As of this writing, the government is maintaining its “shelter-in-place” and social distancing rules to help the country get through the Coronavirus pandemic. The media across the country – from local news to the national networks – are all reporting doom and gloom. People are isolated, working from home, and looking for things to do.
Of course, this has wreaked havoc on the economy. With so many small businesses shuttering down and hunkering in place, the struggles both financially and emotionally increase daily and the fear of going out of business becomes stronger each day.
But don’t let it!!
Your community needs you. Your local first responders need you. The HVAC industry has a vital role in helping keep people safe in their homes and elsewhere. We can offer peace of mind for those trying to help our sick and injured.
How? By doing our jobs. And by being creative in how we offer help during such a time of crisis.
Do Your Jobs, Be a Hero
Because almost everyone is stuck at home, their HVAC systems are being used more. Because they are at home, they are beginning to pay much more attention to their comfort levels. And they are certainly looking to be assured that the air in their home is free of contaminants, including viruses.
People are searching online for services to help them in this quest for safety, efficiency, and comfort. They need a hero during these tough times. Some keywords that are being used more often today include “indoor air quality” and “filtration.” They are calling and trying to find out if these companies are open. They want to know what contractors are doing to keep people safe.
By increasing your communications to customers and the community about how you can help them with these needs, to assure them, you can also keep your lights on and keep your people working and getting paid. Tell people you are open! Tell them how you can help.
For example, tell them that repairing duct leaks, changing filters, testing, and monitoring for proper combustion in gas-fired equipment, fine-tuning air conditioning units, using UV decontamination systems, and so on will certainly help keep them safe, save energy, and be comfortable.
Of course, this means you have to keep your people safe while they are working in homes. That means proper personal protection equipment (PPE) must be provided and social distancing practiced. In other words, your people need to wear face masks and gloves and wash their hands regularly.
Personal Protective Equipment
I have written many articles on how to get creative with your marketing – traditional and using social media. You can read those here https://news.online-access.com/.
However, with the pandemic still in full force, that creativity should also include how you protect your technicians in the field and your customers in their homes. Personal protection equipment is in such high demand by our frontline medical professionals that there is a severe shortage. So how do you protect your people and customers?
In late March, early April the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended Americans begin to wear non-surgical medical masks in public. These include the use of “do-it-yourself cloth coverings” as a way to continue flattening the Coronavirus infection curve.
Almost overnight the Internet exploded with articles, blog posts, and YouTube videos showing you how to create cloth masks. Most of these just aren’t protective enough, certainly nowhere near as good as the masks worn by medical personnel.
As an HVAC contractor, how can you be a hero and procure truly safe masks for your people? Well, here’s a thought — how about making them out of MERV-13 filters?
Take the Next Step
I got this idea from one of our contractor customers who found that pleated pocket-style masks work well with a Merv-13 inserted in the pocket.
MERV 13 is the minimum-rated filter efficiency you can use to stop virus nuclei contained in droplets. Because the design does not incorporate plastic, the masks can easily be sterilized in an oven and then reused. The other thing that makes the masks ideal is that most contractors have easy access to MERV-13 material in the filters they sell.
Obviously, this type of mask is not medical grade, but it is probably the best protection currently available for your team and the public.
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