HVAC Contractors Embrace Technology to Improve Customer Experience

How do you know if you’re getting a good value from your HVAC contractor? If you’re like most consumers, you can compare rates and reviews, but beyond that you’re just hoping your contractor is knowledgeable and trustworthy. In some cases a contractor could just be assigned to you by your home warranty company.

The most reputable HVAC contractors now offer far more than installation, maintenance and repair. By investing in leading-edge HVAC technologies, contractors can offer outstanding service to the modern consumer.

What technologies are being embraced by leading HVAC contractors? From video evidence of customer interactions to the most efficient equipment, HVAC technicians now offer advanced tools and equipment in the following categories:

Wearable Video Tech

Leading HVAC companies and contractors have invested in technology to demonstrate their dedication toward transparency. Through the use of wearable recording devices, technicians can capture video evidence of their service calls.

Arista Air Conditioning technicians, for example, wear recording devices that resemble safety glasses, and they provide clients with a video link to the video after the service call ends. The video demonstrates the services that were performed, ensuring trust and honesty between the HVAC tech and the customer.

According to Arista Air Conditioning, the technology provides:

  • Proof of service
  • Faster repair
  • Damage prevention
  • Better communication
  • Assistance with replacement decisions

“We are excited about providing customers with this cutting-edge technology that brings unparalleled transparency to the customer/service provider relationship,” Michael Rosone, Arista’s Vice President of Service Sales, told Energy Manager Today. “Equipment is constantly changing. We think giving our employees the ability to instantly tap into the collective wisdom of technicians, who jointly have thousands of years of experience, is an invaluable resource.”

Smart HVAC Technology

More HVAC contractors and companies now offer smart building technology to their customers, improving the performance and efficiency of their climate control systems. Thanks to the Internet of Things, the HVAC market has seen an influx of new digital controls, connected technologies and data analytics.

A few smart technologies taking the HVAC industry by storm include:

  • Smart thermostats allow users to adjust temperature settings while away from home. Many also compile energy usage reports so users can make informed decisions to maximize efficiency.
  • Motion-activated air conditioning uses sensors that turn themselves off and on based on movement in the home.
  • Smart ventilation systems allow users to separately control the temperature of different rooms or areas of a building.

Leading HVAC contractors now have an in-depth knowledge of smart technologies and they can work to improve your comfort levels and lower your costs. Home automation tools can even alert customers when it’s time for routine maintenance and diagnose issues with their equipment, before the equipment breaks down. Identifying and fixing issues before they happen is one of the keys to improved tenant satisfaction, during the hot and cold seasons, which many multifamily owners and operators are consistently trying to achieve.

“Tenants like the fact that their home automation systems can let us know if something’s broken, so we can fix it before it affects their comfort levels,” Empire Heating & Air Conditioning owner Martin Hoover said during a May panel discussion.

Green Tech

With climate change making daily headlines, homeowners and building managers are more focused on energy efficiency and green technologies than ever before. Consumers are now learning that upgrading to green HVAC technologies might take an initial investment, but the improved efficiency quickly offsets those costs.

Some of the more popular green technologies touted by leading HVAC contractors include:

  • Thermally-driven air conditioning takes advantage of solar power to rely on less carbon-based power.
  • Geothermal heat pumps transfer underground forced air to heating systems, drastically improving efficiency.
  • Predictive analytics like that used by Motili and partners can be integrated into an industrial HVAC management system to continually adjust temperatures and humidity levels across different areas of a building. By using real-time and historical data, the systems can control comfort levels as efficiently as possible.

“Home comfort systems will be more environmentally friendly as ozone-depleting substances like R-22 are phased out by the Environmental Protection Agency by 2020,” Service Experts CEO Scott Boose told Future of Everything. “Systems will be more energy efficient and cost less to run with less sound pollution and they will tap alternative energy sources like solar or hybrid. More households will use ENERGY STAR(r)-rated heating and cooling equipment.”

HVAC Apps

HVAC contractors are busy professionals. On any given day, they will answer a variety of service calls at various locations, using all types of tools and equipment. How can they keep track of it all? Fortunately, there’s even an app for that.

Apps developed specifically for the HVAC industry help technicians organize their work, improving productivity and efficiency by streamlining business operations. With a specialized app, HVAC contractors can access the following business tools from the field:

  • Accounting
  • Scheduling
  • Invoicing
  • Work orders
  • Job estimates
  • Service agreements
  • Equipment manuals
  • Workflow management
  • Blueprint studies
  • Repair guidelines and instructions

Moreover, apps designed for HVAC companies provide a vital communication link between the field technicians, company headquarters and even property managers.

“The HVAC technician can also use the CoolCloud app to fine-tune the performance of the heating and cooling system, including how the staging algorithm works, setting airflow, selecting gas heat delay, alternating dehumidification logic and more,” Goodman director of product marketing Jim Fisher told Contracting Business when describing the company’s app.  “The CoolCloud app makes it as easy as checking emails on a cell phone. It’s a great feature to have when installing a heating and cooling system, one that also saves time during HVAC maintenance or service calls.”

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