HVAC industry and the future of climate crises and technology

Every industry has felt the brunt of the US labor shortage, with 4.3 million Americans quitting their jobs in August alone. But some workforces, like HVAC technicians, felt the talent shortage long before the great resignation hit the work landscape.

HVAC technicians are experienced in installing, repairing, and maintaining heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment and systems, and make approximately 325,000 workers in the U.S. workforce, according to Bluon, a technical support platform and digital training center for HVAC employees the end. But while the value of this industry is estimated to increase by $ 7 billion by 2025, Bluon estimates the industry is short of 100,000 technicians.

“A common misconception is that technology and automation will reduce the need for talent,” said Peter Capuciati, founder and CEO of Bluon. “That’s not true, because at the end of the day, all of the equipment practically needs to be serviced.”

Read more: Employers Beware: These signs could mean your employees are leaving the ship

Capuciati points out that the HVAC industry is unique in that the lifespan of the equipment can be up to 40 years. Not to mention, poorly maintained equipment can mean significant waste of electricity and additional CO2 emissions. For example, after testing 10,000 units, Bluon found that 90% were working at least 30% less efficiently than they should, resulting in a power waste of 30% or more.

“When technicians do their job well, I think they have more impact on environmental damage and climate change than any other group of workers,” says Capuciati. “There are so many new technologies and new systems, but almost no one pays attention to maximizing the efficiency of the operation.”

Capuciati estimates that a good HVAC technician could make the difference between plus or minus 10,000 tons of CO2 per year (compared to a typical vehicle emitting 4.6 tons of CO2 per year) and says a talent shortage in this industry is promising ecological setbacks.

Read more: The pandemic will push over 50% of hotel workers out the door

This particular workforce is disadvantaged because a decline in vocational training from the 1980s and 1990s led to a nationwide decline in skilled workers and skilled workers. Now, with a renewed labor shortage, Bluon is focused on making sure the current HVAC workforce has information and training.

Bluon’s app offers a database of HVAC equipment, manuals and a 24/7 technician support line. Capuciati notes that two different age groups work in the industry and do not have the same relationship to information and training. Older generations have attended vocational schools and courses where they memorized information – Generation Z will take a different approach.

“The younger generation doesn’t want to memorize a million things – they want to know a million places to find information,” says Capuciati. “You want an index and the HVAC industry hasn’t figured that out yet.”

Read more: Salary increases and flexibility on the rise as employers face staff shortages

The company is also working to correct the loss of mentoring within the industry. With union membership down 20% since 1983, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says it is becoming more difficult for new workers to find support and guidance. Part of the revitalization of this industry will revolve around rebuilding community and educational resources, Capuciati says.

“The market urgently needs more qualified workers, but that won’t happen overnight,” says Capuciati. “In the meantime, we can give our current specialists the tools they need to be more productive.”

Comments are closed.