There are many corners of this planet that are seeing substantial growth of the HVAC markets. In this country, and others of the western world, of course, there is a demand for the new technology, the new controls and sensors, which can make our existing systems more energy efficient. Increased efficiency means less of an impact on the environment, but also lower utility bills. We can now make our homes smarter, with remote control of HVAC systems, programmable thermostats that will actually turn the temperature down in the space while we sleep, and even controls that will interact with our smartphones.
In other areas of the world, however, the goals of homeowners are not nearly as advanced. In many of the developing nations of the world, there are much simpler desires related to the HVAC and plumbing industries. In rural Africa, for instance, the people aren’t looking for smart sensors and controls, they are looking to have clean water closer to their front door. They don’t ask for air conditioners or better humidity control in their small dwellings. They only want to be assured that they will have access to clean water tomorrow.
Rather than a focus on sensors and controls devoted to operating complicated heating and cooling systems, our industry is selling water pump add-ons that can help ensure that the water supplies are not interrupted for weeks at a time. For quite some time, the industrialized nations have been trying to develop creative ways to help those in the developing nation gain easier access to clean water. Unfortunately, many of these ideas proved to be wasted funds. Now, those efforts are being put into creating simple, sustainable solutions. Families are being charged the equivalent of one cent (or less) for regular access to water pumps. The money is being used to maintain and upgrade these systems. By charging a fair fee, those overseeing the project can, eventually, equip these systems with higher end sensors and controls that won’t just cut down repair times, but may actually prevent shutdowns all together.
As HVAC advancements continue, all civilizations will benefit, and hopefully, we will begin to see the gap close between industrialized and developing nations.