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Addressing Market Barriers to Evaporative Cooling Technology Adoption with Informational Videos

UCD researchers conducted an experiment to assess the potential for using informational videos to stimulate interest in emerging HVAC technologies. A series of three videos were created, each featuring a single evaporative cooling technology. The videos provided information on how the technology works, evidence of technical performance, and cost and energy savings estimates, based on previous research. In addition, each video featured a customer testimonial. 

HVAC contractors were recruited to participate in the study. Participants were asked a series of initial survey questions, and then assigned to review information on one of the three technologies. Each group was further split, randomly assigned to either watch a video or peruse the website featuring the technology. After reviewing the information provided, participants answered another series of questions on their awareness, attitude, and interest in the relevant technology.

Comparisons were made across the video and website groups of participants’ level of understanding and attitudes about the emerging technologies, both before and after they were exposed to the information (through video or website). Analysis revealed that the videos did a better job of making viewers comfortable working with, buying, or recommending the technologies than the websites. The video and websites had similar impacts on participant knowledge. These findings suggest that while both media are effective at conveying information, videos may be slightly more compelling for promoting emerging technologies, especially when disseminated through existing professional networks. An overview of the project can be found here:

Project Partners: UCD Western Cooling Efficiency Center

Sponsor: Southern California Edison