It’s the middle of the summer and hot. The hours are long. The tempers are short. It’s the time of year, many contractors start to second guess the decision to enter the HVAC industry. Here are 30 reasons to fall in love with HVAC again.
1. Air Conditioning is Cool – Really. We are cool. We make things cool. When air conditioning is not cool, a tech can make it cool again.
2. The Technology is Getting Better – Thermostats and controls are getting better, smarter, and more intelligent. Variable refrigerant flow is coming to the residential market.
3. Every Tech is a Hero When It’s 100 Degrees – Who is more welcome than an HVAC technician on a hundred degree day when the air conditioning is broken? Maybe the Publisher’s Clearinghouse guy, if he really exists. I don’t know anyone who’s ever met the Publisher’s Clearinghouse guy, but lots of people meet techs on hundred degree days.
4. Service Agreements – A service agreement where needed maintenance is performed at a discount in return for scheduling flexibility and inherent customer loyalty is an awesome invention.
5. Monthly Service Agreement Billing – Monthly billing, the latest service agreement innovation may seem small, but its impact is huge. Think of collecting fees through thousands of service agreement customers’ credit cards every month. It’s recurring, subscription revenue and it will make your business more valuable. Ka-ching!
6. We Touch All Trades – HVAC requires guys to work with piping and work with electrical. It requires knowledge of refrigeration and controls. It’s more varied and less monotonous than other trades.
7. It’s a Big Industry that Feels Small – HVAC is a major industry, but it doesn’t feel that way. Reach out to the legends of the HVAC industry and they will respond. Try that in computers or cars.
8. Real Environmental Impact – All of these people talk about the environment. Yada, yada, yada. If you want to make a real environmental impact, try HVAC. One of the greenest actions a consumer can make is getting his HVAC system tuned up. Plus, think of how smoggy and sooty Minneapolis would be without warm air gas heat? It gets cold in Minneapolis in the winter. Without HVAC, everyone would keep warm with biomass (i.e., burning wood, but it sounds better). No one could see for all of the smoke. Viking heritage or not, Minnesotans would burn forests to keep warm. Oh yeah, you betcha!
9. College is Not a Prerequisite – Except for the outrageous tuition, there’s nothing wrong with college. There’s also nothing wrong with skipping it, if it’s not for you. HVAC is one of the industries where a sheepskin may be nice, but it is not necessary to get started or get ahead.
10. Incentive Trips – Contractors get free incentive trips. Well, not really free. They are built into the price of equipment, but they seem free. And, they are nice.
11. HVAC Recycles Better Than Anyone – We recycle copper. Some contractors recycle old trucks; just look at them. We keep retooling for new refrigerants whenever the environmental types get panicked about some theoretical impact of current refrigerants. Plus, we recycle the old refrigerant. Who else recycles high temperature vapor? Well, other than politicians...
12. Flat Rate Pricing – Okay, just about everything people buy is flat rate. That doesn’t mean it’s not a great idea for HVAC. After all, we were time and materials for years until Jim Kimmons wrote that column in Contracting Business and everything started to change… for the better.
13. Our Leisure Time Occurs When It’s Nice Outdoors – Some people get time off when it’s really hot or miserably cold. We slow down and get time off when it’s 70 degrees outside.
14. HVAC Makes People Healthier – We really do make people healthier. Food is healthier because it’s refrigerated. Hospitals are healthier because air conditioning makes it possible to close the windows. Indoor air is healthier when we filter and purify it.
15. Lots of Career Paths – Start out as a technician in the HVAC industry and a world of possibilities lies before you. You can become a service manager, move into sales, morph into building or plant maintenance, start your own HVAC business, and so on.
16. We Make the Sunbelt Habitable – Who would live in Arizona all summer without air conditioning? Not me. Not even the Hobaica brothers.
17. Great Truck Wraps – Have you seen some of the new truck wraps contractors are using? They are cool!
18. Performance Pay – Performance pay makes the perfect companion to flat rate pricing. For the business owner, it dials in profit and locks it down. It rewards technicians for thinking and acting like owners of their own businesses. Plus, it lets the technicians raise their income by increasing their value to the company.
19. Lots of Libertarians – Contractors are live, let live, and leave me alone types. They don’t like other people telling them what they have to do and don’t usually try to force their view on everyone else. In other words, there are lots of libertarians in contracting.
20. We Can Stump People at Parties – Admit it, when you are invited to someone’s house, you secretly slip outside to take a look at the condensing unit. You know you do. Then, you can casually ask the host what brand of air conditioner he owns. When he doesn’t know, you can smugly inform him.
21. HVAC is Freedom – in how many industries is it possible to set out every day on your own for the day in a vehicle with a total value of $25,000 to $50,000 when you include tools and stock? No one is looking over your shoulder, but help is just a phone call away. That’s freedom.
22. We Make People More Productive – How many industries have more of an impact on business productivity than HVAC? How productive would office workers be on summer days without air conditioning? How productive would everyone be without computers? Computers are only possible due to the manufacturing of computer chips in air conditioned clean rooms.
23. Ron Smith – He’s an icon, the father of modern contracting business practices, and the most down to earth guy you could ever meet.
24. ISH – If you’ve never attended the world’s largest plumbing, heating, and air conditioning trade show that makes an appearance during odd numbered years in Frankfurt, Germany, this should be a bucket list item. It makes the AHR Show seem small. Plus, it’s in Germany!
25. Business Alliances – There have never been more, larger, or better contractor business alliances than today. Contractors have more business resources than ever.
26. Contractors Help Contractors – HVAC is one of the few industries where you can call a competitor, ask for help, and get it without strings. Contractors love to help fellow contractors.
27. HVAC Service Can Never be Exported – A few manufacturing jobs may be headed back to the states today. No service jobs are coming back because they never left and never will. Service can never be exported.
28. Mechanics Can Become Millionaires – Lots of contractors are millionaires next door. HVAC is an industry where it’s possible to transition from mechanic to millionaire in less than a decade. The American dream is alive and well in the HVAC industry.
29. HVAC Contractors are Salt of the Earth – Even when they become multi-millionaires, contractors remain true to their roots. They remain salt of the earth types. The same cannot be said about a whole range of other industries and professions.
30. We Are Hot – Of course HVAC is hot. Really. Yet it’s more than the heat from all of the Btus we add. HVAC is a hot profession with hot job prospects. Learn HVAC and there will always be a job for you. The industry is expanding. In every town, companies are growing and hiring.
Matt Michel is CEO of the Service Roundtable. Visit the website for free contractor downloads. Check out the speaker’s bureau if you need a speaker for your contractor meeting.