Air con and cooling: hot careers in a cool sector
There’s no doubt that helping a warming world keep cool will be a pressing issue for many decades to come.
Once seen as a luxury product, air conditioning is now increasingly viewed as a way to make everyday life bearable - and in some parts of the world, safe to live in. According to International Energy Agency predictions, by 2050 the number of air conditioning units globally will jump from around 1.6 billion to 5.6 billion.
Europe’s the new cooling hotspot
Increased temperatures in homes, offices and industrial premises in Europe are powering a strong market for air conditioning units in the UK, France and Germany in particular. The recent heatwave in France in July 2019 alone led to a 192% increase in sales compared to the same period in 2017.
Along with sweltering heat due to the climate crisis, modern building practices are also contributing to this rise in demand. More commercial buildings are now designed with large panes of glass which let in plenty of light but as they make rooms heat up rapidly also require a lot of energy to cool down.
Although the Carbon Trust estimates that 10% of the UK’s commercial floorspace currently has air conditioning, it predicts this figure to rise to 40% by 2020.
Meanwhile, effective refrigeration and cooling play a vital role in sustaining industries and economic growth globally. From preserving food and medicine to IT telecoms and data servers, to manufacturing, wholesaling and contracting, a vast amount of sectors rely on temperature control.
At a time when energy conservation and climate crisis are high on the agenda, air conditioning and cooling are posing as many problems as they bring solutions.
Air conditioning’s use of electricity increases emissions of greenhouse gases and the F-gases found in refrigeration and air conditioning trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to global warming.
The challenge for the cooling sector is to make air conditioning more energy-efficient and to provide developing countries with sustainable cooling for all – while limiting ongoing damage to the planet.
Careers in the air conditioning industry
The fact that the global air conditioning and cooling market looks to grow significantly in the next few years - particularly in European markets - is positive news if you’re set on a professional and technical career in these areas.
At RHL, we recruit talented technical professionals for all parts of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) sector. In the areas of cooling, refrigeration and air conditioning our clients are looking for star players to work in:
- commercial refrigeration
- domestic refrigeration
- transport refrigeration
- building air conditioning and heat pumps
- industrial refrigeration and climate control
As well as hands-on technicians, maintenance specialists and installation engineers, the industry is crying out for people with the research and development skills to be able to improve how existing systems are performing.
The refrigeration and air conditioning industry is changing at a rapid rate as it rises to new global challenges. There’s no doubt that there are more job opportunities in energy efficiency engineering and technologies in the UK as the sector grapples with one of the crucial challenges in our modern age.