‘Work at home’ and ‘study at home’ has made home offices and classrooms more common. Finished basements and attic spaces are being occupied over longer periods of time. Most home comfort systems weren’t designed for these new purposes.

Understandably, most people don’t have a clue about the impact of these lifestyle changes on their indoor environment and their HVAC system. They need you to help guide them on how they can keep their indoor spaces healthy, safe, and comfortable ‘ without breaking their budget.

This is a great time to evaluate and suggest improvements to their systems, from return grilles to supply registers and everything in between. Upgrading their air distribution systems will make a huge difference. Based on their needs and condition of their home, humidification, dehumidification, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) devices, and zoning can also help better control their indoor space.

Our Shrinking Labor Pool

Over the past nine months, our industry experienced an even wider gap between the need for new technicians and the pool of qualified people available for hire. This gap will continue to increase in 2021 and beyond unless we make some major changes in our industry.

More than ever, we need to figure out how to be attractive as an industry as we compete for the next generation of HVAC personnel. Of course, compensation tops the list, which means we need to figure out how to get paid more so we can afford to pay enough to attract new blood.

How do we get paid more? While there’s a lot more to that conversation, the simple answer is we need to prove higher value than we currently do.

Rather than being a necessary evil, how can we become an industry that helps make people’s lives better? It would take an entire article to just scratch the surface on that question, but the answer is key to our industry’s ability to solve our ballooning employee shortage.

Opportunities for 2021 and Beyond

All of the above are potential opportunities for your business to succeed and thrive in 2021 and the years ahead. If you want to grow in this new environment, the key is to focus on solutions and clearly communicate what you can do for your customers beyond what’s typically expected of our industry.

To be brutally honest, most homeowners and building owners view our industry through a very small lens. They see us as the guys who fix or replace equipment when it breaks. Just a small percentage of customers have us maintain it so it doesn’t break. As much as we’d like to think of ourselves differently, we’ve conditioned most customers to see us this way.

The biggest opportunity for your company is to break that mold and offer customers things they view as important and valuable to their lifestyles.

Figure out how to get homeowners to ‘want’ things from you, and you will break the pattern of just fix and replace. Your importance will rise significantly in their eyes and create lasting top-of-mind awareness.

Think about it. You are responsible for the very air most people breathe – as much as half of their day in their homes and a third or more of their day where they work! What can you offer beyond being their go-to when something goes wrong with their HVAC?

Safety is a big deal. What can you do to educate customers on how you can help maintain a safer environment for their families?

What ongoing services can you provide to make sure a high level of safety is maintained? The same goes for comfort and IAQ.
Sure, you can sell them products that promise better indoor environments, but so does everyone else. Think about how you can package your products and services to position your company as their watchdog, always vigilant, monitoring their home.

Get them to see you as the key to maintaining the highest quality indoor environment possible, and oh, by the way, proving it with ongoing reporting of how their home is doing day-in, day-out, month-in, month-out.

The secret to getting your customers to want this level of service is convincing them that in today’s new normal they need someone like you to be ever-vigilant to make sure their home is safe, healthy, comfortable, and energy-efficient.