HVAC contractors know that the air quality in most homes is actually worse than the air quality outside. In fact, many times it is significantly worse. However, the homeowners they are speaking with are less likely to know this fact. Instead, a homeowner might realize that their kid’s asthma is getting progressively worse or they are constantly battling sinus congestion.
These educational opportunities provide HVAC professionals with a great opportunity to increase their average ticket prices while also improving the health of their customers. When discussing IAQ with your customers, these three pointers will be helpful in guiding your conversations as you explain what it means to achieve ‘clean air’ through the right systems and solutions.
Start with the basics. When it comes to air and comfort, most homeowners automatically think this is synonymous with temperature. But we as HVAC professionals know that air comfort is reliant on all three factors of temperature, humidity, and IAQ. Beginning the conversation with that explanation will educate your customer on how all three elements of air comfort ladder back to the systems and services being recommended. For instance, when addressing temperature, explain how a properly sized HVAC system with zoning control can help keep the home balanced. As you discuss humidity, share the report from the heat load calculation, so they can understand why additional humidification elements are encouraged (especially as it pertains to the region and other geographical climate considerations). And knowing IAQ is even more of a priority to homeowners, break down the difference between standard and exceptional filter performance, explaining the more simple elements like reasonable airflow and pressure drop. The goal is to explain how the systems you’ll be upgrading or replacing can enhance the air comfort experience with even greater temperature consistency throughout your home.
Due Diligence Matters
As HVAC specialists, we are the gatekeepers to protecting IAQ, and it is important for to articulate how what you provide will not only bring in fresh air, but also protect the indoor environment from bad air. There are things you can do to help your customer establish a plan to rectify and/or improve their home’s IAQ. In general, it's not only important to be mindful of the recommendations you’re making, but also the implications that those modifications will have. For instance, if you’re going to update a system to enhance airflow, the inexpensive option would be to pull outside air directly into the return duct. But does the heating or AC system have enough capacity to manage this? That is why you evaluate the risks of losing control over the temperature and/or humidity as well as a potential increase in energy bills and have the homeowner make the final decision as to whether they want to pursue other solutions. By taking this extra step of due diligence, the homeowner will feel more a part of the journey to achieving clean air.
Now, more than ever, you have a lot to offer. As homeowners are becoming increasingly concerned about protecting their home’s air quality, they ultimately will turn to you for some kind of proactive help, emergency support, or recovery solution to restore and maintain comfort. The relationship shouldn’t stop at the adhoc service call. The best relationship is to have an annual maintenance program where you are able to make at least two site visits a year for preventative HVAC care. In doing so, you will not only establish a trusted rapport with your customers as you help protect their investments, but you also will have an open line of communication that makes them more receptive to hearing about special promotions and offerings. For example, it could open the door to share manufacturer deals being offered in the “off-season”, announcements your company may have, etc. This will enable you to establish customer loyalty through the existing HVAC system, and position you as the preferred choice when it is time to invest in a new one.