Watsco is leading the HVAC industry with innovative digital solutions.
For centuries, the success of the HVAC industry has been driven by technological breakthroughs—and as the market enters the digital age, that need for innovation only continues. Watsco, the world’s largest distributor of HVAC products, is helping to lead the industry’s tech transformation. Over the past decade, the Miami-based company has contributed more than $200 million to implementing scalable technologies across its operations—and it’s paying off.
“Our investments to build and launch the industry’s leading technologies are unheard-of in our industry,” says A.J. Nahmad, Watsco’s president. “These solutions are transforming our business, our customers’ daily lives, and ultimately, how homeowners and businesses buy our products.”
Through this transformation, the company has created an intuitive and contemporary digital experience, including robust B2B e-commerce, mobile apps, and the industry’s largest source of digitized product information on more than 1 million SKUs. In 2022, Watsco’s e-commerce sales increased 17%, exceeding $2.5 billion.
Watsco is a family-controlled business, led by chairman and CEO Albert Nahmad for more than 50 years. During that time, the company has evolved from a $25 million manufacturer of HVAC products into a large-scale distributor by purchasing a Florida-based supplier in 1989. Since then, Watsco has completed 67 acquisitions with locations in 45 states, Canada, and Latin America.
Now, Watsco is navigating the future under two generations of Nahmad leadership, and the company is putting a greater focus on sustainability. Today, one in every five HVAC systems in the U.S. is sold through Watsco’s network. With this scale, the company has the opportunity to drive the industry toward a greener future by offering high-efficiency HVAC and heat pumps. The Department of Energy estimates that HVAC systems account for one-half of U.S. household energy consumption. Watsco’s 2022 performance report claims that the company has averted 15.8 million metric tons of CO2 emissions over the past three years through the sale of these systems (an annual equivalent of removing 3.4 million gas-powered vehicles from the road).
Despite the growth and established leadership position, Watsco remains a work in process. “We are restless entrepreneurs at heart and believe we are still in the early stages of what’s possible in terms of growth, innovation, and investment,” says Nahmad. “Our proven culture and the necessity of HVAC products and scale, along with the many catalysts to address climate change, should provide immense opportunities over the long-term.”