Informing & Supporting
Conditioning Air Professionals & the Industry
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3:26 am, July 21, 2024
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TECHNICIAN’S CORNER: The Crucial Role of Filters in Building HVAC Business by Sean Caplan as featured in the PBACCA Newsletter, The Plenum

Filters. Arguably, they are the most important maintenance-related component in an air conditioning system, yet customers often forget to replace them. Educating customers on this important task can be beneficial to the HVAC business in leading to more work for the apprentices which accomplishes two things: (1)Adding value to the customer by utilizing the “one-stop shop” mentality allowing the mechanical contractor an opportunity to have one of their people “get their hands” on the equipment on a scheduled basis and evaluate their condition while changing out the consumable items (belts and filters). This makes repairs happen before there is a failure and builds a more secure projected revenue forecast. (2) It gets a young apprentice’s ears wet, allowing both your company and the new tech to grow and thus, grow your business. Some companies have the filter companies deliver the filters onsite to cut time and costs to make this service cost-positive.

By having qualified techs inspecting and assessing the equipment at least quarterly you’ll save the client money and decrease nuisance calls since you will be doing preventative maintenance. Some HVAC companies report they have had some industrial contacts for over twenty years and 80% percent of repairs are done during scheduled maintenance. Considering the uptick in the number of landlords in South Florida in recent years, both with single and muli-housing units, this is an incentive for them to engage in preventive maintenance.

How do you sell preventative maintenance? Try this. Have you ever been to the dentist, and while they’re examining your teeth, they ask, “How often do you floss?” You pause for a moment, then confidently respond, “Every day,” even if that’s far from the truth. The dentist, of course, knows the reality and is testing you.

As HVAC mechanics, we encounter a similar situation. Within 30 seconds of opening an air handler, we can tell exactly how often those filters are replaced.

Filters are essential for protecting the components of the system from dirt and debris, which can lead to:

  • Excess wear and tear
  • Performance and efficiency issues
  • Premature breakdowns

As you are educating your customers, it’s important to note that filters are not indoor air quality products. If a system isn’t designed to accommodate a high MERV rating, using such filters can cause excess resistance to airflow, forcing the equipment to work harder just to move the same amount of air. Knowing which air filter to use both for your customer’s needs and the unit’s handling is important. Generally, home air filters have a MERV rating anywhere between MERV 5 and 13, with 13 starting at a hospital grade. A quick tutorial on how MERV ratings work may help build rapport and trust between the company and the customer and assist the customer in the selection of the best filter for their health needs.

Remind your customers that filters only work if you replace them consistently! Keeping up with regular filter changes is crucial for maintaining the efficiency and longevity of the HVAC system, which is the largest one-time cost for the customer. Regular preventative maintenance is a win-win for both the HVAC business and the customers they serve. For more information to share with your customer, click here.

About the author
A 20-year Florida resident, Sean Caplan is Service Manager at EDS Air Conditioning and Plumbing in Lake Worth, FL. He gained his knowledge of the industry by working his way through the various stages of employment from helper, installation and service to where he is today. His resume includes teaching air conditioning at Palm Beach State College, and he is the current Vice President of the Palm Beach Air Conditioning Contractors Association (PBACCA).

 

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