by Patti Dees


HVAC industry trends for 2024 are driven by a global push to improve how HVAC impacts the environment. The next few years include HVAC regulations that change manufacturing and technologies to promote sustainability and efficiency.


Regulations on Refrigerants

Both the European Union’s F-Gas Regulation and the EPA’s Significant New Alternative Policy (SNAP) program target changes to refrigerants by mandating an aggressive reduction in the production and use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) – cutting use by 95% before 2030 and 85% by 2036, respectively. HFCs are known to damage Earth’s ozone layer and have higher global warming potential (GWP).


The regulations also prohibit the manufacture or sale of new equipment based on the GWP of the required refrigerant. Systems requiring a refrigerant with GWP greater than 750 will be banned by 2025 under both EU and US regulations. In the EU certain types of systems, such as those under a 50-kW capacity, will be restricted to refrigerants with a GWP of 150 or lower.


With this push away from HFCs, many manufacturers are turning to hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) and “natural” refrigerants, such as ammonia and CO2, as potential replacements. However, the ability to recycle and reuse the refrigerant will play a role in which ones remain marketable.


Waste Reduction 

Besides a continued push for reusing materials, waste reduction trends also focus on managing energy or heat waste. Improvements to heat pump technology have reached a point where it is the system of choice as it moves heat between the outside and inside of buildings as opposed to creating heat, which is inefficient.


However, for any changes to HVAC systems, it is important to review the system as a whole to ensure new equipment is fully incorporated. Adjustments to connecting equipment may be required in order to move heat efficiently without creating new paths for waste. 


Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency demands are also driving electrification and automation of building systems, as well as promoting new solutions for industries that rely on cooling. For example, data centers depend on robust cooling systems for computing equipment. To improve energy efficiency and reduce the need for additional mechanical equipment, data centers are building interest in immersion cooling technologies. Immersion cooling uses liquids with low boiling points to remove heat within a closed system that does not need pumps or external heat exchangers.



Facilities with working HVAC systems do not need to replace their current equipment to meet the standards set by the new regulations, but as HFCs are phased out, replacement plans may need to be moved forward. Fortunately, financial incentives and subsidies are available at local, state, or national levels, and are likely to continue to help businesses offset the costs of compliance. Additionally, businesses can take advantage of tax deductions to further offset the costs of upgrades.


Businesses face new standards and requirements for designing HVAC systems and upgrading outdated equipment. Whether a facility’s focus is efficiency or compliance, Therma’s professionals have the knowledge and experience to make the most of future trends.


Patti draws on her background as a chemical engineer to share information with readers on technology, manufacturing, and construction.


LG Global – HVAC Refrigerant Trend 2024 | LG GLOBAL

FacilitiesNet  – HVAC Trends: What Facility Managers Need to Know – Facilities Management Insights

FacilitiesNet  – Changes to Come in the HVAC Industry – Facilities Management Insights

HVAC Informed – Megatrends Making Their Move In 2024