It’s not pretty, but I have an announcement to make: Most of your energy-efficient equipment and maintenance offerings sound like sales crap and high-pressure mumbo-jumbo to a good many of your customers.

Still there? Good, then let me explain. Last week, a service technician came to my house to repair the a/c. After slamming his company’s installation crews and criticizing our upkeep attempts, he desperately worked to sell us a maintenance contract.

That maintenance contract offer led to an interesting dinner-table discussion as to the legitimacy of duct cleaning and sealing, component lubrication, system sizing, and other lesser-known maintenance and installation practices.

I proudly piped up and shared my knowledge and understanding of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s Quality Installations, California’s Home Energy Rating System program, the necessity of duct cleaning and sealing, etc. My mother, who had heard this service tech’s earlier sales pitches, said that without the extra information and explanation I had provided, it sounded like he was just trying to make a quick buck. I think the words hooey, hogwash, and garbage got tossed around, too.

It was interesting to hear the perspective of those who aren’t in the HVAC industry. And, as a contractor, you have to ask, “What is my customer’s perception of these maintenance and installation procedures that produce higher efficiency and better overall comfort?”

Are your salespeople and service techs coming across as fact-delivering consultants endeavoring to provide the best and most efficient options to the customer, or do they appear to be fast-talking shysters? I suggest you ask your customers. They’ll tell you.