The HVAC market in Europe is expected to show sustained growth in the upcoming years, but with variation among product segments. The decarbonisation strategies in Europe stimulate a strong demand for energy-efficient heating and cooling solutions. The heat pump market in particular has done exceptionally well, with double-digit growth for several years in a row.

That’s the outlook from Eurovent, Europe’s Industry Association for Indoor Climate (HVAC), Process Cooling, and Food Cold Chain Technologies. Its members from throughout Europe represent more than 1,000 organisations, the majority small and medium-sized manufacturers.

Eurovent's Outlook

“The growth perspectives of the HVAC market depend partly on the fate of the economy,” says Mr. Francesco Scuderi, Deputy Secretary General and Head of Heating and Cooling at Eurovent.  The erosion of multilateral trade relations has created uncertainty in the global economy, which is hampering investment. The issue most close to home for European businesses is the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

The issue most close to home for European businesses is the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union

McKinsey Global Institute’s recent global survey of company executives shows that 75% of companies expect to change their strategy due to trade tensions and 33% consider trade uncertainty to be their top concern. “This is a regrettable development,” says Scuderi. “At Eurovent, we have always stood for closer integration and the free movement of goods without unfair trade barriers.”

Because of the climate, comfort cooling needs in Europe have typically been dwarfed by the demand for heating, he notes. Still today, more than 60% of the final energy consumption in EU households is attributable to space heating, whereas space cooling represents only a fraction of that according to the latest figures from Eurostat.

Expansion Of The European AC Market

Even so, the AC market in Europe has significantly expanded. The International Energy Agency estimates that the stock of installed equipment has grown from 44m units in 1990 to some 110m in 2019 and is expected to grow further still to an estimated 275m units by 2050. “While it is hard to gauge precisely the effects of climate change on the need for comfort cooling, more and more frequent extreme heat events have undoubtedly boosted AC sales in Europe, especially in recent years,” says Scuderi.

Installed equipment has grown from 44m units in 1990 to some 110m in 2019

The big-picture trends in AC demand follow patterns of economic development, including improved electrification and increases in disposable income. The growth of AC sales in Europe is quite modest compared to the global trends, which have steepened as a result of rapid development in emerging economies like China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, and Mexico. However, whether additional income is spent to satisfy comfort cooling needs will always depend on climate.

“A more interesting potential for the European market is the uptake of heat pumps for space heating purposes,” says Scuderi. “Although the heat pump market has experienced tremendous growth, it still accounts for only a small fraction of all space heating appliances in the EU. Greater acceptance for air conditioners as a heating solution will require educating the market on its advantages, and further strengthening incentive programmes. Although efficient solutions have significantly lower costs over the life cycle of the product, the cost at the point of purchase is usually higher.”

Panels discuss the importance of the expansion of the European HVAC industry

Energy Efficiency In the EU

The European Union has made extensive efforts to decarbonise the economy through a set of important regulatory instruments. The foremost ones for the HVAC industry are the Energy Efficiency Directive, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, the F-Gas Regulation, and the Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Regulations.

The European Union has made extensive efforts to decarbonise the economy

Eurovent strongly supports these initiatives, says Scuderi. “They make the building engineering sector more sustainable, encourage the uptake of highly efficient products, and stimulate further innovation and investment in R&D activities. All of this ensures that the European HVAC industry has a role to play in the built environment of tomorrow. Already today, the most energy efficient equipment is marketed in the EU, and the European building stock is on track to become carbon neutral by 2050. We need to work together with our international partners to ensure that the best market-available technologies prevail in more vulnerable markets as well.”

Based on objective and verifiable data, members of Eurovent account for a combined annual turnover of more than 30bn EUR, employing around 150,000 people within the association’s geographic area. This makes Eurovent one of the largest cross-regional industry committees of its kind. The organization’s activities are based on democratic decision-making principles, ensuring a level playing field for the entire industry independent from organization sizes or membership fees.

Members of Eurovent account for a combined annual turnover of more than 30bn EUR, employing around 150,000 people within the association’s geographic area

Who Are Eurovent?

As one of the oldest industry associations, Eurovent looks back at more than 60 years of association history. Eurovent today is the result of the merger of the associations CECMA, the European Committee of Constructors of Air Handling Equipment, and CECOMAF, the European Committee of Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturers, in June 1996.

Eurovent’s Member Associations are major national sector associations from Europe that represent manufacturers in the area of Indoor Climate (HVAC), Process Cooling, Food Cold Chain, and Industrial Ventilation technologies.

The more than 1,000 manufacturers within the network (Eurovent “Affiliated Manufacturers” and “Corresponding Members”) are represented in Eurovent activities in a democratic and transparent manner.

Eurovent invites everyone to the 2020 EUROVENTSUMMIT, the next edition of Europe’s major gathering for Indoor Climate (HVAC), Process Cooling, and Food Cold Chain Technologies. The 2020 EUROVENTSUMMIT will take place between 22 and 25 September 2020 in Antalya, Turkey. The event will seek to build bridges between manufacturers and consultants, planners, installers, trade associations and policy makers, between Europe, the East and beyond, towards more sustainable and circular products, towards more socially and environmentally responsible industry.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version

Author profile

In case you missed it

What Has Been the Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on the HVAC Market?
What Has Been the Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on the HVAC Market?

Welcome to our Expert Panel Roundtable, a new feature of We will be asking timely questions about the HVAC market and seeking out experts in the field to provide responses. Our goal is to promote a useful exchange of information on a variety of topics and to create a forum for discussion of important issues facing the industry. Launching this new feature in the middle of a global pandemic made choosing our first question quite easy. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What has been the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the HVAC market?

HD-PLC Technology: A New Communication Standard Enabling Future Smart HVAC Systems In Smart Buildings
HD-PLC Technology: A New Communication Standard Enabling Future Smart HVAC Systems In Smart Buildings

Around the world, advanced building automation systems (BAS) in smart buildings are driving demand for smarter HVAC systems. Modern HVAC systems can improve energy efficiency and mitigate potential health problems associated with indoor air quality and ventilation. In fact, HVAC improvements and building controls are expected to be a big U.S. investment in 2021. But capitalizing on this opportunity will take more than smarter HVAC systems. It’ll require a smarter approach to communications and BAS integration. Increase of data traffic in the network Over the last few years, the industry has seen a dramatic increase in the bandwidth demanded by building automation systems. More nodes, bigger packets, more security, all of these things increase the amount of data traffic in the network. Legacy communications technologies like RS-485 struggle to handle all of this data. To compensate, system designers have shortened bus lengths, developed costly gateways, and added complex protocol conversion for BAS integration. Because, in most implementations it’s just not practical or cost effective to install new high-speed cabling. A high-speed wireline communication standard called HD-PLC that is developed specifically for today’s industrial IoT Now, there’s a better option: a high-speed wireline communication standard called HD-PLC that is developed specifically for today’s industrial IoT and smart building applications. In 2017, after careful evaluation of various technologies, LonMark International adopted HD-PLC as its new channel standard. And last October, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) ® approved ANSI/CTA 709.8 LON HD-PLC (High Definition Power Line Communication) as a new standard by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). LON HD-PLC technology for smart HVAC systems In this article, one will learn how LON HD-PLC technology is enabling a new generation of smart HVAC systems, using the existing building wiring. The Problem: Serial Networks Are Stretched to Their LimitsTraditional building automation systems rely on direct-digital control communication protocols over RS-485 signal levels. However, with a throughput of just 9.6kbps, RS-485 struggles to meet the demands of advanced HVAC applications. Overview of Wired Technologies for Building Automation Systems (BAS) In RS-485-based systems, each platform domain requires a gateway to translate proprietary protocols into IP. As such, the building administrator has limited control over individual devices in the network. To extend the network path from BAS to the digital or analog I/O module, the network wiring needs to be installed to connect a controller device over Fieldbus I/O systems. Central air conditioning system based on RS-485 While protocols like BACnet/IP, LON IP, and KNX IP enable system integrators to increase bandwidth and extend IP beyond the gateway; they require the installation of new wiring, which is time-consuming and expensive. System integrators also have to reduce bus lengths and add control equipment to support the high bandwidths required by modern applications. To enable BAS modernization and replace costly gateways, there’s a better solution – HD-PLC Bridging to connect Ethernet networks to other wireline (twisted pair, powerline, phone lines, coax, etc.) and wireless networks (WiFi, BLE, etc.). Megabit data rates for long cable lines  LonMark International adopted HD-PLC as the new channel standard for high-speed wireline networks. Based on the IEEE 1901 and ITU-T G.9905 international standards, HD-PLC combines IP-based broadband communication with an innovative multi-hop technology to reliably achieve megabit data rates over several kilometers of cabling (AC/DC power lines, twisted-pair, coax, etc.). The architecture supports up to 1024 nodes and is packed with innovations such as free topology, mesh networking with dynamic traffic routing, and crypto-strong AES-128 encryption. LON HD-PLC platform implements an Ethernet-like transmission, wherein devices act as an Ethernet gateway This new standard enables native LON communication over any IP transport such as Ethernet and Wi-Fi, as well as interoperability with IP-based web services so that building and industrial automation systems can seamlessly and securely interoperate with cloud and IoT applications. LON HD-PLC platform implements an Ethernet-like transmission, wherein devices act as an Ethernet gateway in parallel, enabling double use for all IP-based solutions. It creates a single control system to aggregate data and detects hidden faults in HVAC operations. Plus, IP networks can be used as a native network medium for LonWorks, so the use of LonWorks/IP-only devices is also possible. Central air conditioning system based on HD-PLC instant speed upgrade - from just kilobits to megabits- Built to seamlessly couple Ethernet and RS-485 devices, the LON HD-PLC Bridge enables system designers and integrators to upgrade to higher speeds, longer ranges, more nodes, and more advanced feature-sets over their existing wiring infrastructure with minimum cost. That way, everything connected to it becomes a part of the Internet of Things – acting as data points, to improve the operating efficiency of smart HVAC controls. Using IP-based communications (IPv4 or IPv6 multicasting), HD-PLC provides LON systems with an instant speed upgrade- from just kilobits to megabits-without needing to add or replace wiring. Especially designed for building automation, IPv6 provides a cost-effective transport mechanism for complex control systems to communicate with devices. In addition, IP based communication enables the use of existing IP based tools, like Wireshark, reducing the learning curve for system designers and engineers – which means less maintenance and ultimately lower cost. With this transformative wireline communication technology, manufacturers can effectively build a robust infrastructure into buildings today, ensuring the future-readiness for intelligent HVAC of tomorrow.

Prepare for Prosperity by Recruiting and Retaining HVAC Employees Effectively
Prepare for Prosperity by Recruiting and Retaining HVAC Employees Effectively

Hiring and retaining employees in the HVAC market is an ongoing challenge. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers will grow 13 percent between 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the economic emerges from the COVID-19-induced slowdown, the industry’s workforce challenges will again be top-of-mind. Now is a great time for HVAC companies to update and expand their recruitment and retention strategies. Following are some suggestions compiled from various sources. Tips on hiring new employees: Use social media platforms. Employers should create an identity on social networks to reinforce the idea that the company is a “great place to work.” Tools to communicate the message include employee profiles, awards and recognition programs, and personalized photos and videos of employees on and off the job. Ensure there is a “careers” page on the website. The page should describe the company, possible career paths, and list any current and ongoing openings. Offer a referral bonus to current employees. Promote recruiting by word of mouth using a referral bonus, which could be offered in two stages – one amount for an initial hire and a second payment after the new employee has been on the job for a certain amount of time. Spread around business cards. Information to entice new employees should fit on a business card, including how to apply and email and telephone contact information. The cards should include information on what sets an employer apart from other companies and could be distributed at job fairs or wherever one encounters a prospect. Choose employees that fit into the corporate culture. Identifying intangibles is among the more difficult challenges during the interview process, but results are worth the effort. Be open to all age groups, including older workers. Older employees may provide a higher level of knowledge and expertise, and companies should promote a culture that respects and values mature workers. Avoid recruitment phrases such as “new or recent graduates preferred” or “maximum years of experience.” Don’t make assumptions about who is “overqualified” or outside the expected salary range. For example, older workers seeking second careers may be more flexible about pay and represent a “bargain” in the workforce marketplace. Tips on retaining employees: Make your employees feel valued. Customers benefit when employers listen to their employees, find out what matters to them, and then respond to those needs. Make sure employees are engaged and interested in their work. Enthusiastic employees are loyal to their workplace. A goal for employers should be to ensure that each employee derives satisfaction from their work. Engaging one-on-one with employees ensures a clear communication path and greater insights for employers. Ensure there is a perceptible career path. An employer should provide career development opportunities and a clear path forward to a bright future for employees. Provide opportunities for employees to learn. Employees should have chances to learn more about new technologies, new skills and/or changing industry trends. Promote a sense of camaraderie. Employees tend to be more motivated if they are part of a team that can help to support their personal and professional growth and success. Encourage a team spirit and an environment in which employees “feel like family.” Clearly communicate the company’s mission and values. Employees tend to stay at a company that shares their personal mission and values. Promoting a company’s mission internally creates a higher level of engagement by employees. Employees should believe in the corporate mission and feel their skills play a valuable role in achieving it. Ensure managers are great leaders. The role of an employee’s direct supervisor to maximize morale and job satisfaction cannot be overemphasized. Toxic managers can be the source of excess turnover – they can be a huge cost to companies in terms of recruitment and retention. Managers should treat employees as people, should encourage them, lead them, and help them along their career path. They should be coaches, not overlords. Recognize achievement. Employees appreciate recognition and positive reinforcement, which could include an awards program or other incentives. Encourage multi-generational cooperation. Baby boomers are very different than millennials in terms of their work habits and expectations, but those differences should not be seen as impediments. Rather, there is much that employees of various ages can learn from each other if they are encouraged to work together more closely. Companies should respect the contributions of employees from any generation. Mentor/mentee programs can help with career growth. Provide flexibility. Whether it’s flexible work schedules or teleworking, employees appreciate any accommodation an employer can provide. Employees who have more control over their work-life balance tend to experience higher satisfaction, and there is less turnover.