As an HVAC pro, you've probably been in this scenario: A customer calls roughly a month after they've switched over their heating and cooling system for the season. Their power bill is out of control and they don't know why. You go out, inspect their forced air system and notice that their air ducts are full of gaps and holes. You give the customer your estimated cost to do the work. The customer laughs at first, thinking you're joking. Realizing you're serious, they mutter to themselves, "how hard could it be? I'll just do it myself."
What your customer doesn’t realize is that hiring an experienced HVAC pro will pay for itself in the long run in energy savings. We did some research on the top ways to cut down on heating and cooling expenses and found the data to show just how cost-effective your services can be. The next time you have a customer scoff at your estimate, give them the numbers to back why hiring a pro is worth the money.
Customer questioning your HVAC job estimate? Give them the facts
By the numbers
- Proper heating and cooling unit installation - 30% reduction
- Duct sealing - 20-30% efficiency
- Regular maintenance and cleaning - 15% savings
- Upgrading the thermostat - 10% savings
1. Proper heating and cooling unit installation
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the improper installation of a heating and cooling unit can reduce energy efficiency by up to 30%. If you have a customer tell you that he’s going to try to install a new HVAC unit himself,give him that number. Make him aware that while he might be avoiding a service fee now, it can end up costing him in the long run.
2. Duct sealing
It's no secret that holes, gaps and cracks in air ducts and registers of forced air systems allow conditioned air to escape into areas that don’t need to be cooled. The EPA says that on average, sealing ducts can optimize energy efficiency by 20-30%. It's also no secret that it requires an expert eye to spot flaws in complicated heating and cooling systems. Let your customers know that the money they spend when they hire you to seal their ducts will pay for itself in energy savings.
3. Regular maintenance and cleaning
Over time, dirt and grit accumulate in air filters, grilles and throughout heating and air conditioning units. While a customer might be capable of changing their air filter, they probably don't know how to clean the rest of system. Cleaning the air blower components once a year can save up to 15% on energy use according to the EPA. Tell your customers that for the same reason they go to the dentist twice a year, they need to get a professional cleaning on their central air system just as often.
4. Upgrading the thermostat
If your customer is using an old-school mercury thermostat, encourage them to step into the digital age with a new programmable one. Advanced thermostat technology makes it easy to prevent heating and cooling units from running when not needed, such as when people are at work. Setting the temperature back by just seven to 10 degrees for eight hours a day can reduce power use by 10% per the U.S. Department of Energy. Explain to them that changing the thermostat can actually be difficult and dangerous because of exposure to live wires.