Filter-Drier Users Need Good Products, Fast!

Among hvacr contractors and other servicers who buy and install refrigerant filter-driers, the most important factor is product availability, which just edges out product reliability and quality. These are part of the results of a survey conducted by The News last November, titled “Refrigerant Driers Market Profile Study.”

When the contractor-subscribers were asked to rate these qualities on a scale of one to five (with five being “very important” and one “not at all important”), their rankings shifted. According to the survey, 81% of the respondents called product reliability “very important,” 79% called quality “very important,” and 71% said availability is “very important.”

When rankings are that close, you can almost class them together. Air conditioning and refrigeration system servicers want reliable, high-quality filter-driers, and they want them now.

ON-TIME DELIVERY

The next most important factor (54%) is on-time delivery. The emphasis on timing and availability may have to do with the types of jobs the filters are used for — burnouts and replacements on systems that typically need to be back up and running in short order. It also explains the need for quality and reliability; having to go back out to replace a new filter-drier would cut into the job’s profits considerably.

“Customer service” was the next “very important” quality that respondents to the survey cited. We’re assuming this would be expeditious, readily available customer service, for the reasons cited earlier.

“Competitive price” responses ranged from 28% at “somewhat important,” to 32% at “very important.” This would seem to indicate a few things: first, that there’s probably not much price difference among the major brands, and second, that this is the contractor’s decision more than the customer’s.

VERBATIM COMMENTS

In comments respondents made on their preferred manufacturer’s line of refrigerant drier, most focused on “availability” and the fact that the “supplier stocks them.”

Additional comments focused on ease of use and applicability, especially where fittings are concerned: “Copper stubs [are] easier to solder,” commented one. “Copper fittings on sweat driers” were also a key consideration for another. Still another stated, “Easier to solder.” Finally, “Can use liquid driers in the discharge line — impressive construction.”

Others commented directly on quality: “Their track record has been good and [they’re] easy to get at”; “Haven’t had a problem with the quality, and my distributor stocks all sizes”; and “It is readily available, reliable, and process stubs are perfectly sealed.”

Publication date: 03/04/2002

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