6 Pandemic Effects on Commercial HVAC
The COVID-19 pandemic effects on commercial HVAC, such as shortages and delays, have been acute. And it appears the impact will likely last into the future. But despite these challenges, the pandemic has spurred demand for sustainable systems and advances in HVAC equipment.
Negative Pandemic Effects on Commercial HVAC
The HVAC industry has felt the pandemic’s wrath from manufacturing delays and equipment and worker shortages to demand surges. In addition, the pandemic’s impact on commercial HVAC has affected facility managers, building operators, vendors, those who oversee building maintenance, and others.
1. Manufacturing Delays
Manufacturing delays may be the biggest of the pandemic effects on commercial HVAC. At the pandemic’s start, factories closed for several reasons. In some cases, factories closed temporarily due to worker infections and to disinfect equipment. Additionally, personnel shortages and delays in getting supplies have exacerbated delays in manufacturing HVAC equipment.
2. Equipment Shortages
The pandemic effects on commercial HVAC also have caused equipment shortages. Factories reopened to face huge backlogs and worker shortages. In turn, this has reduced the supply of HVAC equipment available to distributors and then businesses.
Also, the delivery of HVAC equipment has been slowed by delivery driver shortages. As a result, wait times for HVAC equipment have been days or even weeks.
3. Worker Shortages
One of the key pandemic effects on commercial HVAC has been shortages of workers. As a result, HVAC technicians were halted in many aspects. For starters, this isn’t a job that one can learn, train, or accomplish remotely. Secondly, many workers had child care demands that were incompatible with work schedules.
In addition, the pandemic has coincided with baby boomers hitting retirement age. Some were ready to retire anyway; others retired early because of the pandemic. All facets of the HVAC industry have had experienced personnel retire without replacements. As a result, the younger generations aren’t becoming qualified in HVAC at the needed rate.
Positive Pandemic Effects on Commercial HVAC
Some of the pandemic effects on commercial HVAC have been positive. Examples include demand for better HVAC systems and transition to more sustainable systems.
Commercial building owners are eager to invest in new equipment with smart systems. These convenient systems allow greater control over air quality and comfort, increasing energy efficiency and savings. In addition, the pandemic is driving further HVAC technological advances.
More efficient HVAC units perform better, and using sustainable energy makes them even more efficient. HVAC advances in sustainability include:
- On-demand hot water re-circulators
- Quiet duct wrap (made from recycled denim)
- Energy analysis software
- Ice powered air conditioners
- Thermally driven air conditioners
- Dual fuel and geothermal heat pumps
Advances like this are significantly changing the HVAC industry. There has been upheaval in the industry, as many other industries also have seen. However, there is a silver lining.
6. Demand Surges
Demand for HVAC equipment and installation has risen with the pandemic. We take this as a pro, but we can see how this could become a con for some. Equipment and personal shortage can make it difficult to meet the demand. To increase ventilation to deter the airborne pandemic, many commercial buildings are investing in a dedicated outdoor system to boost indoor air quality.
Demand for routine HVAC maintenance and inspections has also risen, especially since good ventilation is said to slow or stop the spread of COVID-19. Businesses want to make sure their HVAC systems are working well. As HVAC systems run more, routine maintenance is essential to ensure filters are free of harmful particles, mold, or bacteria.
Need an HVAC Company?
The Severn Group is leading the way in commercial HVAC. We work with our customers to set the appropriate expectations, so the cons don’t turn into disappointment. Contact us today for your commercial HVAC needs.