By Zoltan Karpathy, Operations Manager, BSRIA WMI
In the period leading up to March 2020, the US has experienced its longest economic expansion on record with 128 months of growth to February 2020 boosted by fiscal stimuli in 2017 and 2018.
The non-residential construction market increased by 3.7% in 2018 and 2.6% in 2019 with significant investments in offices and education.
In this context BSRIA’s recent HVAC & Controls market studies showed healthy growth in the USA in the period leading up to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The US Building Automation and Controls (BACS) product market reached around US$2 billion in 2019. The above average growth was related to software, sensors and non-HVAC controllers as BACS solutions are increasingly more popular than HVAC systems without control and monitoring features. Software and sensors were the fastest growing market segments with increasing demand for preventative maintenance, energy efficiency and advanced analytics.
A recent, deeper dive US study on HVAC valves, including zone, distribution and plant valves, balancing and PICVs, HVAC air volume dampers and actuators, fire safety dampers and actuators, and sensors installed with an HVAC system (environmental, air quality, multi-sensors, light dependant and occupancy) show that this sector was worth US$ 1.2 billion in 2019 with high growth prospects.
BSRIA has a long tradition in researching the air conditioning industry and according to our latest report, the US air conditioning market was worth almost US$ 20 billion in 2019, up by around 6% from the year before. Improvement to efficiency and combination of approaches in the same system or project (e.g. ducted and ductless) are the main trend. Regarding refrigerants, suppliers are planning to introduce new, lower GWP gases besides the progress in regulation. The year 2023 will be important, as efficiency standards for ducted and rooftop units are set to be enhanced and new refrigerants may be required at least in some states, such as California.
In terms of renewables, BSRIA sees the popularity for ground/water to air heat pumps on an upward trend in the US, but the hydronic heat pumps’ awareness for space and/or water heating remains limited across the country. The local market is largely represented by cylinder-integrated heat pumps for hot water. Adoption of new building standards in California has pushed this market segment which in total grew by almost 14%.