SCARBOROUGH, Ontario - “If it’s not broken, why fix it?” That’s a question ReadAir Mechanical Services hears a lot when first approaching their customers about Lennox’ Continuous Comfort Planned Replacement program. But when those same customers learn that replacing old HVAC equipment before it breaks can help them control costs and maintain both productivity and profitability, the question may quickly become, “Where do I sign?”

ReadAir provides replacement and design/build HVAC service to commercial and industrial customers throughout the greater Toronto area. Most of those customers have been with the company for much of ReadAir’s 28-year history. According to president Dino Russo, that longevity gives ReadAir a unique advantage.

“Since we installed the original equipment for so many of our customers,” Russo said, “we’re in a good position to know when their equipment is approaching its realistic end of life. And we know when it’s time to discuss planned replacement with them.

“When a customer’s equipment has been having service trouble and has become costly to maintain, we know a catastrophic failure will happen sooner or later,” Russo said. “So we explain that replacing the equipment before an emergency situation occurs is the smart thing to do.” When the customer questions that plan, asking why they would replace something before it breaks, Russo tells them it’s like driving an old, worn-out car.

“You’re spending money on repairs all the time, throwing good money after bad. Finally you realize if you don’t replace the car, you're going to end up stranded on the side of the highway.” Russo says planned replacement is particularly beneficial when a customer has aging equipment that requires a longer lead-time for ordering.

“For example, if a unit that’s not a standard configuration fails unexpectedly, we end up rushing to find any replacement that will reasonably fit,” he said. “Maybe we’ll have to settle for a lesser piece of equipment, or we might end up paying for options we don’t really need.”

Planned replacement also helps prevent costly disruptions in day-to-day business operations. “Our customers today are paying a lot of attention to the workplace environment,” Russo said. “They know if their heating or cooling equipment is out of service for any length of time, employee comfort suffers - and so does productivity. They might even end up having to send workers home. Our customers understand the importance of avoiding situations like that.”

ReadAir Mechanical offers its own lease-to-own financing program, which makes planned replacement even more appealing for many of the company’s customers. “Paying a set dollar amount over time lets the customer avoid a large out-of-pocket expenditure for new equipment,” Russo said. “They can plan their budgets without worrying about unexpected costs, especially when we also include a fixed maintenance fee into the term of the lease. They don’t want any surprises.”

Lennox’ planned replacement program also includes direct benefits for contractors that Russo calls “nice little perks.” He appreciates the Continuous Rewards credits ReadAir receives for each unit purchased through the Continuous Comfort program. Russo said he’s particularly impressed with the online system for creating proposals. “They’re very professional looking,” Russo said. “I use the program for all my proposals, planned replacement or otherwise.”

To learn more about the Continuous Comfort Planned Replacement program, visit

Publication date:01/31/2011