The research study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the water heater market in North America for 2016-2020. North America is the key regional market, which comprises the US, Canada, and Mexico. The market size is determined on the basis of retail sales of water heaters within these regions. The report also presents the vendor landscape and a corresponding detailed analysis of the three key vendors. The report also outlines the key trends emerging in the market.
With over 95% penetration, water heaters have become commoditized in North America. Highest purchases include replacement emergency purchases followed by upgrade purchases for increased energy savings.
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Technavio consumer and retail analysts highlight the following three factors that are contributing to the growth of the water heater market in North America:
- Changing bathroom designs driving upgrade purchases
- Emergency replacement and upgrade replacement purchases
- Demand for instantaneous water heaters with low heating time and ease of use
Changing bathroom designs driving upgrade purchases
In addition to the growing residential construction segment in North American countries like the US, the increasing consumer preference for remodeling and upgrading existing houses as per the latest fashion trends is an important driver for the water heater market in the region. As homeowners have a lot of equity in their homes, renovation is considered as a viable option by many.
Most consumers today focus on maximizing their budgets for their entire property bathroom being one of the most important areas for renovation. With evolving tastes and living standards, most consumers prefer to stay abreast of the current fashion trends for their homes, which extends even to their bathroom areas. “Remodeling of bathrooms is driving upgrade purchases of water heaters. There exists high tendency in users to choose water heaters that have stylish looks to match with the aesthetics of their bathrooms or, to provide an overall aesthetic appeal to the bathroom area,” says Poonam Saini, a lead analyst at Technavio for retail goods and services research. Earlier, water heaters generally used come in large sizes, which were heavy and complex. Also, these appliances occupied more space in bathrooms, in the utility, or basement areas. However, with increasing focus on aesthetics, users now prefer water heaters that do not occupy much space and look stylish. Owing to such changing tastes, the demand for tank-less water heaters is increasing since these are comfortable to use, energy-efficient, smaller, and stylish.
Emergency replacement and upgrade replacement purchases
The water heater market in the US, especially for storage type water heaters, is highly saturated. However, the market is largely driven by emergency and upgrade replacement purchases as these products are considered as a necessity in almost all US households. In line with this, consumers are more willing to fix a broken water heater or switch to energy-efficient water heaters. Purchase decision is also influenced by the type of fuel source used for water heating in households.
According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), water heating accounts for 18% of the annual household energy consumption, which is the second-largest after space heating. Even though a water heater is a vital appliance in most North American households, its high electricity consumption is a cause of concern for many. Therefore, consumers are now inclined towards buying energy-efficient water heaters even as emergency purchases. “Consumers who had earlier opted for storage water heaters are switching to tank-less water heaters to save on their electricity consumption and utility bills,” says Poonam.
To cater to this demand for energy-efficient appliances, players are introducing water heaters that have energy-saving features. For instance, A. O. Smith redesigned its ProMax Direct Vent Gas Water Heater in 2014 as an extension of its energy-efficient line of residential gas water heaters, which offers energy factors (EF) of up to 0.6. With consumers opting for energy-efficient devices to reduce their power consumption and costs, the demand for hybrid water heaters in North America is growing, which is prompting vendors to develop more of such hybrid models. A. O. Smith launched its Voltex Hybrid Electric Water Heater in 2013, which has an EF of 2.75. With this model, consumers can save an average of USD 350 per year when compared to a conventional electric water heater.
Demand for instantaneous water heaters with low heating time and ease of use
With hectic work schedules, consumers today prefer appliances that can provide services instantly, which extends to water heaters as well. Therefore, the demand for tank-less or instantaneous water heaters is increasing, owing to their ease-of-use, reduced heating time, and reduced wait time for hot water (since they are smaller in size and hence can be installed near the point of use) compared to storage type water heaters. With tank-less water heaters, users can get two to three gallons of hot water within a few minutes. Also, tank-less water heaters are comparatively smaller in size and can be conveniently installed in different places, even outside on a wall, which helps consumers to place them as per their convenience and requirement. These differentiating factors are prompting users to purchase tank-less water heaters, which is an important driver for the growth of the market.
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