
8 hours ago
ovacen liked Matt Hoots's video
yesterday
ovacen replied to Diane Chojnowski's discussion States & Cities Are Driving Climate & Clean Energy Progress
"It seems that last year's pandemic and extreme weather have conspired to exact a near-perfect revenge with enormous loss of life, and of course, multi-million dollar financial losses.
The cost of the bill for the pandemic, I suppose one day an…"
yesterday
Diane Chojnowski posted a discussion
Can anyone refer me to information on current tax credits for solar and geothermal for a 10,000 sf commercial building?
I am also interested in case studies to show the ROI on the investment.
yesterday
Joe Hughes’s blog post was featured
“If You Want to Go Fast, Go Alone. If You Want to Go Far, Go Together”
This week we welcome Paula Olsiewski, PhD for an update on the HOMEChem project and a discussion about her new position at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. In her…
yesterday
Joe Hughes posted a blog post
“If You Want to Go Fast, Go Alone. If You Want to Go Far, Go Together”
This week we welcome Paula Olsiewski, PhD for an update on the HOMEChem project and a discussion about her new position at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. In her…
yesterday
Matt Hoots’s video was featured
There are some things that our clients can inspect without us that don't requirement a blower door or duct blaster.  My favorite is the frost assessment first thing in the morning.  I tell my clients to look at their roof when there is frost out and…
yesterday
Diane Chojnowski posted a discussion
Here’s what it takes to upgrade HVAC systems — and how to know if particular indoor spaces have done it. 
 

In October, students at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, held an intimate jazz concert at a bar downtown, with an audience of…
yesterday
Alex Walters commented on Joe Hughes's blog post IAQRadio: Best and Worst Things of 2020
"The Hope for Homes bill, currently in the Senate, will provide both immediate and long-term initiatives to save the residential energy efficiency contractor industry from hardships incurred from COVID-19. Through grants for training, residential…"
yesterday
Building Performance Association’s blog post was featured
In response to the economic impact of COVID-19, President Donald Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (also known as the CARES Act) into law on March 27, 2020. Many contractors and small businesses took advantage of…
yesterday
More…