HVAC BUSINESSES FIND OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH
AND PROFIT WITH DUCT SEALING
A growing number of HVAC companies today are finding the traditional HVAC business model broken. A maturing marketplace and changing landscape is often leading to a reexamination of old business strategies and the development of a revised plan that fits an evolving environment. Competing on price alone is proving to be difficult at best. Relying on a reputation for knowledgeable and friendly customer service, while a plus, is just not a big enough differentiator in a marketplace where competition is fierce and growing. There is always someone out there that is willing to deliver similar expertise for less.
So, like many of today’s industries where “business as usual” is simply not good enough any more, the HVAC industry is looking for new opportunities for growth – that ideal blend of growing customer demand and relatable expertise.
“The HVAC industry is evolving at an unprecedented rate, and contractors have choices to make. One of them is to continue to simply sell equipment with shrinking margins, or expand their offerings to meet the needs of today’s homeowners,” said Tom Piscitelli, leading HVAC industry consultant.
In the search for new opportunities, many in the HVAC field are finding that perfect combination of high-demand / relatable expertise in offering duct sealing services.
First, the demand for duct sealing is strong and getting stronger. While sales of HVAC boxes have remained lackluster, Pike Research estimates that the Energy Efficient Home Improvement market will grow 7% annually, reaching $50.2 billion by the end of this coming year, It’s expected to continue to escalate through 2020 and beyond. This is critical information, because duct sealing is typically the single most effective way homeowner can save on home energy.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average home in the U.S. today loses between 20% and 40% of treated air through leaks in the home’s ductwork. As the buzz regarding the role that duct leaks play in energy waste continues to spread, demand for duct sealing services is following.
And spread it is. In the last few months alone, millions of viewers nationwide have heard about the importance of duct sealing through features on programs like the NBC Today Show and PBS’s Hometime. Print media is spreading the word as well with feature stories appearing in magazines and newspapers across the country. As homeowners have their ducts sealed, they are sharing the quantifiable results with friends and family.
“The demand is there and growing,” said Sam Rashkin, chief architect of the Building Technologies office in the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “Technological breakthroughs are often the catalyst for change, and when it comes to home energy savings, that breakthrough definitely includes the recent introduction of aerosol duct sealing technology. Now homeowners have a new option for reducing energy, and it is changing the way they think about home energy savings.”
This breakthrough is particularly advantageous for HVAC contractors because it not only offers a service to meet the growing customer demand, but it also offers the second component essential to providing ideal opportunities for business growth – the ability to leverage existing expertise.
Duct systems are the domain of HVAC professionals. Now that homeowners are learning that the duct system plays such an important role in home energy performance, it’s the HVAC contractor that they rely on for advice and services. Duct sealing offers a natural avenue for HVAC pros to become their customers’ home performance expert.
“When you do a repair, you can offer other services – not just get in, fix it and leave,” said Rashkin, “If you’re in an older home, you can start by telling them that older homes usually have significant duct leakage.”
“Every time you visit a customer, you have an opportunity to sell energy-saving duct sealing along with your existing services,” said Dave Hutchins, owner of Bay Area A/C, Crystal River, FL.. “A customer interested in a new energy efficient furnace, a homeowner that is troubled by high air conditioning bills, someone that is looking for system maintenance – they all provide ideal opportunities to discuss the role that duct sealing plays in home energy savings.”
It’s also a time to address your customers’ home comfort and indoor air quality issues. One of the biggest complaints HVAC contractors hear from their customers, is in regards to uneven heating and cooling. Most homes have one or more rooms that remain hot in the summer and cold in the winter – no matter how much the thermostat is raised or lowered. Here too, duct sealing is more often than not, the ideal solution to their problem.
A growing demand and a relatable area of expertise – adding duct sealing services provides an ideal professional pathway for HVAC businesses looking for new opportunities. Add to this mix a low investment requirement, training and marketing support and you have a complete turnkey solution to growth.
Aeroseal, the owner and licensee of the aeroseal duct sealing technology, recently introduced a new program designed to make it easy for dealers to add home energy performance to their portfolio of services. The program includes the unveiling of HomeSeal, the next generation duct sealing equipment that is faster to set up, easier to use and less expensive than earlier generation of equipment.
Along with the equipment, Aeroseal provides on-site training and marketing support to ensure dealers have everything they need to confidently offer energy saving duct sealing services to their customers.
“As a licensed Aeroseal dealer, I can now offer a real energy-savings solution that sets us apart from our competitors and places our business squarely in the home energy efficiency improvement market.” Said Doug Beiser, Hader Heating and Cooling, Cincinnati, Ohio.
“A duct sealing project that used to take us about half a day to complete now takes about three hours with the new HomeSeal equipment,” said Tim Fortunatel, lead technician, Mason Mechanical, Mesa, Arizona. “Less trips to the truck to get equipment, less plugs and cords to hook up and less time actually doing the sealing. And since I now spend less time with the equipment, I can spend more time with the customer – something that really pays off in the end.”
“When you realize you can expand your business and provide new services to your customers with a monthly investment cost that is less than a new truck payment, the decision to move forward really becomes a no-brainer,” added Jaime DiDomenico, Cool Today, Sarasota, Florida.
The road seems pretty clear. Demand for home energy efficiency is a top concern for both home and commercial property owners. Cost-effective solutions that have a real impact on reducing energy waste are in demand and will continue to gain public attention in years ahead. It’s also clear that the HVAC industry is poised to take a leadership position in providing expertise in this arena. Adding proficiencies in services such as duct sealing offers HVAC businesses real opportunities for growth and a means of rising far above the competition.