11 Jan 2021

HVAC and Plumbing Industry Trends to Be On the Lookout for in 2021


The start of a new year means new trends will soon find their way to your customers. For HVAC contractors and plumbing business owners, the early days of 2021 mark the perfect time to begin researching currently emerging trends to better prepare you and your team for the work year ahead. By incorporating new technology, adopting preferred customer services, and dismissing outdated trends, your company can outshine competitors all year long. 

Take a look at some of the top plumbing and HVAC trends we expect to make an impact in 2021.

Demand for HVAC Inverter Technology

Inverter technology has been found throughout the years in compact, mini-split HVAC systems that operate individually with minimal to no ductwork. But more recently, big-name companies have begun introducing inverter technology into traditional HVAC compressors and standard AC and heat pump systems. The addition of inverter technology to full-size units is a sustainable and highly-efficient emerging trend you should expect environmentally-conscious consumers to be on the lookout for in 2021. 

Traditional HVAC compressors that lack inverter technology can only operate at two speeds: 100% motor speed or completely off. Due to a heavy energy output each time the system turns on, consumer utility bills tend to skyrocket during seasons of high usage. In comparison, inverter technology operates at energy output speeds necessary to maintain the home’s specific temperature needs, eliminating the constant on-and-off of the system, and lowering energy bills. 

Inverter technology consistently maintains a consumer’s desired temperature, effectively maintaining humidity levels within homes and businesses while boasting overall improved comfort. And as a final selling point to consider, the reduced energy output of inverter systems produces less operating noise than traditional HVAC units—making it sustainable and more pleasant to have in the home.

Increased Variety Among Filtration Systems

Following nearly a year of continuous COVID-19 concerns, HVAC equipment and technology companies have begun to expand on air filtration technology significantly. According to consumer reports, the global Portable HEPA Air Filtration market is anticipated to rise at a considerable rate between 2020 and 2026. With these expectations, 2021 is the perfect time for HVAC company operators to consider updating and adding air filtration options to their services list. 

When it comes to air filtration systems, multiple aspects are gaining traction. For instance, more and more customers are seeking upgraded MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values) air filter replacements to more effectively trap finer air particles such as bacteria, allergens, and viruses found within homes and businesses. Furthermore, HVAC manufacturers are beginning to introduce more bipolar ionization technology into their more common household systems. Bipolar ionization, employed for decades within large-scale hospital and education operations,  is an effective way to neutralize harmful airborne pathogens by electrostatic force. 

In this same vein, increasing demand for germicidal ultraviolet (UV) light systems should also be expected into 2021. With rapidly evolving technology, germicidal UV lights can be installed within both HVAC systems and their ductwork to help neutralize and stop the spread of airborne viruses. Supporting studies have shown that UV lights can effectively inactivate Coronavirus particles by breaking down their proteins, helping to keep consumers safe in the new year. 

Uptick in Tankless Water Heater Installations 

With tankless water heater installations on the rise, be sure to expect more homeowners to be on the lookout for a more efficient yet sustainable water heating option in 2021. Without the use of a storage tank, a customer’s water supply is heated on demand through a compact gas or electric heating element. This on-demand feature helps customers with energy efficiency so they can save on energy and utility bills, making it an excellent selling point for the financially-aware customer. 

Tankless water heating options are also significantly smaller than typical water heating systems. This additional selling point acts as an excellent option for both consumers and contractors looking to save space in smaller homes and apartment units. As with some full-size tank models, some tankless water heating manufacturers also offer smart technology options to help homeowners better monitor water usage and performance. And as a plus for plumbing contractors, tankless water heater options utilize easily replaceable parts and tend to last 5 to 10 years longer than traditional tank systems. 

Simultaneous Drainline Inspections and Cleaning 

For the typical plumbing service call, inspecting, declogging, and cleaning drain lines is usually a tedious process of sending a camera in to locate the clog, taking the camera out, sending a cutter in to clean the clog, taking the cutter out, sending the camera back in, and so on and so forth. Fortunately, with new technology on the rise in 2021, plumbing professionals now have the ability to complete this tedious task all in one shot.

Plumbing tool manufacturers such as RIDGID recently developed their FlexShaft drain cleaning machines that offer technicians a way to accomplish this task’s multiple steps simultaneously. With new cable design, an inspection camera is securely placed behind the cleaning head—without the risk of damage—to allow plumbers to unclog and clean drain lines all in one effort. Unlike traditional heavy drum machines, this new machinery is much lighter and easier to maneuver. For plumbing businesses, the benefits of easy transportation and two-in-one capabilities make it easy to complete more service calls in a day, all while boosting profits. 

Don't Wait, Investigate

With the new year underway, there’s no better time to begin your research on the HVAC and plumbing trends expected to gain traction in 2021. From newly-adopted approaches to the COVID-19 pandemic to efficient HVAC technology geared to reduce work toads and boost profit, your HVAC or plumbing company will thrive as long as you keep up with the current demand. Get rid of those outdated trends today and learn which 2021 trends will position you as a local plumbing and HVAC industry leader.