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A busy aisle full of visitors photographed at the InstallerSHOW event at Birmingham NEC

Andrew Gaved: Exciting times ahead

The HVAC sector is not known for its extremes of emotion. But there are so many developments in HVAC at the moment, as we all pursue the goal of Net Zero that I defy even the most hardbitten heating veteran not to admit a frisson of excitement.

What is particularly exciting for me, now I have joined the team behind InstallerSHOW, is that these developments are touching each and every area of the heating and cooling business, at all scales – from domestic air source heat pumps all the way up to room-sized systems that can heat and cool an office building and bigger still to city-wide district heating schemes.

But I am swiftly having to train myself not just to talk in terms of ‘HVAC’, because we need to be thinking more about connectedness. So it is not just heating and cooling, it is the energy infrastructure that goes with it. This means if you are a developer, a building operator or local authority planner, or involved with their supply chains, you need also to increasingly be thinking about smart home controls, solar generation, electric vehicles and all the technology that goes with it.

It is no accident, therefore, that this year’s InstallerSHOW has expanded its reach to include all those elements as well (and kitchens and bathrooms too, but that is for another article). Among the new areas is a dedicated section called The Future Is Electric.

There is going to be a lot of exciting technology on show to explore and to discuss. The discussion is equally important, because as we are finding out, ‘exciting’ doesn’t always translate to ‘straightforward’.  Anyone involved in the supply of equipment and services has found that educating customers and potential customers as to the best combination of application and system is an increasingly important part of the job. It doesn’t help that some of our national newspapers seem to delight in rubbishing new technology.

So we have a battle on our hands to win hearts and minds. I say ‘we’ because I see my role, and those of my fellow journalists here at Installer and elemental, as providing a vital platform for you technology specialists to spread the word that low carbon technology, correctly designed and installed, is going to save the customer money and help to save the planet too. That naturally brings me to the other key element in InstallerSHOW – the content programme, which covers the traditional Installer subject areas alongside a separate elemental programme, dedicated to the issues on the minds of specifiers and their supply chains. View the latest event timetable.

And at the same time I will be looking, in my role as Editor at Large, to help to ‘tell the stories’ of low-carbon HVAC innovation and best practice in all its forms – there are really interesting developments all over the industry, in everything from heat recovery to combined heating and cooling to smart grid applications. Let’s learn from each other and spread the word together.

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