Research Outline

HVAC Consumer & Industry Research


To understand what the industry growth drivers are in 2020 for HVAC residential contractors in Maryland, Virginia, and DC. Also, to provide information on what the growth drivers are expected to be in 2021. Information about the customer demographics that appear to drive/influence HVAC residential sales should be included if available.

Early Findings

  • According to a 2020 market report, "In July 2020, the WHO acknowledged the threat that the coronavirus can spread through air. This has brought to light the role played by traditional heating, ventilation, and cooling systems in spreading the virus in enclosed spaces. The main argument in this context is that poor ventilation of energy-inefficient air conditioners is the primary cause of transmission of the virus. For example, a study conducted by the University of Oregon found that the virus was present in 25% of the HVAC systems in hospitals with COVID-19 patients. Therefore, many experts are recommending installing HVAC systems that let in 20% fresh air from outside. As a result, several building owners and managers are upgrading their ventilation systems with more advanced units. In response to the sudden demand spike, companies such as Carrier and Honeywell are offering portable filter machines and air-monitoring sensors to provide improved ventilation. The COVID-19 pandemic is, therefore, generating unprecedented opportunities for market players and boosting the heating, ventilation, and cooling system market growth. [...] In North America, the market will be mainly driven by the escalating demand for HVAC systems from the residential sector."
  • According to the association of Heating & Air Conditioning Contractors of Maryland, (HACC), in 2021, the association will be lobbying for "healthy homes/building incentives (in the form of rebate or tax credits) for installation of IAQ devices." An IAQ is an indoor air quality sensor. The association was successful at their lobbying efforts in 2020 which resulted in having a bill passed. Assuming the 2021 lobbying will also be successful, this incentive will certainly serve as a future growth driver for residential HVAC in the state, especially when taking into consideration the data above, which states that COVID lingers in HVAC systems, which is likely to motivate consumers to think about and mitigate issues concerning the air/HVAC quality in their homes.
  • In 2020, the Heating & Air Conditioning Contractors of Maryland published information in a newsletter encouraging contractors to offer warranties/use warranty services in an effort to drive purchases among consumers. The rationale behind this is that consumers are seeking a sense of security in the COVID-era and high-quality warranties help provide this.
  • American Mechanical is a highly rated HVAC contractor located in the state of Virginia. According to data from SimilarWeb, the demographics of the company's website visitors (which can logically be assumed to be largely active and/or prospective customers) are as follows: 56.25% male; 24.98% aged 25-34; 22.49% aged 35-44; 16.26% aged 45-54.

Results of Early Findings

  • Publicly available data regarding industry growth drivers for HVAC residential contractors specific to Maryland, Virginia, and DC is severely limited. This is likely due to the fact that this a relatively niche industry at the state level and the majority of information relevant to industry growth drivers for these states is only accessible to members of industry associations respective to these states. Overall, this initial round of research was unable to locate any specific consumer surveys or market reports specific to these states. Despite this, some high-level insights were obtained from publicly available newsletters from a Maryland industry association. Additional research can potentially find more information like this. For example, local news media articles and/or interviews from local industry players would likely be helpful in finding more qualitative data.
  • Although publicly available, local-specific reports containing detailed insights is unlikely to be found, it's possible to continue this research by expanding the geographic scope to focus on industry drivers within the U.S. and/or North America as a whole that can be logically assumed to apply to the New England states as well. An example of this type of information was included in the Early Findings above.
  • Lastly, it's possible to understand the demographics of the 2020 consumer base within these states by identifying HVAC contractors in these states and finding website analytics and other types of data that shows the demographics of the people visiting these sites and/or data showing the demographics of HVAC consumers at the national level.
  • Below, we have outlined some options on how to move forward with this research project based on the types of information is and isn't available. Please select any or all of the options that you wish us to move forward with.