HVAC Technician Alert- 7 Mistakes to avoid
HVAC technicians, especially a newbie in the industry, make mistakes. These mistakes not just affect the efficiency and performance of the HVAC system but also create problems in installation and maintenance. These mistakes are severe enough to result high suffering of customers and compel them to switch to some other seller or provider.
In this article, I will be highlighting some of the biggest and most common mistakes HVAC technicians or sales people make, and avoidance of which is highly critical to their goal of successful HVAC selling.
Lack of understanding about combustion safety
Keep in mind that HVAC system sales is highly reliant on the safety factor that is specifically examined by the consumers. This is because any defect or damage can result in severe loss in monetary terms as well as in the shape of injuries or casualties.
If a HVAC technician responds to a call regarding carbon monoxide, they would generally go
direct to the furnace to examine the presence of any cracks in heat exchanger. If they
identify that it’s fine, they often consider that it must have only been a false alarm, so they
replace the batteries in the Co alarm.
The problem lies in fact that most of the HVAC sellers lack knowledge of combustion
appliances, and also, the technical test for it. If you are an HVAC technician and not
conducting testing for worst- case depressurization and flue gases on the calls, you are
creating a potentially risky situation. You never want to see the next day that your client in
his home you just visited is now in the hospital because of Carbon monoxide poisoning.
Being focused on “the equipment” and overlooking air flow
This is the problem mostly seen in the cases. If the majority of HVAC sellers did professional high quality work, there would not be a need to go into house after house or building after building to determine the kind of duct problem. If you understand well the air flow, most of the duct systems you offer, would be larger than they are. No matter if the ductwork is new, if it is not right sized and is leaky, would
result in expense and trouble than just starting over.
Neglecting the opportunities in terms of performance improvement
In household market niche, the HVAC technicians visit the customers’ homes every single day. They visit
crawl spaces, attics, and basements, where they can identify rampant building enclosure issues.
Like quality of the air sealing and insulation in building’s enclosure. Even if you don’t do the air
sealing and insulation work, it’s a great service to advise the customers to enhance the overall performance.
It appears slightly paradoxical that many HVAC brand names entail the world “comfort” yet
they just don’t actually address the issues that comfort. Once you fully realize that regular
people do need building science, you get an idea that mechanical systems are not the
solutions to all comfort problems. If you walk through the building without paying attention to
all of the performance issues, you may be leaving money on the table.
Ignoring the “V” in HVAC
It has been observed that many of the HVAC sellers ignore the value of V in HVAC, and for them it is just HAC. New homes and buildings are tighter than ever due to energy codes that need higher degrees of air-sealing and in certain cases, blower door tests are conducted to verify this air- tightness. Tight buildings need mechanical ventilation. In homes, spot ventilation in bathrooms and kitchens are required. Therefore, be sure to pay equal attention to V.
Skipping in mind the “Mathematics”
HVAC Technicians usually like rules of thumb. They are so reliant on what they have worked out in their past, and consider their intuition a lot. Heating and cooling systems are not like as they were 20 years ago, not even the homes are. Rules of thumb actually don’t work since each house or building is different. If you want to come up with the proper system size, you would have to come up with a way to know rate of heat gain and loss in the project you are working for. Again, I would suggest here Manual J as the best way for new buildings’ systems and determining the timing of current system’s runtime.
Being a low bidder
The race to the bottoms leads everyone being a loser. The ones, who don’t get a contract, lose. The one, who gets it, is unable to work properly since they have to reliant on labor and materials. The homeowner or client loses since, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.
When sellers try to get low-bid work, they are compelled to keep all of their costs to the lowest level. In turn, they hire untrained techs and low quality material. They use equipments and tools that are not durable. They do the least work they could possible do on distributing system. This is not the way to being a good HVAC seller. Since there are many sellers and contractors willing to conduct this practice, though, there would always be space for smart sellers to enter the market and do the things rightly.
Inability to think “house/building as a system”
Firstly, you have to get a HVAC as system thinking by avoiding the mistakes mentioned earlier. Once you gain sufficient knowledge of combustion safety, ventilation and distribution in scope, you are all set to
go beyond and consider the big picture. When you thoroughly understand the house/building-as-a-system idea, you become a problem solver. You understand how to listen to customers and help solve their problems. This is a building science and smart HVAC sellers know this stuff.
If you are an HVAC seller, which of the routes would you choose? One route leads to problems. You continuously have to find potential customers since it’s difficult for the ones you currently have to feel any loyalty to you if your work is not up to their level. And if your clients are always searching for the low bid, you might get them once, but not the next time as someone else might underbid you. Another route leads to higher profitability, loyal and happier customers, increasing number of referrals and peace of mind. What you choose, is your choice.