Dominick Guarino, CEO, National Comfort Institute, Inc.

Dominick Guarino

If you’re in charge of sales or marketing for one of our industry’s major equipment manufacturers, you are probably seeking ways to differentiate your company’s position in this highly competitive market.

The HVAC Industry has reached the point where we’ve squeezed every possible EER and AFUE out of equipment — without reaching the point of diminishing returns.

So what’s next? What will you do to stand out from the pack? To answer that question, it’s important to recognize a phenomenon that’s been steadily building for many years. Government and regulated utilities are moving towards meter-based efficiency verification. It’s where the rubber meets the road, as the meter doesn’t lie.

Affixing an equipment label with a factory-tested efficiency rating will no longer be enough. This new direction will include additional verification of how a “system” performs once installed in a home or building.

This may seem unfair, since as a manufacturer you have little control over how the equipment performs once it leaves your factory and is connected to the “rest of the system.” Unfortunately it’s your brand name on the box, and you’ll be looked to for answers as to why the system is performing at a lower efficiency than advertised.

The better choice is to BE PROACTIVE AND develop a network of indoor comfort professionals with the training and the tools they need to make the entire system work correctly.

A good analogy compares HVAC “systems” to automobiles where the equipment is the “engine,” the duct system is the “transmission,” and the grilles and registers are the “wheels.” But there’s an important issue all manufacturers should be concerned about: Even though your brand sticker is on the “engine,” your brand reputation will be associated with the entire car, regardless of whether you had anything to do with the transmission or the wheels.

Two Choices

It’s only a matter of time before system performance becomes the new bar for our industry. It will soon be demanded by consumers as well.

As a manufacturer you’ll have two choices: The first is to stick your head in the sand, and proclaim it’s out of your control, since you don’t install the system. This choice would convey lack of accountability, since it’s your authorized dealers installing your “engines.” It wouldn’t play well in this heightened era of environmental responsibility – not very good for a company’s image.

The second and better choice, is to be proactive and develop a network of indoor comfort professionals with the training and the tools they need to make the entire system work correctly.

Imagine building a network of very skilled “High-Performance Dealers” who are trained and certified to test, diagnose, and offer the right solutions. These dealers would document system performance, and provide a delivered efficiency rating.

The Opportunity

What if your dealers could certify a “(Your Brand Name Here) High-Performance System” that meets a minimum standard. What if the system was verified and documented by software monitored by a credible third party?

The good news is this training, support, and software exists now. Over the past two decades, National Comfort Institute has developed a turn-key system your organization can plug into that includes the training, certifications, support, and software to get started right away.