The days of highly successful HVAC residential retail contractors that concentrate their businesses on replacing equipment while ignoring the balance of the air conditioning and heating system are doomed. No, I’m not predicting they will all be out of business, but I am predicting that many will be and the others will certainly not be as successful as they have been.

Simply replacing 10, 12 and similar SEER older equipment with new 16, 18, 20, 24 and higher SEER equipment and saying they have completed the job is doing an injustice to the customer. As I have said for many years the equipment is only a component of an HVAC system. It is not the system. Today’s customers are much better informed than ever before. They not only expect more, they deserve more. As an example, the days of replacing equipment while the ductwork continues to leak air is over.

The Internet has changed everything. Websites worldwide are several million in number. There are several billion assigned email addresses. Consumers now spend time searching and learning from the Internet. How do we know this? All we have to do is listen to the customers and interact with them and it won’t take long to realize how knowledgeable they are now compared to only a few years ago. We also know that more than 92% of consumers’ purchase decisions are made after they searched the Internet. They not only learn from the Internet. They also learn from talking to HVAC residential contractors that have recognized where the industry is headed and have changed their companies.

Those leading edge residential retail contractors seal and when appropriate replace ductwork. Improperly sized, improperly installed and improperly sealed ductwork is everywhere. In addition, many of those contractors are offering and installing geothermal systems, some have recognized the opportunity presented by offering and installing solar systems and they install building insulation. And this is big – complete weatherization is a perfect fit for HVAC contractors. Energy efficiency and green is a way of life with those companies.

I am really excited about where our industry is headed and encourage you to study and learn more about these opportunities and decide where you will direct your company. It will be an investment in time, energy and capitol but it will not only serve your company’s survival in the new world of HVAC contracting as it will place you up front in the parade of highly successful contractors. For many contractors it will mean new relationships with providers, specialized training, upgraded websites and better methods of reaching your present customers as well as adding new customers.

How long has it been since you have taken the time to sit back, consider and plan where your company is going? Now is the time to do exactly that. If you wish I can help you in designing your plan.