The Heating and Cooling Industry By the Numbers

Heating and air repair

Having reliable heating and air conditioning systems usually isn’t something that most Americans think about — until their system breaks down in the middle of a snowstorm, and they find themselves frantically searching for any HVAC repair services that will make house calls on a Friday night. It’s easy to forget how much we depend on this industry, but you may not have realized just how much money gets funneled (sometimes needlessly) into HVAC systems, and just how big the American heating and air conditioning service industry is.

63%: The percentage of natural gas in the U.S. that was funneled into heating systems during 2009 — just heating systems. The remaining 37% of natural gas consumption was divided up between tasks like water heating and cooking appliances. This is a pretty accurate way of explaining just how important the heating and cooling industry is in the U.S., although with newer fuel-efficient HVAC units, it’s likely that this percentage will drop significantly in the coming years.

40,890: The number of injuries recorded at hospital emergency rooms during 2011 that stemmed from malfunctioning HVAC units. Some health risks — like carbon monoxide poisoning resulting from a broken HVAC unit — can appear very quickly, but other health issues — like respiratory problems — might only appear after a resident has been exposed to dirty air (caused by inefficient HVAC systems) for a long time.

98,508: The estimated number of HVAC repair services in the U.S. today. And when you consider that most of these services have multiple employees, it’s easy to see that the heating and cooling industry doesn’t just provide Americans with comfortable homes — it also provides them with valuable jobs.

Most homeowners view their heating and cooling systems with a bit of contempt — the systems always seem to break at the worst times, and the energy bill is always a little bit (or a lot) higher than expected — but it’s easy to see that we rely on this industry quite a bit. Read more.

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