Over the Hill
This happens to the best of us. Perhaps times were tough for a while and the customers decided to let the old system work for just one more year or maybe old age just snuck up on them. It happens with people, too!
However, when an HVAC system gets too old, that means it gets way too inefficient and expensive. Instead of the shiny new system that easily kept the building comfortable, it now has to be cranked up and down to make an impact.
The rule, generally, is that you shouldn’t work to repair a system 10 years after it was installed, but some systems could be overused and beyond the point of redemption well before this and others may still work well for another few years. Check the HVAC system and be frank with the customer on your observations. Honesty can go a long way toward winning a return customer.
Could it Be Too Big?
On the commercial side alone, 25 percent of commercial HVAC systems end up being too big for their buildings, according to the Consortium of Energy Efficiency. This can happen with residential homes as well. In both cases, it can mean spending far too much money on a system and still not getting the proper level of comfort desired.
If a system is too big, HVAC contractors should let customers know what kind of benefits and savings they could have with a right-sized system. In most cases, they likely didn’t realize getting something too big could even be an issue.
Smaller Take Up Less Space
Speaking of bigger not always being better, customers will often have an HVAC system in place that takes up far too much space. Even in a large building, having a giant system taking up too much space is never going to be a good thing.
Show customers options for smaller systems that can serve their needs; they may be surprised how beneficial saving space in their building can be.
If you paged through our recent smart thermostat and control system gallery from the 2015 AHR Expo, you know just how advanced certain HVAC systems can be in 2015.
Showcase some of the finer, more innovative technology to your forward-thinking customers; they may be surprised to know that an updated HVAC system can learn what temperature they like in each room
Are there leaks?
This is a sure sign of old age for any HVAC system. This is a huge cause of inefficiency in older systems and finding the exact source can be difficult. In some situations, you may be able to fix up these old, leaky HVAC systems and make them work well. However, it may be in the customer’s best interest to start looking at a new system if the leaks are either not reparable or too expensive. This is where honesty and trust will play a big role.
Going Green and Saving Green
An old system likely isn’t very friendly for the environment or for your customer’s pocket books. Newer, environmentally-friendly HVAC systems can not only help cut the emissions you send into the atmosphere, they can help save customers hundreds of dollars each year.
Energy Star estimates that replacing old HVAC equipment with Energy Star-qualified equipment can help cut $115 from an energy bill. Adding a programmable thermostat will take another $180 off the cost. Now we’re getting somewhere!
Need better IAQ
This will be a big one, as it may be difficult to revive an old system that is giving a customer poor indoor air quality. Dangers of poor indoor air quality can cause fevers, headaches and other maladies, showcasing just how important it is to keep HVAC systems maintained and well-run.
When the worst case scenario is death or sickness, it is most definitely time to bring in a new HVAC system.