ACHRNEWS

Conservation + Comfort: It's Time to Go to War

February 25, 2008

The landscape is teeming with new products, new technologies, and new government-mandated efficiency standards that not only have national repercussions but regional and local ramifications as well. The housing market is either flat or declining throughout most of the nation, which usually brings HVAC replacement pricing down as novice new construction contractors invade that turf.

The green blitz that has hit the business community proposes vast opportunities and benefits, yet the actions required to turn it into reality still have yet to be mobilized.

The complications of the marketplace never cease, but they always seem to change from one year to the next.

This first in a special series of supplements from The NEWS addresses those changes and begins to explore two constants that every market in the coming years will share in common - conservation and comfort. These are the weapons that every contractor has in his arsenal. Those who become the recognized expert in even just one of these will be able to differentiate their services and product offerings to a far greater extent than less-prepared contractors. Master two of them and you will be a formidable foe.

THE CUSTOMER IS RIGHT

What is an HVAC contractor to do in 2008 to maintain a steady business, if not steady growth?

Look to your customers for the answers. People who have seen cash sucked from their pockets as fuel prices seemingly spiral out of control ask how they can save on energy costs for their homes and businesses. In addition to being energy conscious, they are also environmentally sensitive. They want to know: “Will my new system be environmentally friendly?” and “Will my home be healthier?”

Consumers define their HVAC needs differently than in the past. It was once good enough to sit in an easy chair with the windows open and a central fan drawing air through the house. Soon, a window unit in the family room was a must. Next came central air conditioning.

Today, customers’ expectations of an HVAC system have been heightened. Not only do educated consumers want to be cool in the summer and warm in the winter, they want a variety of temperature settings in their homes. They want healthy levels of humidity in their homes. They want to rid their homes of allergens and other contaminants that make breathing more difficult. They want a system that does not cause harm to the environment.

Regardless of the number of subprime mortgages, the number of housing starts, or the number on the sign at the gas station, consumers know what they want when it comes to the health and safety of their families and the conservation of their hard-earned dollars. Start building a business strategy for incorporating energy conservation into your business and be a valued provider of true comfort for every aspect of your customers’ homes or businesses.

Publication date: 02/25/2008