18 Things to Like About HVAC

July 21, 2016

It’s hot everywhere.  You’re running around like crazy.  You’re making money, but it’s hectic and the hours are long.  Pause for a minute and count your blessings.  Here are 18 things to like about HVAC.

1. You Get to Be a Hero

Few people are more welcome than a service tech on a no-cool call when it’s 100 degrees outside or a no-heat call in freezing weather.  Just seeing your truck pull up is a relief to the hot or cold homeowner.

2. When the Weather is Nice You Can Take a Vacation

Lots of people are boxed into vacations during the summer.  That’s your Christmas season.  You’re making money.  Consequently, you get to take vacations when the weather is pleasant.  Moreover, business usually slows down around the start of hunting season, leaving you with fewer distractions.

3. As It Gets Hotter or Colder Price Sensitivity Disappears

When it’s hot, really hot, people just want to get cool.  They may not like it, but they’ll pay what it takes to get comfortable.

4. You Get to Know What People Keep in Their Attics and Basements

Okay, most attics are little more than insulation and a few boxes of Christmas ornaments.  Ditto for a lot of basements.  But every now and then you stumble across some really bizarre stuff.  Who else gets to know what people keep in their attics?

5. You Can Become Wealthy

Yes, HVAC can make you wealthy.  Thousands of contractors are the millionaires next door.  Whether they run a lifestyle business that throws off cash or build a process centric enterprise that can be solid for a healthy multiple of earnings, true wealth attainable through the HVAC industry and is achieved every day.

6. Tools are Fun

In HVAC, you get cool tools.  All guys like tools.  Tools are fun.

7. No One Ever Expects You to Wear a Tie to Work

For about a decade, I wore a tie to work every day.  Ugh.  In HVAC no one expects you to wear a tie.  In fact, it would seem kind of strange if you did.

8. You Can Write Off Your Entire Wardrobe of Logoed Apparel

You can wear all of the logoed apparel you want and the company pays for it as a business expense.  Some contractors wear so many company issued clothes that they have to buy an entire wardrobe of new stuff when they sell their businesses.

9. The Government Keeps Making You Charge More

There’s a lot of downside to the government mandates the HVAC industry is continually slapped around with, but one upside is you generate more gross profit dollars per labor hour on installations as long as you can hold your margins.  The government can actually help you increase your profit.  That’s mind blowing.

10. Consumers Cannot DIY HVAC

A lot of service trades are hampered by the fact that consumers can watch an Internet video and feel comfortable enough to try to do the work themselves, especially with a little advice from a local big box employee.  Sometimes they fail.  Sometimes they do not.  But when refrigerants are involved, your average homeowner is not.

11. Service is Largely Recession Proof

Every so often, the economy is going to tank.  When it does, HVAC take a hit like everyone, but the service side if the business is mostly immune.  People may repair more and replace less, but they will still need to make repairs and eventually, the replacements will come.

12. One of Your Biggest Expenses is Your Top Advertising Tool

Your service trucks are an expense, no doubt.  However, the advertising impact you receive from a good truck identification program is greater than the cost of operating the truck.  It’s like one of your greatest expenses is actually free.

13. Most of Your Competitors are Pretty Decent People

Most contractors are decent people trying to make an honest living.  This can’t be said for all industries.  Sure, you compete with other contractors, but you can still enjoy a beer with them at a local association meeting because they’re good guys.

14. Service and Installations Cannot be Exported

Unlike the manufacturing or tech sectors, you will never have to worry about your job getting relocated to Mexico or India.  You cannot export service and no matter where the equipment is made, you’ve got to be local to install it.

15. Most Contractors Have More Trouble Finding Help Than Finding Work

Almost every contractor I know has trouble finding technicians.  If that’s your worst business challenge, life's not too bad.  Who wouldn’t prefer more work than your team can handle over not enough work and concern over who gets laid off first?

16. Your Suppliers Will Pay for Your Vacations

Speaking of vacations, there are not many industries and even fewer trades where your suppliers will happily take you on a European vacation just for buying from them.  It’s true that the cost of the trips are built into product pricing, but then, you just pass that along to your customer anyway.

17. Contractors Help Other Contractors

Every day I get to observe contractors helping other contractors.  Whether they are one mile or one thousand miles apart, contractors are remarkably generous to fellow contractors who ask for help.  HVAC is a giving industry.

18. You Have Incredible Support Infrastructure

From publications like this one to manufacturers to distributors to industry consultants and trainers to support organizations like the Service Roundtable, there is an incredible infrastructure that’s evolved to support contractors.  Take advantage of it.


For HVAC’s largest and best contractor support organization, visit or call 877.262.3341.  Get advertising, marketing, and business content, cash rebates through the industry’s largest buying group, and support from other contractors for just $50 a month without a long-term contract.  Give it a try.

About the Author

Matt Michel | Chief Executive Officer

Matt Michel was a co-founder and CEO of the Service Roundtable ( The Service Roundtable is an organization founded to help contractors improve their sales, marketing, operations, and profitability. The Service Nation Alliance is a part of this overall organization. Matt was inducted into the Contracting Business HVAC Hall of Fame in 2015. He is now an author and rancher.