Based on feedback from thousands of National Comfort Institute (NCI) students, we know HVAC systems in most small to medium commercial buildings are a mess. In fact, most are never properly tested or balanced.
Even if tested after construction, years, even decades of poor maintenance and “Tenant Improvement” work often make that building uncomfortable and inefficient.
Large commercial buildings are more likely to work because they were probably balanced by certified TAB (Testing & Balancing) companies. But these buildings make up less than 10% of our commercial building stock.
The bulk of U.S. buildings are conditioned by 20-ton and under packaged HVAC systems, and in many cases have never been tested or balanced. Even if they were initially tested, most were never tested again. The result is a huge percentage of poorly performing buildings, both in terms of comfort and energy efficiency.
An Untapped Opportunity
What do High-Performance HVAC service businesses call this? INVENTORY! Companies that invest in the tools and training to improve, balance, and verify system performance are building significant profit centers around these services.
NCI has been teaching these practices for decades in both the residential and commercial sectors, and we have trained and certified thousands of techs and salespeople in these disciplines. But I think we are just scratching the surface.
The exciting thing about small and medium commercial buildings is they are a lot easier to diagnose, correct, and balance than the average home. Equipment typically lives on a roof so it’s relatively easy to get to and test. Air distribution systems typically live just under the roof or under each floor of a building, above a drop ceiling. This means they are accessible with minimal disruption or damage to the structure.
While this may sound like a “no-brainer” for a commercial service company, most of them still never address major causes of unsafe, unhealthy, uncomfortable, and inefficient systems.
This means tremendous opportunities for High-Performance HVAC companies. If you are a residential company, could you see transferring your knowledge and skills to light commercial – specifically to solve existing problems on the huge inventory of poorly performing buildings?
If you’re already in commercial, have you thought about marketing your company as one that can fix poorly performing buildings?
Customer Education is the Key
Poorly performing buildings desperately need your help. With proper education, many owners will invest in improving their building’s comfort systems. The key is customer education.
Unfortunately, most building owners have learned to live with poor performance, and just don’t think about it anymore. As a High-Performance HVAC professional you can help bring these issues to light, and teach people about their buildings and why they don’t have to live with such deficiencies.
In many cases, they also have old equipment, providing opportunities to both replace that equipment and upgrade their entire system.
Take a look at this inventory through new lenses, and you’ll see an opportunity to become the go-to HVAC service company in your market. As a High-Performance contractor you can sell profitable solutions that will help you build a substantial, loyal customer base and get valuable referrals for years to come.