Market Overview: The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) market is the largest energy- efficient product sector in the United States in terms of dollar volume and boasts a significant amount of domestic manufacturing. Products made here feed the domestic market and are exported to some 230 markets around the world.
The market for advanced HVAC products is growing, fueled primarily by the ongoing replacement of older units as well as continued demand from regulators and consumers for new and increasingly efficient products. In fact, over half of the U.S. market for these more efficient are for the replacement of old units versus units for new residential and commercial construction. However, with new housing starts expected to grow over 6 percent in the next five years, this portion of the market will expand.
Large HVAC equipment such as central air conditioning, furnaces and boilers continue to be made in the United States with significant domestic content, while smaller products—such as window air conditioners, dehumidifiers, humidifiers and ceiling fans (except for high end)—are manufactured outside the United States. Exhaust fans and similar ventilation products are an exception to the size rule as they are made both domestically and overseas. Some OEMs manufacturing in the United States—including Air King Limited and Fantech—source and assemble over 60 percent of the product in the United States, but import the motor—the most expensive component. Broan Nutone manufactures 65 percent of their product line at their flagship U.S. manufacturing facility with 85 percent domestic content. This company is actually expanding their U.S. facilities to meet increased exports to China.
Interestingly, the concentration of large manufacturers in the HVAC market is relatively low with the top four companies expected to account for just 28 percent of total industry revenue. The diverse set of products manufactured for the HVAC market has attracted the investment of a many small to medium-sized manufacturers, many of them with 50 employees or less. While the larger OEMs are more nationally recognized, there are still smaller, independently owned and operated U.S. manufacturers making products such as boilers and geothermal systems to meet regional market needs. Additionally, products associated with HVAC installation like ductwork and insulation are also manufactured domestically.