There are three major trends alive in the HVAC industry today: green initiatives, indoor air quality (IAQ), and emergency preparedness. Many technicians today striving toward HVAC certification will be involved with at least one of these areas within their training or later on in their HVAC careers.
A number of green initiatives are being implemented and researched right now to improve environmental air quality and reduce energy consumption. HVAC already has a strong history in environmental protection. Cities across America are cleaner now than they were a century ago thanks to advances within heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. In fact, related technologies are also emerging to reduce heating and cooling loads within buildings, such as controlled and responsive glass tinting, which will regulate interior temperatures more effectively.
Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality is majorly impacted by HVAC systems in place within a structure. With advances in energy efficient technologies, such as to doors, windows, and weather stripping, this also means changes in air circulation. Where before indoor and outdoor air could mix to allow for adequate ventilation (and thus decent air quality), those points of escape have been closed off. This is fine unless ventilation suffers from it, allowing pollutants to be trapped inside along with the heat. HVAC technicians will need to emphasize proper ventilation alongside energy efficient upgrades to homes and offices. The HVAC industry will also need to adjust and monitor ventilation systems for poor indoor air quality resulting from substandard construction materials and moisture-causing natural disasters.
More and more structures are steeling themselves to weather through equipment failures to avoid or limit the disruption of normal operations. This process involves buildings being tested for the possibility of running without HVAC service should the need arise. Otherwise, technicians and managers will need to develop alternative or backup services to take over. If a business does not have an emergency preparedness plan, the loss of productivity, replacement of equipment, and damage to the building and its contents can result in the loss of thousands of dollars. HVAC technicians will need to be able to identify critical loads and the equipment that serves them, then install temporary support equipment based on space and system limit parameters.