Technicians Should Address Static Pressure Readings like a Doctor
Much like blood pressure tests, static pressure tests offer definitive diagnoses
If you measured static pressure on every system you encountered, you would find more airflow problems than you could possibly correct. With all this opportunity, shouldn’t more HVAC professionals take advantage of this valuable reading?
To make static pressure readings useful, you’ll need a system to help you record and interpret the data and then diagnose the system to prescribe the necessary improvements. Believe it or not, your family doctor provides the perfect example of how to put a system like this in place for your company.
A simple method National Comfort Institute Inc. (NCI) teaches to explain static pressure is a blood pressure analogy. Everyone who visits the doctor gets their blood pressures taken. Everyone. It doesn’t matter if you have a stuffy nose or a broken leg, your blood pressure is taken; it isn’t an option.
The reason? Blood pressure readings provide your doctor with valuable information. These readings create a baseline and establish clues to underlying, invisible issues that could be otherwise missed. The blood-pressure reading isn’t just a one-time observation though; it’s used to establish trends in your health, as well.
To capitalize on this vital statistic, doctors need a consistent means of obtaining the readings, recording them, offering a diagnosis, and communicating the results to patients. Let’s look at how you can record, diagnose, communicate, and follow-up on static pressure readings to better help customers understand hidden issues they have with their systems.
RECORDING STATIC PRESSURE READINGS
One missing link in properly documenting static pressure readings is to record them. I’ve seen many technicians measure and diagnose static pressure but fail to proceed any further because they aren’t provided any real means to record the readings or pass them on.
Most technicians write their readings in a pocket notepad and then quickly forget about them, or they write the readings on the equipment in a location only they know about. Imagine if your blood pressure readings at the doctor’s office were handled this way. Would you be happy with your doctor’s office if your blood pressure readings were written on your arm with a pen? What if they weren’t recorded in your chart and stored with your medical history?
Static pressure, like blood pressure readings, should be recorded in a document or report form that always ends up in a customer’s file for future reference.
Not only for future reference, but also for follow-up if the readings are excessively high. Wouldn’t you want to know if you had high blood pressure and an impending heart attack? By properly documenting these readings, you’ll be one step closer to informing your customers of problems they are unaware of.
INTERPRET AND DIAGNOSE THE READINGS
Once static pressure readings are taken and recorded, they need to be interpreted and diagnosed. Avoid the urge to immediately file these readings away. If you do just file them away, you will lose a great opportunity to better serve your customers.
Depending on roles in your company, the job of interpreting and diagnosing the readings may be the responsibility of a service technician, senior technician, comfort advisor, or salesperson. Regardless of who fills this role, someone must be in place so you can follow-up with customers when excessive readings are discovered. Customers need to know what has been found and what further corrective actions are necessary to deal with the issues.
If your doctor tells you that you have high blood pressure, and you could potentially have a heart attack soon, wouldn’t you want to know how to prevent it? Your customers have the same concerns regarding their HVAC systems. If you can predict premature failure of their systems due to high static pressure, shouldn’t they know about it and be offered solutions to correct the problems?
This is when someone in your company circles back with customers to help them understand the condition of their systems and the actions that need to be taken.
If it’s a problem, that’s easily uncovered. For example, if the filter is restricted, a quick repair can be made. If deeper issues are causing high static pressure, it might be time to perform an air diagnostic on the system. No doctor would ever recommend open-heart surgery based on a blood pressure reading alone. They’re sure to have all the test data they need to properly diagnose and solve the issue.
COMMUNICATING THE READINGS
The whole concept of static pressure is something much of our industry doesn’t understand. Keep this in mind as you discuss it with your customers. Be sure to communicate the principles in a simple yet easy-to-understand manner. Using comparisons to blood pressure often work best to explain high static pressure readings.
For example, you might say: “Remember when we measured the pressure in your ducts? Your system is designed to handle a maximum pressure of 0.50 but our measurement shows yours at 0.82. This would be similar to a blood pressure reading of 200 over 130 in a human body. Your system can’t deliver the air your home needs until this is corrected.”
When the results of static pressure are successfully communicated to customers, it can be one of the greatest lead-generation tools you’ll ever use. By helping to discover problems with their systems that have been hidden, you can provide solutions to cure defects that hinder the performance of their systems.
These test results are as equally valuable to your customers as they are to your company. Everyone wins.
FOLLOW-UP TEST RESULTS
Often, there are test results a doctor needs to discuss with a patient at a later date. The results of a blood test are an example of this. You can use this method to follow up with customers when technicians don’t feel comfortable discussing static pressure readings. Have your technicians turn the readings over to you so you can compile them into a document that simplifies the results.
A follow-up letter also works well when you can’t reach a customer by phone or during slower periods. This helps create work during the slow seasons when many installers and technicians are reserved for sweeping the shop or sent home due to a lack of work.
Start using static pressure like a doctor would. You will rise above the low-price wars in our industry by discovering work that’s invisible to your competition.
Publication date: 1/9/2017