After the first response, there’s a transition you’ll notice. You’ll see the customer’s excitement of discovery as they become a detective in their home. They realize they finally know why they’re uncomfortable. You also realize they know more about their duct system than 95% of your competitors.

Keep the education process and explanations simple as you work with your customer.

Don’t try to sound smart, clever, or techy. Remember, it’s about them, not about you. If you do your job well, you’ll get the sale. Once they buy, you can fine-tune your room airflow design values with more accurate, industry-approved design methods.

Trust but Verify

Several manufacturers make balancing hoods

The balancing hood has many uses, so don’t limit it to sales. Remember the original use of a balancing hood? It was for diagnostics and balancing. You should still use it for these original purposes.

Use the balancing hood in air diagnostics to uncover hidden obstacles in a duct system. We’ve found a lot of duct systems that looked great from the outside. However, static pressure and airflow readings identified hidden issues invisible from the exterior.

An eye-opening way to use a balancing hood is to verify your work. You can assure your designs operate as intended and show improvements from your Air Upgrades.

My first experience with this process was uncomfortable. We found issues in our installations that we had to correct before we could go out and repair other duct systems.

Show your install teams how much of an improvement the hood can measure on their duct repairs. It blew my guys away when they saw the results. It surprised them how much more airflow they could get from a flexible duct just by straightening and supporting them correctly.

Your install teams will see the value of their work and understand the difference they can make to a customer’s comfort.

Finally, share your results with customers. Transparency breeds accountability. Hold your installers accountable to you. They will hold themselves accountable to each other. And your customer holds you accountable for your promises. That’s a scary place to be if you have something to hide.

You create transparency when you use the right tools, properly train your team, and make the customer part of the solution. You’ll never need to worry about bad results. Can your competitors say that?

David Richardson at NCI Summit 2022

David Richardson, NCI
David Richardson, NCI

This article is based on a presentation given by Rob Falke at National Comfort Institute’s 2022 High-Performance HVAC Summit in Scottsdale, AZ. David Richardson presents it here in memory of Rob, who passed away in May.

This session was titled, “Balancing Hoods: The Go-to Test Instrument for Air Upgrades.”

In this article, David shares how airflow hoods allow you to be more accurate in your room airflow calculations, but also how it is a superb sales tool where you can get the customer involved.

If you didn’t attend this year’s Summit, this article should give you the key highlights of what Rob originally shared with those who were there.

Be sure to mark your calendars for the 2023 Summit, from April 16-20, 2023 in Branson, MO.

David Richardson is NCI’s director of training. You can reach him at with any questions.