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At Pickens Technical College’s HVAC program, you’re learning how to adapt to a changing industry. As new technologies and market shifts shake up the HVAC market nationwide, you’ll be more than ready to take on any challenges you might come across. HVAC instructor Wayne Blackwell has many years of experience working and teaching in this field, and he knows how to adapt to make it in this increasingly competitive industry.

The study and practice of HVAC repair and installation are already being affected by tighter environmental regulations on the devices and equipment that go into homes for heating and cooling. Air conditioners, in particular, are becoming more energy-efficient and have started using less dangerous refrigerant chemicals to achieve the same effect.

The push for safer materials and more energy-efficient units in HVAC isn’t new, but there are several other forces at work in today’s HVAC industry that are making a difference and will affect your work when you graduate Pickens’ HVAC program.

Online Sales

Some HVAC industry analysts are calling the rise of online parts and equipment sales the biggest industry shakeup since the rapid consolidation of the industry 20 years ago. Traditionally, HVAC retail stores sold units and parts to contractors and thrived by providing excellent industry knowledge and cutting-edge technology to their customers, who would keep coming back to the same retailer. The retailers made money by keeping their contractors happy and forming relationships with them.

But now, like all other industries, the Internet is disrupting the traditional supply chain. Today, HVAC contractors can order parts and units online for less than any brick-and-mortar retailer can sell them. Mainstream distributors of HVAC products are already feeling the burn, and for many, they’ll have to adjust to the changing dynamics of their industry. HVAC distributors also sell directly to homeowners and landlords installing systems in their properties. Many of them now are watching in horror as customers bypass them altogether and order a new furnace online, get it delivered free, and installed for less than their normal contractor can do it. The rapid rise of online sales will affect everyone in the industry, from manufacturers to distributors too, yes, contractors.

The Fight Against Corrosion Intensifies

Corrosion has been and will always be the bane of HVAC contractors’ existence everywhere. As buildings and HVAC units change to meet new environmental and efficiency standards, corrosion remains an accelerating problem that causes leaks and other damage to HVAC systems in all homes.

Buildings and homes are being constructed and retrofitted to minimize air passing in and out. While this practice does lower energy costs, it also traps Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and other harmful and corrosive particles in the air. These particles, in addition to lowering the air quality inside, also cause buildups and corrosion in HVAC evaporator coils, disrupting proper function. As you enter the HVAC professional world, expect to see this problem come up again and again.

With excellent instruction and training at Pickens, however, you’ll be prepared to face these new challenges in HVAC.