The HVAC industry consists of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, thus the nifty acronym (sometimes an R is added at the end for refrigeration). This technology is prevalent in housing and corporate facilities, but that’s not all. It has also found its way into many ground, air, and water vehicles.
This business is managed and impacted by various regulations—more specifically, local ones. They vary from state to state or country to country.
Despite this industry’s popularity, HVAC statistics aren’t often discussed. That’s why we decided to provide you with the most recent and most relevant stats. We’ll start with the global statistics, and then move on to the US-specific ones, so let’s dive in.
The Top HVAC Industry Statistics
- The global market size of HVAC systems was $240.8 billion in 2019.
- According to contemporary projections, the number of sold HVAC units in 2024 will surpass 150 million.
- Asia had the largest HVAC market share in 2017 (almost $115 billion).
- In 2019 in the US, there were almost 530,000 employees in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning industry.
- In 2019, California was the leading state in the HVAC industry, based on the number of employees (over 187,000).
- In 2019, fewer commercial gas storage water heaters were shipped in the US compared to industrial electrical storage water heaters (88,548 vs. 150,667 units, respectively).
- Split-type room air conditioners are the most popular unit type by far—the global demand for them was over 83.46 million units in 2018.
Global HVAC Stats
1. The global market size of HVAC systems was $240.8 billion in 2019.
Not only is the worldwide heating, ventilation, and air conditioning market already huge, but it will be much bigger soon. Its massive CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of about 4% will translate into it reaching an estimated market size of $370 billion by 2030.
The HVAC market is closely tied to the construction market, meaning that as one grows, the other follows.
2. The global market size for split systems was close to $98 billion in 2017.
Split systems were by far the most popular of all HVAC units sold in 2017, reaching the top of most HVAC industry stats. Furthermore, they made up about 57% of all HVAC units sold that year.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a split system is an HVAC device with divided air conditioners and heaters, for example—as opposed to joint HVAC devices, which comprise a single unit.
3. According to contemporary projections, the number of sold HVAC units in 2024 will surpass 151 million.
This is one of the most impressive estimated HVAC industry statistics, and it’s very likely to come true. Global warming has many adverse effects, but it’s steadily fueling the air conditioning industry, according to Statista.
4. The most significant portion of 2019’s worldwide HVAC market share belonged to the public sector (33%).
It comes as no surprise that most HVAC units are sold to the public sector. Health care facilities, education facilities, and many other critical public buildings require heating, ventilation, and AC. It’s one of the HVAC facts that will never change.
5. Asia was the continent with the largest HVAC market share in 2017 (almost $115 billion).
Asia is the most densely populated continent in the world. In 2017, it had more than 4.5 billion inhabitants. Therefore, it makes sense that the demands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are the largest there.
HVAC Statistics in the US
6. The HVAC industry will offer 13% more jobs by 2028, a much greater average employment growth compared to most industries.
(Bureau of Labor)
The Bureau of Labor predicts that in the next decade, people will have an even better chance of finding a job as an installer or mechanic for HVAC products. This prediction is based on the growth of the construction industry, which we already noted is very closely tied to the HVAC industry.
The estimated increase of HVAC-related job positions between 2018 and 2028 is more than 46,000.
7. In the US, HVAC technicians made nearly $50,000 a year in 2019 on average.
(Bureau of Labor)
Average HVAC income statistics from the Bureau of Labor report a stable median yearly wage for installers and mechanics. Their annual median hourly rate was $23.43.
Note that technicians will need further education too because the HVAC installation process is becoming increasingly complex. It’s possible that HVAC licenses will be required, as well.
8. In 2019 in the US, there were over 528,000 employees in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning industry.
As you can see, these interesting HVAC facts prove that this is a very viable job market. In fact, it keeps getting huge investments from HVAC companies. The industry leader in market capitalization in the US in 2019 was Johnson Controls Inc., with $31.4 billion.
9. California was 2019’s leading state in the HVAC industry based on the number of jobs (over 187,000).
California is the winner by far, according to a study from Statista. New York, which is in the second spot, had about 69,400 employees in the HVACR industry. Furthermore, the same set of labor market statistics on HVAC employment informs us that Texas followed New York with more than 67,300 employees.
10. 2019’s leading US employer in the HVAC distribution industry was Watsco Inc. from Miami, with circa 5,300 employees.
(Statista, Achr News)
Watsco is one of the biggest names in HVAC distribution, with over 30 years of experience. They also led in heating and cooling sales in 2019. Other North American HVAC distributors with significant profits included Ferguson Enterprises, Sigler Wholesale Distributors, and Johnstone Supply Inc.
Air Conditioning Statistics
11. The world’s yearly AC unit demand was nearly 111 million in 2018.
The annual global demand for air conditioners has been increasing since 2012, when it stood at circa 97.6 million units. Those numbers drastically increased just a year later when the demand increased to about 104.35 million units.
12. The most significant annual demand for air conditioners from 2012 to 2018 was always in China (at about 40 million units every year).
The Chinese market fuels the HVAC industry quite a bit, which we continue to see in the HVAC statistics from the last decade. In 2018, the Chinese demand for air conditioners surpassed 44.5 million units, and in 2017, it was a whopping 45.95 million units.
13. The annual American demand for AC in 2018 was also very high (15.3 million units).
The yearly demand for air conditioners in the US steadily grew from 2012 to 2018. In 2012, it stood somewhere above 13 million, meaning it increased by circa 2 million units over this period.
One of the many fun facts about HVAC is that the AC demand in Canada has barely changed since 2012. It was 0.41 million units then, and in 2018, it was 0.46 million units. Of course, we have to take Canada’s population and climate into account.
14. Split-type room air conditioners are the most popular, by far—the global demand for them was 83.46 million units in 2018.
Here are some quick HVAC fun facts: There are two types of room air conditioners, split and window. The difference between them is that the split type has an indoor and an outdoor unit, while a window AC is a single-unit device.
The first takes up more space, and it’s more challenging to install, but it produces less noise. The window type is seamless but louder. The global demand for window-type ACs in 2018 was only 12.6 million units.
15. In 2019, fewer commercial gas storage water heaters were shipped in the US compared to industrial electrical storage water heaters (88,548 vs. 150,667 units, respectively).
Electrical storage water heaters have drastically increased in popularity since 2001. Back then, approximately 94,000 gas storage heaters were delivered. On the other hand, the number of electrical heaters shipped that year was only about 46,500.
16. The heating oil price per gallon was expected to surpass $3.02 by 2020 in the US.
HVAC residential energy consumption facts from Statista indicate that the price of heating oil was $2.44 a gallon in 2005. Currently, these prices are stable ($3.07 a gallon in 2019). They aren’t even close to their peak—winter 2013/2014 ($3.88 per gallon).
17. In 2017, most US homes (48%) used utility gas for heating.
Speaking of HVAC facts about the winter, natural gas and electricity are the most commonly used energy sources for heating in America. In 2017, electrical power comprised 44% of energy use in US households. Meanwhile, natural gas accounted for 43% of residential energy consumption, and fuel oil, kerosene, and propane followed.
What percentage of the world population has air conditioning?
It’s difficult to pinpoint the percentage, but in 2018, there were over 1.6 billion air conditioners worldwide. That number is expected to rise by 4 billion more by 2050, which is very bad if you consider problems with emissions and global warming.
Right now, about 90% of US homes have AC. Those numbers are exceptionally high, especially compared to hotter continents like Africa and South America, where only 8% of all households have air conditioning.
(New York Times)
What is the future of HVAC?
The future of HVAC looks very bright and promising, but only two things are certain. First, there will be many new regulations—in 2023, new minimum energy efficiency standards for both cooling and heating will be introduced in the United States.
The second certainty is that the internet of things and smart home integrations will rapidly increase in popularity over the next decade. HVAC systems will be integrated into smart home devices. Thus, the industry will boom even more.
Is the HVAC industry growing?
It is, especially in the residential segment. The relentless increase in population across Asia is an essential factor in this growth. The Asia-Pacific region accounts for most new HVAC installations, while North America and Europe primarily demand repairs and replacements for existing HVAC systems.
Hopefully, you found these HVAC statistics informative and useful. The reach of the HVAC industry is vast, and it’s only expanding. Asia and North America seem to be the most invested in it.
Sadly, as we already mentioned, global warming is indirectly boosting the HVAC industry as global temperatures rise each year. However, most facts about HVAC are very positive and reinforcing.
Indeed, in the future, many more people will specialize in HVAC installation and maintenance, since it’s a booming industry with high global demands. The IoT’s incorporation of HVAC through smart homes will also help the HVAC industry expand.