Not everyone subscribes to the whole New Year’s resolution concept. And with only 9% of people seeing their resolutions through, why would they.

Even though it seems like more and more people aren’t bothering with New Year’s resolutions anymore, there’s no denying that the new year does traditionally mark the beginning of something new. It’s a starting point — a great opportunity to take stock, evaluate, and begin again.

Whether it be adding a new division, going back to the basics, changing leadership styles, or placing a higher importance on HVAC employees, the HVAC industry can still use the concept of a New Year’s resolution to start 2023 off on better footing.


Business Resolutions in HVAC

When an HVAC company has been a successful business for many years, sometimes the best goal to have early in the new year is to go back to its roots.

That is what Roscoe Brown, located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is doing. The business opened its doors in 1940 and since then, much has changed.

“Our big focus [in 2023] is going to be getting back to the basics and just getting our processes in order to keep that 83-year tradition going of servicing our customers here in middle Tennessee,” said Katrina Rucker, vice president of human resources at Roscoe Brown. “And providing that great customer service. We know that customers are expecting the best and we want to be ready to service those needs in 2023.”

Part of the reason for making that the company’s focus this year is to continue its culture and reputation. Another part is the new energy efficiency standards.

“The slowdown of new construction is going to be a big challenge for us,” Rucker continued. “We know that with the interest rates in the housing market kind of slowing down, new construction is going to be put back in our area. So we’ve already been trying to plan how to deal with those and fill that void with other parts of our business..

No one really knows all of what 2023 has in store, so Roscoe Brown is trying to not miss a beat.

“We’ve just got to be prepared. So again, back to the basics and back to just following processes, working on our culture, and hiring the people to move Roscoe Brown forward.”

This year, Southern Trust Home Services, located in Roanoke, Virginia, resolves to not participate in the recession everybody keeps talking about, owner and founder Ted Puzio said.

“Even through COVID, we had amazing growth each year. And we’re projecting good growth and budgeted growth,” Puzio said.

With that growth will come a need for more technicians, which Puzio said the outfit plans to add more of this year through Southern Trust’s dedicated on-staff recruiter. They also hope to grow by putting more trucks on and placing more team members on the marketing and advertising facets. Puzio said the company has adding other divisions and services on its radar, but not in 2023 or 2024.

“There’s so much more potential within our existing divisions and we want to max them out. Especially with the recession as people are crumbling and folding and running scared. It’s going to give us a much more dominant placement in our valley,” Puzio said.

Growth is also a focus this year for Atomatic Mechanical Services, located in Arlington Heights, Illinois. There are talks of the company starting to do some service plumbing, said Steve Stachorek, Atomatic president and CEO. Which, of course, means hiring more people.

The company will also be undergoing an office expansion.

“We’ll be building into our warehouse a little bit more and expanding into the back warehouse area for more storage,” Stachorek said

Atomatic will also be keeping a keen eye out for the potential changes to come with the new energy efficiency standards. While Stachorek doesn’t know if anything in Illinois will be drastically different, he knows the push for electrification in other parts of the nation may inevitably affect the way Atomatic operates.

“So we’re watching that,” Stachorek said.


Leader Resolutions

Sometimes it isn’t enough to make resolutions for the business itself or pay attention to new regulations. Sometimes leaders in the business have to resolve to lead differently — or they have to resolve to stay the type of leader they are because whatever they’re doing is working.

Rucker is part of the majority that doesn’t typically do New Year’s resolutions because she’s never really seen much success with them. But she does have a focus for her and the HR department at Roscoe Brown this year: priority and intentionality.

“In the role of HR, you have multiple things firing at you at the same time. And [with] a lot of those, I have found that my time is not spent wisely. So what I’m trying to really focus on this year, as things come across my desk and through my department, is how the task at hand affects the bottom line, so I can be more intentional about what I do on a day-to-day basis,” Rucker said.

For Puzio, it’s business as usual.

“I’m a very aggressive business owner. So I don’t continue with what’s going on or what’s being told to everybody — I continue my path forward with growth and domination of our valley,” Puzio said.

Stachorek admittedly could be a better listener, he said.

“Sometimes I’ve been known to space out when people are talking to me if I’m not interested in what they are saying. So I am going to focus on being a better listener this year.”


Where Should the HVAC Industry Focus

It’s pretty safe to say that if the past few years have taught the HVAC industry anything, it’s the importance of flexibility and adaptation. And this year, its importance isn’t expected to dwindle one bit.

“With the IRA, changing energy efficiency standards and SEER RATINGS, the economy, interest rates, we’re going to have to be very flexible and change without a lot of notice,” Rucker said.

As far as prices goes, there’s no knowing what to expect. But there’s a common feeling in the industry that they will continue to rise.

“So we’re going to have to focus on how do we prepare instead of replace and still give the customer the best service and product we can. We’re going to have to be flexible and adaptable. Probably more than ever,” Rucker said.

Puzio sees the same thing.

“Customers are really concerned with what is being said by the powers that be, as far as the recession and that money is going to be tight. So [HVACR companies] have to take care of customers and do whatever they can to relax them and make them feel at ease about the economy and with what services you’re providing,” Puzio said.

Being flexible and prepared enough to take care of the customers, while still offering services to be confident in, can’t happen without HVACR employees and team members.

“We should all focus on being good to our employees and teammates this year. It’s very important,” Stachorek said.