HVAC Consumer & Industry Research

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HVAC Consumer & Industry Research

Based on research and triangulation of publicly available data, the demographics of typical residential HVAC customers in the U.S., particularly in the states of Maryland and Virginia, appear to be as follows: most likely to be between ages 30 and 60, most likely to be male, most likely to have an income between $50,000 and $100,000, most likely to be a professional who works in healthcare, social services, science, technology, public administration, management, for the government, for the military/veteran, or in sales and retail, most likely has a college education, and is most likely married. Within the Virginia/Maryland area, the following cities and counties are key areas where people who may be interested in HVAC services live: Richmond, Baltimore, Montgomery, Fairfax, Virginia Beach, Anne Arundel, Chesapeake, Prince George, Arlington, Norfolk, Newport News, and Loudoun. A deep dive and breakdown of these findings can be found below the Research Strategy section. A detailed explanation of how this data set was triangulated is located in the Research Strategy section.

Research Strategy

To conduct this research, we began by attempting to locate publicly available data that directly and explicitly outlines the demographics of HVAC consumers (in North America, U.S., Maryland and/or Virginia). In doing so, we analyzed numerous consumer surveys, demographic databases, industry reports, trusted media articles, industry association websites, and insights published by marketing experts related to the industry. After exhaustive research, we were unable to locate any direct data that is publicly available. It appears this data does exist, however it is locked behind a paywall, as evidenced by this report. This lack of direct data appears to be due to the fact that the HVAC industry is highly competitive and fragmented, made up primarily of numerous small, local businesses. Given this, it can be logically assumed that such insights about the consumers of this industry are highly coveted and therefore not readily made public. Despite this lack of direct data, our team was able to employ a range of research strategies in order to triangulate an understanding of the typical consumer in this market. In doing so, we assessed the types of databases and demographic data that are publicly available and made some determinations for how that data logically connects to the concept of an HVAC consumer. A detailed explanation of the triangulation strategies used to accomplish this explained here: To conduct this research, Facebook Audience Insights was used to understand the demographics of people living in Maryland and Virginia who are interested in home improvement and home appliances. These interests were selected as they are the options most closely related to HVAC based on the available filters. Using the geographical data that Facebook Audience Insights provided (i.e. cities/counties in Virginia and Maryland which show the highest level of interest in home improvement and home appliances) average local income and employment data was collected using the StatsAmerica database. An analysis of four websites belonging to top HVAC contractors in Maryland and Virginia was conducted using SimilarWeb, which provided demographic data about their website traffic (age and gender). Next, the Numerator database was used to acquire demographic data of consumers who buy filters for their HVAC systems. This data was included as a logical assumption was made that the same demographics of people purchasing these filters would logically be the same demographics of people who may have used an HVAC contractor in the past and/or may need one in the future (i.e. homeowners, people who have an HVAC system, the person in the home who assumes the primary role of carrying for the home's HVAC system). Numerator provides demographic data on retail brands, which is why this triangulation approach had to be used for this database. For this leg of the research, the brand 3M was used due to the fact that they are the only filter or HVAC supplies brand available in the Numerator database and their filters are among the top-selling on Amazon. Numerator has a separate demographic profile for 3M Nexcare (3M's line first aid products) which also proved to be helpful since we could rely on the 3M demographics without worrying about a skew from 3M first aid consumers. Lastly, to triangulate even more data for this report, we uncovered demographic data about homebuyers in the U.S., as it is logically assumed that homebuyers are those who would often need an HVAC contractor(i.e. to upgrade, replace, or repair the HVAC system in their new home). Additionally, this data also provided some demographics of home sellers, who may logically be doing the same in order to increase the resale value of their home. The data acquired through these collective research strategies are shown below.

Demographic Analysis

Age:

  • Analysis of four websites belonging to highly rated HVAC contractors located in Virginia and Maryland found that visitors to the websites fall into the following age groups: 18-24 (16%-22%); 25-34 (23%-26%); 35-44 (18%-23%), 45-54 (15%-17%), 55-64 (11%-20%), and 65+ (6%-10%). The full dataset collected during this analysis can be found in the attached spreadsheet.
  • Demographic analysis of 3M's consumers (a top-selling brand of air filters on Amazon) shows that sales are highest among the 25-34 age group.
  • According to Facebook Audience Insights, people in Maryland and Virginia who are interested in home appliances and home improvement are 6% aged 18-24; 21%-25% aged 25-34; 22%-24% aged 35-44; 19% aged 45-54; 15%-18% aged 55-64; and 11%-15% aged 65+.
  • According to the 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the average age of a homebuyer is 47 years old. The typical home seller is 57. The average age of for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) sellers is 60.

Gender:

  • Analysis of four websites belonging to highly rated HVAC contractors located in Virginia and Maryland found that visitors to the websites are mostly male (55.23%, 59.91%, 64.88%, and 58.08% respectively). The full data set collected during this analysis can be found in the attached spreadsheet.
  • According to Facebook Audience Insights, people in Maryland and Virginia who are interested in home appliances and home improvement are 62% women and 38% men.
  • According to the 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 17% of home buyers are single females, 9% are single males.

Geographic Location:

  • According to Facebook Audience Insights, the top cities/counties in Maryland and Virginia wherein people report the most interest in home appliances and home improvement are as follows: Richmond, VA (3%), Baltimore, MD (5%), Montgomery County, MD (2%), Fairfax County, VA (2%), Virginia Beach, VA (4%), Anne Arundel County (2%), Chesapeake, VA (2%), Prince George's County, MD (2%), Arlington, VA (2%), Norfolk, VA (2%), Newport News, VA (1%), and Loudoun County, VA (1%)

Income & Employment:

  • The cities identified by Facebook Audience Insights (above) were used to find local average income information via StatsAmerica: Richmond, VA ($57,209), Baltimore, MD ($66,498), Montgomery County, MD ($88,003), Fairfax County, VA ($92,336), Virginia Beach, VA ($52,469 ), Anne Arundel County ($79,776), Chesapeake, VA ($52,996), Arlington, VA ($88,180), Norfolk, VA ($53,572), Newport News, VA ($57,490), and Loudoun County, VA ($84,190). *Note: StatsAmerica would not show the data for Prince George's County due to technical difficulties so this data was omitted.
  • The cities identified by Facebook Audience Insights (above) were used to find local employment information via StatsAmerica: Richmond, VA (13.2% healthcare; 10.1% retail; 7% administrative), Baltimore, MD (16.5% healthcare; 9.8% professional/scientific/technical services; 8.8% retail trade), Montgomery County, MD (17.2% public administration; 17% professional/scientific/technical services; 10% healthcare and social services), Fairfax County, VA (28.2% professional/scientific/technical services; 10% healthcare and social services; 7.6% retail), Virginia Beach, VA (13.6% healthcare and social services; 11.4% retail; 9.5% manufacturing), Anne Arundel County (15.4% public administration; 13.4% healthcare and social services; 12.4% professional/scientific/technical services), Chesapeake, VA (13.9% health care and social services; 11.5% retail; 8.3% public administration), Prince George's County, MD (2%), Arlington, VA (18.5% public administration; 16.5% professional/scientific/technical services; 10.4% healthcare and social services), Norfolk, VA (13.8% healthcare and social services; 11% retail; 10.3% manufacturing), Newport News, VA (14.9% healthcare and social services; 14.1% manufacturing; 10% public administration), and Loudoun County, VA (18.7% professional/scientific/technical services; 12.3% public administration; 11.4% healthcare and social services). *Note: StatsAmerica would not show the data for Prince George's County due to technical difficulties so this data was omitted.
  • Demographic analysis of 3M's consumers (a top-selling brand of air filters on Amazon) shows that sales are highest among consumers with an income of over $60,000.
  • According to Facebook Audience Insights, people in Maryland and Virginia who are interested in home appliances and home improvement are employed in the following fields: military (6%), veterans (10%), government employees (3%), IT and technical services (6%), computation and mathematics (6%), legal services (1%), community and social services (8%), business and finance (10%), protective services (4%), management (16%), education and libraries (13%), architecture and engineering (6%), installation and repair services (9%), life/physical/social sciences (6%), administrative services (24%), cleaning and maintenance services (4%), healthcare and medical services (14%), construction and extraction (6%), farming/fishing/forestry (5%), arts/entertainment/sports/media (8%), sales (20%), production (15%), transportation and moving (9%), and food and restaurants (6%).
  • According to the 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the average income of a home buyer is $93,200. The typical income of a home seller is $102,900. The average household income for FSBO sellers is $94,000.

Education Level:

  • Demographic analysis of 3M's consumers (a top-selling brand of air filters on Amazon) shows that sales are highest among consumers who have at least a college degree.
  • According to Facebook Audience Insights, people in Maryland and Virginia who are interested in home appliances and home improvement are 32% a high school graduate, 60% a college graduate, and 9% a grad school graduate.

Additional Information:

  • Demographic analysis of 3M's consumers (a top-selling brand of air filters on Amazon) shows that sales are highest among consumers who don't have children.
  • According to Facebook Audience Insights, people in Maryland and Virginia who are interested in home appliances and home improvement are 22% single, 12% in a relationship, 4% engaged, and 62% married.
  • According to the 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 61% of home buyers are married. "Twelve percent of home buyers purchased a multigenerational home, to take care of aging parents, because of children over the age of 18 moving back home, and for cost-savings. [...] Ninety-one percent of recent home buyers identified as heterosexual, three percent as gay or lesbian, one percent as bisexual, and five percent preferred not to answer. [...] Twenty percent of recent home buyers were veterans and three percent were active-duty service members." Additionally, 65% of FSBO sellers are married.


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