He says that if his technicians discover the static pressure is extreme, they will recommend an air diagnostic where Spall sends out an “expert tech with all of their instruments to determine exactly what is happening with the customer’s system. They also do a Manual J load analysis on the building to determine the room-by-room requirements.
“We will measure system performance to quantify airflow, and then we’ll determine what they have, what they need, and what we need to do to get them to a better place. We’ll give them a menu of options, then explore that with them.”
Options Are the Key
Spall says the company is what he calls ‘options-based.’
“There’s not a service we provide where we don’t give the customer multiple options,” Spall explains. “Our belief is we’re invited to their house as professionals to help solve a problem that they can’t solve themselves. We need to give them options, and they need to tell us what they want to do.”
He says some people choose the band-aid fix, and others choose the total system replacement. Options run the gamut from duct renovations, air upgrades, to equipment replacement, or some combination of them.
“Approximately 75% of our replacement jobs have some duct system upgrade attached to them, where we are enhancing return air, or modifying duct fittings to lower total equivalent length and improve static pressure.
This is just part of our regular daily routine.”
Make The Right Training Investments
According to Spall, the High-Performance HVAC delivery method has changed his business. He says that success starts at the top of a company and works its way down.
“I believe the leader sets the tone for the entire team. I have been a believer in this approach since the first day I learned about it. It’s not easy because high performance deals with invisible issues. The lessons I learned showed me how to quantify this, and that’s really where it all came together for me.
“Our continued success means we must continue training and moving forward. “
For Spall, that training includes a $150,000 investment in what he calls their T.E. University. The company always had a small live-fire lab and training/meeting room, but Spall says they outgrew it. So he took an 1800 sq. ft. section of their building (it used to be a garage), completely renovated it, and fitted it out.
“Today, we have a fundamentals lab, a Live-Fire lab, and a classroom with a Smart T.V., and we do both live and virtual meetings from there. NCI can even conduct a training class for our team remotely. We use this space every week — typically three to four training days per week,” he explains.
The live-fire lab is set up with newer modern equipment that includes two basic HVAC systems, a geothermal system, a combi boiler system, and an inverter system.
“Our success today stems from our adoption of the High-Performance approach to the HVAC business to our investment in training and continuing education, and for being able to adapt to the changes these things bring to the business,” Tom concludes.
For these and many other reasons, High-Performance HVAC Today magazine has chosen T.E. Spall and Son to be the subject of this month’s Spotlight.