Technology is always changing – and HVAC pros need to stay informed of the latest and greatest equipment and trends that will have an impact on the future of the trade. That’s why we asked our Mission: HVAC students to do research and share their own thoughts on what they expect the HVAC industry to look like in the future as consumer behavior changes and technology advances.
Glenn: High Costs Pushing Consumers to Internet
For mission 8, the future of HVAC, I researched by reading HVAC publications, internet research, and asking my instructors a few questions. Buying an HVAC system through a company can be very expensive, and with energy company rebates going away, you end up with a cost that most people aren’t prepared for. However, some companies do offer financing and company rebates to help with the cost. A couple years ago I found myself in the same situation by ordering a complete HVAC system over the internet and found someone to help with the install. Most local HVAC parts warehouses won’t sell to the public. So, by turning to the internet, you can order parts or whole systems and have them delivered to your door step. This is a trend that some people may turn to. Like with most retail stores, shoppers are turning to the internet, trying to save a few dollars and hiring someone to do the install.
HVAC split systems will be around for a long time. Improvements to those systems continue every year. These improvements include:
- Providing quiet, highly efficient performance.
- Making systems more compatible to add on electronic air cleaners, dehumidification systems, and using more ECM type variable speed motors and multi-capacity two stage compressors
- Attaching soft-mounted rubber grommets that absorb sound and vibration, insulate heat exchangers and blower compartments to muffle sound and vibrations
- Making units easier to maintain and service, such as making panels easier to remove for cleaning coils and making diagnostic codes easier to read – just a few improvements manufactures are coming out with.
I can’t wait until next year to see what they come out with.
Service agreements do pay off for the customer and HVAC companies. Getting eyes on a system twice a year, preforming the maintenance and keeping their system running safely, especially at the beginning of the heating season is ideal. They also keep the service techs busy in the slow time of year. Service agreement will pay off in the long run by keeping the equipment running a few years longer, more efficiently, and more safely.
My thoughts: HVAC technicians will be needed and be in high demand. Buying a system is one thing but installing that system and maintaining it is something the average person will not be able to do. HVAC companies come and go, but knowledge will always be in demand. Continued education will be a challenge to keep up with all the new technology that comes out every year. I am excited about putting my training to the test next spring when I graduate from school.
Stefan: Modern CRMs Put Service at Your Fingertips
As a budding HVAC contractor, I have been immersing myself into the advanced avenues of PPC, SEO, KPI’s, longtail thread marketing, direct mail and social media platforms – to name a few. I have noticed a considerable trend in the CRM between the older generations and next gen contractors.
I find it amazing how many of the “old timers” have never even broached a CRM. In my short experience I have found that Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is vital in this day and age. The days of writing customer notes on a piece of paper are long gone.
CRMs are getting so advanced that certain ones can even use AI (Artificial Intelligence) to detect algorithmic trends in tech efficiencies and propensities. This allows for dispatch to be able to align certain jobs with certain employees’ strengths and weaknesses. They have turned the corner to such an extent that a CRM can even speak to my bank and reconcile transactions.
At a customer level these “apps” are connecting the contractor to customer experience in ways that only heighten the whole process. My customer can pick up his or her phone and see (much like Uber) where the technician is in relation to geographical area. Not only that, but he or she can have a picture attached to the name of the tech that will be showing up to their property insuring more comfort for the customer.
Everything is much easier to monitor from past issues to future maintenance necessities. For the first time in 2017, millennials bought more houses than baby boomers or gen Xers. So, with that change comes the ever-growing necessity to cater to this young generation of tech savvy people.
I believe all of these trends to be extremely and ever increasingly beneficial to any and all aspects of the service world. Not only being able to connect but identify with any and all aspect of your customer’s past and present needs will continue to define the industry, and separate most companies from those who refuse to evolve with the times. I happily embrace and am extremely excited about the new frontiers this technology is bringing into even the simplest areas of trades.