It’s well-recognized that duct systems play an essential part in HVAC equipment efficiency and performance. From National Comfort Institute (NCI) studies, average airflow from the typical installed system is much lower than manufacturer specifications.

With proper airflow gaining more attention than ever before, why not capitalize on this growing opportunity?

In the October 2022 issue of High-Performance HVAC Today, we looked at how to use an air balancing hood to generate interest in Air Upgrades. This test instrument helps your customers understand the connection between airflow and their desired solutions.

David Richardson

Let’s now look further into Custom Air Upgrades and how you can customize them to address your customer’s issues and fit into your company operations.

What is a Custom Air Upgrade, Anyway?

An Air Upgrade is a customized airside solution you offer customers to help resolve their unique comfort and efficiency problems. It requires you to have the proper training, making air upgrades exclusive to you. Why? Because you’re the only one who can discover the invisible problems they solve. Without that training and knowing how to use the proper test instruments, Custom Air Upgrade opportunities will remain hidden.

All custom air upgrades begin with capturing name-plate data.
Typical nameplate data
found on air handling equipment
used for Air Upgrades.

The foundation for an Air Upgrade is precisely repairing defects discovered when testing an existing system. You find hidden airside issues and then offer modifications to improve airflow and lower static pressure. These enhancements are usually at the equipment and usually solve uncomfortable rooms.

One of the worst assumptions about a Custom Air Upgrade is that you must completely demolish the existing duct system and then rebuild it. This assumption simply isn’t valid. Instead, Air Upgrades provide a starting point to improve equipment performance, energy efficiency, and customer comfort.

You can easily add Custom Air Upgrades to most equipment replacement projects since they don’t require additional days on-site. Air Upgrades won’t make a system perfect, but they will correct the most frequent issues your customers have.

Why Custom Air Upgrades are Important

Air Upgrades are all about making your customers happy. It eases their minds when they have comfort problems that are fixed right the first time. They are assured they’ll get what they paid for, because you prove the results through testing and measurements.

One of the most challenging things about Air Upgrades is ensuring you choose applicable repairs. When your choices are based on test results and not guesses, you can be sure you have the right corrections and aren’t creating any new problems. These measurements also give you more confidence.

Once the work is complete, your customers will notice the improvement in upgraded system performance. Lower static pressure and improved fan airflow lead to lower operating costs, increased system efficiency, and overall comfort once the work is complete.

Ultimately, Air Upgrades change the game. Instead of only focusing on equipment replacement, you look at the entire HVAC system, including the ductwork to which it is connected. This new viewpoint helps you look for issues others are unaware of. As you begin to provide unique solutions to problems often deemed “unsolvable,” you focus on your craftsmanship and increase your profits and referrals.

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