Contractor finds homeowners will pay for comfort

May 9, 2000
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
Contractor Dennis Borchardt has been making additional profits selling automatic humidifiers.
SUSSEX, WI — Many hvac contractors often assume that price will be the biggest objection to a sale. But in today’s strong economy, you may be missing a profit opportunity if you’re not building extras into your quotes, believes Dennis Borchardt.

“The best argument for selling an upgraded system is personal comfort,” says Borchardt, of Interstate Heating here in Sussex. “People are very receptive to the idea of being more comfortable.”

In his case, Borchardt has been making additional profits selling automatic humidifiers. He installs approximately 200 each year in both new and existing homes.

“Among the homeowners and builders I deal with, price is almost never an issue,” he says. “Homeowners today are looking for quality and they’re willing to pay for it.

“I spend some time in the sales process explaining that proper humidification results in greater physical comfort, lower heating costs, and a better environment for wooden furnishings and woodwork. A lot of people have such nice home furnishings these days, they want do whatever they can to take care of them. A dry house will suck the moisture right out of woodwork and cause cracking.”

Comfort dimension

Borchardt firmly believes that many homeowners are fully aware that they need a humidifier to reduce problems like itchy skin, static electricity, or a dry nose or mouth.

“It improves the environment in which they live,” he says, adding, “A whole-house humidifier isn’t viewed as a luxury, it’s more of a necessity, just like a thermostat is.”

On the other side of the hvac coin, however, are homeowners who are not aware of the indoor air comfort options that exist. In these situations, says Borchardt, a contractor should offer a homeowner an option — like a whole-house humidifier — and have its benefits explained. Many, he says, are willing to purchase it.

In his case, he says the automatic nature of the Aprilaire® units (manufactured by Research Products Corp.) makes it easier to sell than a manual humidifier.

“The computer-equipped humidifier is easy for people to understand. There’s no confusing humidistat on the wall for them to adjust. “Instead, there’s an outdoor temperature probe that allows

the humidifier to continually adjust the indoor humidity around the clock. You just set it once and forget about it. It does all the work for you.”

Builders like it, too, he says.

“They usually want it installed up front. They don’t want a callback when the wood starts shrinking for lack of humidity.” Borchardt says he doesn’t get a lot of callbacks either.

“You don’t have customers calling to ask how to set the humidistat. And there are no calls from customers who have condensation on their windows, because the [humidifier] automatically compensates and adjusts for the drop in outdoor temperature, and that keeps their windows dry.”

Quick installation

Borchardt says the computer-equipped humidifier is easy to install, and his employees quickly picked up on the installation process.

“Installing the outdoor temperature probe adds a little time, but it’s generally pretty easy. You just find a place to drill a tiny hole leading to the outside, and secure the small temperature probe onto the side of the house.”

In the mid-1980s, many homeowners believed that whole-house humidifiers were not needed with high-efficiency furnaces. But in recent years, homeowners are learning more about the benefits of proper humidification.

“It’s those benefits, the added comfort and energy savings, that help sell whole-house humidifiers,” says Borchardt. “After that, price is hardly a factor.”

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

2014 MCAA Annual Convention

Scenes from the 2014 MCAA Annual Convention in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Podcasts

NEWSmakers: Julian Scadden

Training is an ongoing process. Julian will discuss how you can generate maximum return on time and energy invested training by following a three part process. Listen to this podcast to get expert tips on training, tracking and follow up. 

More Podcasts

ACHRNEWS

NEWS 04-21-14 cover

2014 April 21

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

SERVICE CALLS POLL

Which statement on service calls best applies to your business?
View Results Poll Archive

HVACR INDUSTRY STORE

plumbing-hvac.gif
2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research

 

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

DON'T MISS A THING

Magazine image
 
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con