Three Things You Need to Know About Ductless HVAC Systems

As heating and cooling equipment manufacturers continue to innovate to meet the demands of both commercial and residential consumers, ductless HVAC systems have emerged as a bright spot in the marketplace. Configured to operate as seamlessly as traditional central heating and air conditioner systems but at significantly lower costs, ductless HVAC systems offer commercial and residential consumers distinct benefits. Here we’ll discuss three things manufacturers should keep in mind when building out or evaluating their current business strategy to gain market share in this growing sector.

1. Benefits to the consumer. Despite initiatives aimed at introducing ductless HVAC technology and its benefits to consumers over the last decade, commercial and residential consumer awareness remains uneven and can be strengthened. According to ENERGY STAR ®, traditional forced-air heating and cooling systems can lose about 20 to 30 percent of their conditioned air due to leaks and holes within the air-duct system. Ductless heating and cooling systems certified by ENERGY STAR perform at higher efficiency rates due to the variable capacity of its inverter driven compressor. As a result, refrigerant flow rate is modulated by the change in the speed of compressor to deliver more efficiency heating and cooling outputs.
Additionally, with the compressor unit located outside, consumers benefit from quiet operation, particularly when the fan on the air handler is set at lower speeds. Separate air handlers corresponding to different zones combined with either a remote-control unit or wall-mounted thermostat allows users to set temperatures in individual zones enabling precise temperature control, while increasing energy savings when compared to a traditional system.

2. Leverage utility programs. To boost commercial and residential ductless HVAC equipment sales, manufacturers can leverage local and regional utility programs that incentivize the purchase of ductless units because of their high efficiency rates. Pairing and promoting potential utility rebates along with state or applicable federal tax credits can help spur market awareness and adoption of ductless HVAC technology. The NW Ductless Heat Pump Project, an initiative of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) focuses on increasing the adoption rates of ductless heating and cooling systems in the Northwest. Dubbed “Going Ductless”, the project’s dedicated website conveniently brings together information on utility rebate programs, current promotions and resources for finding an equipment installer or retailer to increase ductless system sales and installations.

3. Current trends point toward growth. Ductless heat pumps are one of the fastest growing technologies for ultra-efficient heating. Since 2013, the U.S. ductless market indicates steady growth, near or above double-digit growth since 2013. With year-after-year of double digit growth, opportunities for manufacturers can also be expected. While the key players for the global ductless heating & cooling market continue to be Mitsubishi Electric, Hitachi, Carrier, Daikin, Trane and Toshiba, smaller manufacturers are entering the market either through partnerships with larger manufacturers or through merger, acquisition or joint-venture. With an expanded playing field, residential and commercial customers are bound to benefit with greater choices and pricing schemes.

Having the right information leads to smart business decisions. That’s where we can help. D+R International D+R is the leading analyst of confidential market data relating to energy efficiency. Along with market research and partnering initiatives, D+R offers DRIVE, a business intelligence tool refreshed quarterly and designed to deliver the most current and actionable data on the HVAC market at the national and regional level. DRIVE’s data can be used to evaluate market share, assess sales performance, run more precise market projection models or develop tailored marketing campaigns to accurately target customers in high-growth regions. To learn more about how we can help you make sense of HVAC data and trends, or to learn more DRIVE, contact D+R International today.