What is the business of HVAC? The answer to that question has evolved over the years, leaving contractors with the challenge of adapting their businesses to the changing trends.

The initial demand of HVAC was improved comfort. Customers needed ways to be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. As time progressed, many other trends including safety, duct runs, etc., turned into new customer demands that became required of contractors.

Fast-forward a few more years and the discussion of energy efficiency entered the HVAC market. The continued demand for green buildings, energy-efficient equipment, load sharing, and net zero structures are redefining the way many contractors conduct their HVAC businesses. This brings the contractor back to the question, “What is the business of HVAC?”

Looking at some of the rising trends, I would say the business of HVAC seems to be more about energy efficiency than customer comfort these days. Regulations and government agendas help drive this trend, but it could be very important for contractors to not get so caught up in energy efficiency that they forget about customer comfort. You may think that is impossible for the HVAC contractor, but do you really know the comfort results of the energy-efficient equipment and utility programs you are signing your customers up for?

Perhaps instead of measuring just performance and sales feedback on each call, contractors should start getting comfort feedback as well. It could give them insight into what customers are experiencing, what they desire, and possibly expose problems that contractors would be able to provide solutions for. HVAC began with comfort. Don’t let the latest trend muscle out comfort for your customers.

Strike a balance between comfort and energy efficiency and you may be amazed how happy your customers will be.