Heating & Air Conditioning in the USA

What you'll learn


Americans spend a lot of time at home. It is estimated that the average person is indoors for 90% of their life. Given how much time people spend inside, HVAC systems are vital to maintaining a healthy indoor environment and comfort. Every year, there’s a new standard for efficiency and convenience to be met, and product development reflects this trend.

Aire Serv® surveyed 1,500 consumers in the United States between Feb. 15 and Feb. 24, 2023. All respondents currently own homes or plan to purchase a home soon.

Here’s a look at what the Aire Serv survey found:

  • Rising heating and cooling costs are a concern for homeowners across the country, with 75% reporting anxiety around their utility bills.
  • Nearly 65% of homeowners wish they had a better HVAC system in their homes.
  • 57.4% of homeowners plan to upgrade their HVAC units within the next five years, and 67.4% plan a replacement within the next ten.
  • Heating and cooling are equally important in the eyes of most homeowners. However, the demand does fluctuate based on where respondents live.
  • The reliability of HVAC equipment is a significant concern for a majority of the homeowners surveyed, showing a rising consumer need.

75% of Survey Respondents Reported Feeling Concerned About Rising Utility Costs

When asked about HVAC concerns, homeowners agree: rising heating and cooling expenses are a serious issue. More than 75% of survey respondents reported concern about rising utility costs. Of course, there are other factors impacting this data. With rising inflation rates, Americans are indeed receiving higher heating and cooling bills, but they are also paying more for groceries, gas, and other necessities. Budgetary restrictions are at the top of most people’s minds these days. While rising costs are likely to remain a concern for homeowners, the installation of a new, more efficient heating and cooling system, consumers can reduce monthly expenses. This alone can help lessen the financial stress many homeowners are feeling.

64.6% of Americans Wish They Had a Better HVAC System

A majority of survey respondents also expressed a desire for better heating and cooling at home. This was especially true of residents of states that experience extreme temperatures: 76.9% of Maine and 71.9% of Florida homeowners wished for better HVAC systems. Comparatively, just 56.8% of California homeowners and 55.6% of Colorado homeowners showed concern about their HVAC unit’s performance. While responses varied geographically, the overall takeaway is a universal demand for improved heating and cooling.

While the survey doesn’t delve into the specific reasons why homeowners want to upgrade their HVAC units, it’s logical to speculate. Americans want to feel comfortable in their homes all year long. Improved heating and cooling come with better energy efficiency, improved home value, and the latest advanced features.

57.4% of Those Living in the US Plan to Upgrade Their Units in Five Years or Less

Most American homeowners anticipate replacing their HVAC systems relatively soon, within the next ten years. In fact, 67.4% of survey respondents plan to replace their units, 57% hope to replace their systems within five years, while 37.9% aim to upgrade their systems in the next one to two years. The data speaks for itself; American homeowners will definitely be in need of HVAC installation services in the coming years.

These survey results align with industry recommendations to replace aging, less-efficient HVAC equipment sooner rather than later. A new HVAC system provides many benefits, including improved efficiency, safety, comfort, reliability, and long-term cost savings.

Heating vs. AC: Americans Are Divided on the Importance of Each

Not surprisingly, Americans are split on whether heating or air conditioning matters more. A majority of respondents agreed that they are of equal importance. Delving into the state-by-state breakdown, though, certain trends emerge. In Massachusetts, 41.2% of survey participants prioritized heating over air conditioning, while 37.3% of Alabama homeowners surveyed placed air conditioning as more important than heating. Just 8% of Kentucky respondents said heating is a higher priority than cooling. Still, most states agree that quality heating and cooling are equally essential for maintaining comfort and efficiency.

It’s logical to assume that a person’s concerns about heating or cooling are greatly influenced by their location and individual needs. It’s no surprise that in states with cold winters, heating is vital for maintaining a comfortable, safe indoor environment. And in areas with scorching summers, cooling is necessary to avoid heat-related illnesses and to ensure seasonal indoor comfort. Regardless of where you reside, efficient heating and cooling are essential for maintaining year-round comfort and safety.

HVAC Reliability is a Major Cause for Concern

If there’s one thing that the majority of survey participants agree upon, it’s that HVAC reliability is a major concern. From Washington to Texas, Minnesota to Georgia, and everywhere in between, a majority of homeowners report anxiety about the reliability of their heating and cooling systems. Regardless of geographic location, HVAC breakdowns lead to discomfort, inconvenience, and potential health hazards. A malfunctioning system may also result in increased energy consumption and higher-than-average utility costs. Given these concerns, it’s no wonder so many participants expressed anxiety about their HVAC units’ reliability.

Key Takeaways From Aire Serv’s HVAC Industry Study

The Aire Serv survey revealed that homeowners are concerned about a wide range of HVAC issues, with rising energy costs chief among them. A large majority of respondents expressed anxiety about their utility expenses. Homeowners also voiced concern about their existing HVAC system’s ability to meet their demands, with many planning to replace their units within the next five years. In general, heating and cooling are of equal importance in the eyes of most homeowners. HVAC reliability is another major concern of homeowners, with many planning to upgrade their heating and cooling for better energy efficiency, improved home value, and the latest advanced features. If you’re considering an HVAC upgrade or would like to learn more about your options, including energy-efficient rebates that could save you up to $8,000, contact your local Aire Serv team today!