Entertainment and automation technologies still took the spotlight, this year, at the International Builders’ Show (IBS). But now a new TecHome trend is starting to catch builders’ attention both on the show floor and in the industry in general.
“We know that indoor air quality is important, and we are providing fresh air systems in all of our homes, jump ducts between the rooms, and we feel really good about what we designed,” says president at Trendmaker Homes Will Holder.
Indoor air quality (IAQ), sensors, smart lighting and water and energy efficient tech all fall under the branch of Healthy Home tech.“The whole reason to be here at the show is to be on top, to be first,” says JuliAnn Armendariz, options manager at MBK Homes.
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And builders and manufacturers want to be the first to deliver the Healthy Home. In fact, many manufacturers are starting to transform their brands to capitalize on the trend. “The consumers themselves are becoming very, very health conscious,” says one manufacturer with a booth at IBS.
Another manufacturer, Lennox, showcased its new smart thermostat at IBS with an emphasis on the IAQ technology that goes along with it. Trane and Aprilaire are also focused on indoor air quality.
“Today’s tight homes basically recirculate the air all the time, so you need to be able to condition as well as treat that air for indoor pollutants,” says Jay Ayers, IAQ products manager at Trane.
“Just at this builders’ show alone, we’ve seen a lot of builders—guys who will be building tomorrow’s houses—saying ‘how do I make sure I get the air cleaner in the house,’” says Chris Chase, senior product marketing manager at Aprilaire.
And then there are the products you’ve used for years and didn’t even realize they promote a healthier home such as the central vacuum. “That will capture all of that pollen and all of that dust and take it out of your home and put it into this receptacle,” says Edwin Cadena, director of U.S. sales at Electrolux.
Manufacturers and builders alike are sure buzzing about the Healthy Home as the next big thing. The main reason is that it’s easy to market the lifestyle benefits to homebuyers.
“As an industry, we are all moving towards compulsory requirements as it relates to solar. And we’re going to follow that up with the EV charging stations, water technology and Healthy Home environment technology, because it’s the right thing to do,” says Rick Fletcher, VP of sales and marketing at MBK Homes.
It’s the right thing to do, and it may pay off. After all, aren’t most of us willing to spend a little more to breathe a little easier, be a bit healthier and possibly live longer?
“For the quality of life as well as the revenue that it may or may not produce,” says Fletcher.