Over the course of 2021, many industries have been dealing with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Numerous markets had to pivot away from their normal products in an effort to address newly acquired needs for their customers. The HVAC industry was no different as unit heaters saw an increase in demand as the year progressed. The construction industry saw a big increase in new buildings and existing building mods, which helped fuel growth in the unit heater market. 

These units provide a heating source for any commercial space, warehouse, greenhouse, small commercial building, or residential space. With easy installation for contractors, these make less of a footprint than standard traditional HVAC systems. The increase in popularity can be directly attributed to their cost-effective, efficient nature. 

These units take up little to no floor space and are easy to maintain. Inside a personal workshop or garage, this is important due to the limited floor space. For contractors, all the components are located within the unit, so repairs and maintenance are fast and easy. Facilities and homes can also have more than one unit heater in an interior space, providing a backup heating option in the event of an emergency.  

Efficiency The desire for efficient units is the second big trend for the HVAC industry heading into 2022. As fuel prices stand at nearly double the rate it was a year ago, facility and homeowners are attempting to decrease spending. The industry is seeing a shift where efficient units are very important to customers, consumers, contractors, and building owners. The standard efficiency unit operates at around 80%. More efficient units mean lower costs for owners. Units, such as a high-efficiency commercial gas-fired unit heater, draw combustion air from outside to ensure that the unit will always have plenty of fresh, clean air for combustion while increasing overall heating efficiency. At Modine, we expect to see more sales in efficiency units as fuel costs rise. 

While these units come standard with technology that makes them more efficient, maintenance plays a major role in maintaining efficiency. Creating an annual plan to have your unit heater inspected by a professional technician will help protect your unit from any issues that could affect efficiency. The maintenance plan should include a regularly scheduled expert evaluation to keep the unit running longer, prevent costly repairs or complete unit replacement, and maintain the warranty – which is typically a 10-year warranty on the heat exchanger and two years for parts. 

Overall, an increase in demands for unit heaters and efficiency products are the two main trends we are seeing in the HVAC industry heading into 2022. These demands reach beyond the commercial space. Many residential customers are seeking unit heaters because of their efficiency and cost-effective installation. These products are trending north and will continue being a focus across North America moving forward.