Whether you call it home automation, connected home or smart home technology, the concept of the smart home is growing from a novel trend to a pervasive part of everyday life for consumers. For HVAC professionals, smart home technology offers a unique solution to the seasonal highs and lows of the job. By offering smart home setup services, you can benefit from steady business throughout the year. Learn more about smart home technology and see how you can grow your heating and cooling business through smart home installation services.
Smart home technology then and now
The concept of the smart home has evolved since it was first introduced on the consumer market. The difference between smart home technology then and now can be described as “wired to Wi-Fi.” Initial smart home systems had to be physically wired together with cords and cables. Today, installing smart home systems is much simpler because of wireless network technology like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee or Z-Wave. Examples of smart home products include:
These products are typically controlled through an app on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. Some smart home systems use cloud-based integrations to create a seamless smart home experience. The Amazon Alexa, Google Home and the Apple HomeKit are popular smart home control devices that leverage cloud technology. Users simply log in to their cloud account, such as their Google login, and from there they can control all of their smart home products from one convenient device.
Many smart home products connect to the various components of heating and cooling systems that HVAC professionals routinely maintain. This makes it a logical next step to offer smart home installation as a complement to the HVAC work that you’re already performing.
Top 3 ways smart home technology can grow your HVAC business
Smart home installation is a year-round service.
As mentioned above, it’s common for heating and cooling professionals to experience seasonal spikes in business when the weather changes. Conversely, it’s equally as common for business to taper off during the time between busy seasons. Because smart home technology is not dependent on the climate, you can promote your ability to install smart home systems as a way to build steady business throughout the year.
Pro tip: An excellent time to advertise smart home installation is when you’re fulfilling your annual service agreements. Because you’re already in your customer’s home and they’re already doing business with you, this is a prime opportunity for you to upsell them on a smart home system.
There is a growing demand for smart home systems.
According to a recent interview conducted by Coldwell Banker, 44 percent of Americans associate a “move-in ready” home as one with a smart home system. The same study found that 57 percent of consumers think that a “renovated” home is one with a smart home system. Additionally, 36 percent of people interviewed said that smart home systems are a major selling feature. This data points to the growing consumer expectation of smart home systems being a standard feature.
Pro tip: It’s not only tech-savvy millennials who are interested in smart homes. Coldwell Banker reports that 50 percent of baby boomers, 52 percent of Gen Xers, and 61 percent of millennials want smart home systems. Talk to all of your customers about smart home technology, regardless of their age. Chances are, they’re interested.
Professional installation is appealing to consumers.
While some smart home products are advertised as “easy to install,” when it comes to installing certain smart fixtures to existing equipment in a home, consumers could be intimidated. For example: Setting up an app-controlled small kitchen appliance is likely less intimidating for a homeowner than attempting to retrofit a new smart thermostat to their existing HVAC system. In fact, Coldwell Banker reports that 32 percent of consumers are too scared to install smart home products themselves.
Pro tip: When you’re talking to your customers about smart home installation services, inform them that the improper installation of heating and cooling equipment can reduce energy efficiency by 30 percent. This loss in energy efficiency would outweigh the energy-saving benefits of a smart thermostat as part of their smart home upgrade. Your professional expertise will give them the peace of mind that their new smart home system will work as efficiently as possible.
As a supporter of the professional trade industry, consider Ferguson an extension of your heating and cooling business. Contact your local Ferguson for access to the latest smart home technology. Our knowledgeable associates will help you find the right smart home products for your customers.