Now that summer is here, your customer's HVAC system "time at shine" has finally arrived. It has rested all winter and now is the time for it to get to work. The important thing is to make sure things are set up so that it can do its job efficiently. For the system to do its job properly, it just needs the "space" to work. Summer weather puts a strain on these systems. There is a reason that we see an increase in service calls at this time of year.
To make sure that your company is the company that they call when there is a problem, send out a Helpful Tips letter. If you ever needed to be present for your customer, this is an excellent way to do that. And this time of the year is a great time to remind your customers that there are some things that they can do themselves to make the HVAC system's job easier while making themselves more comfortable. And regular maintenance has the added benefit of conserving energy and lowering their utility bills.
And for marketing purposes, there is nothing quite like putting a mailer in the hands of the homeowner or business owner. That's right, a good old-fashioned U.S. Mail type of mailer that's professionally printed on glossy paper. These professionally designed and printed brochures are inexpensive, and they add a lot to your image. This is not a job that an email or text can ever hope to accomplish. This is the perfect time to mail a notice to your customer list with a reminder of a few things they can do to get their system ready for the heavy lifting of the summer. The hot and humid season is the time when you want them to remember who you are and especially how to get in touch with you. So if you don't have some full-color brochures and some stickers for those mailings, it's time to order them today. They are not only inexpensive, but we also have a quick turnaround time. And of course, don't forget to insert some business cards.
Many of these maintenance activities we will discuss probably should have been done in the spring, before the cooling season began. But you can't go back in time, and it's still not too late for them to do some basic maintenance that will make their system more efficient and utility bills lower. And remember, this is a very strategic time to be in touch with your customer. Most problems with HVAC systems occur in the summer when the demands on the equipment are at its highest. This is the time where you want your company to be at the forefront of their minds. There's no better way to do that then to put a full-color brochure in their hands. Here are a few things you can mention in your letter:
Probably the biggest change for the HVAC system other than the summer heat is the change in the schedule of the people who live in the house. In the summer, children don't go to school, people do go on vacations, there are summer sports, and beach trips and people come to visit. There is generally a whole new schedule in and around the house. Add to that, the exterior doors are open and closed a lot more in the summer, causing a lot more dust in the air. So, with the cooling system working overtime, it's a good time to bring attention to the different options with the thermostat settings. If their system has an older, non-programmable thermostat, you could suggest that they upgrade to a newer electronic thermostat. The savings and convenience would surely pay for the change.
Another good reminder is to change the air filters in their system. Summertime is a dusty time in most parts of the country. Filters usually get clogged in the summertime more than any other time of the year. They should check their filters and replace them even if they are only partially used. These filters are not very expensive, and trying to get a few more months out of their filters doesn't make sense. Also, they might forget to check the filters until next year. You can suggest that they consider an allergy-reducing filter for even finer filtered air. Even though they will be doing this work themselves, you will be giving them valuable advice. Not only will this help them, but it's good marketing on your part. It's a win-win situation.
The External Unit
Remind them to clean the external unit on a regular basis. They should do it every time the lawn is mowed, or a leaf blower is used around the unit. They should especially pay attention to debris that can accumulate and prevent the heat from escaping the system. Often, because the unit is outdoors, customers don't even think about it. It's an out of sight, out of mind situation. This is an easy thing for them to do, and it has a huge benefit.
They should clear the area around the unit. Weeds are often a big offender when it comes to blocking the efficient use of the system. They should make sure that there are no plants, bikes, lawn furniture, or other items within two feet of the unit. Storing things close to the outer part of the air conditioner is a bad idea.
Having a system that is allowed plenty of good air circulation around the unit is critical to its performance. While it is the technician's job to repair a compressor or a switch, many of these regular maintenance duties can be best performed by the homeowner or business owner. In fact, some of them can only be done by the homeowner or business owner.
Another thing that your customers should check are the vents inside the house. All vents should be open and unblocked. Explain to them that if they want a certain part of the house to get less air conditioning then, if possible, they should control that by turning off the air conditioning in those spaces. Shutting the vents is an unreliable and usually more expensive way of trying to control the heating and cooling zones. Also, they should make sure vents are not blocked by carpets, furniture, or other things. The air must be allowed to circulate freely throughout the home.
Add Bleach To the Drain
Another simple item that the customer can do is make sure the condensate drain is clear. As microbes grow in this standing water, it can back up and overflow, causing water damage in the home as well as the HVAC unit. It also can add humidity back into the air. A little chlorine bleach in the drain area every few months will do the trick.
Add a Whole House Dehumidifier
Some areas of the country are very humid, and the addition of a whole house dehumidifier can pull water out of the air reducing the strain on the air conditioning system. Air conditioners do remove some moisture from the air, but in some areas of the country, the air is too humid for the air conditioner to get it all. Adding whole house dehumidifiers can be a worthwhile investment in saving their system and adding to their comfort.
Good For Your Customer - Good For Your Company
A mailing like this, with good advice tips for your customer, is a win-win situation. This type of advice is helpful to your customer. It will make their system run more efficiently and make them more comfortable. Also, it will convey to them that you care about them and their HVAC system. And most importantly, as with any marketing, it will show that you are a high-quality company who is available to help them when they have a problem.
Your customers should learn to make these simple maintenance steps part of their regular household routine. Even though they are simple, inexpensive and will keep their systems in good running order, most people in the industry know that homeowners usually don't get around to it. If you offer a regular service contract, an annual maintenance tune-up should be part of it. Let your customer know that annual contracts pay for themselves many times over in the life of the system. Preventative maintenance is the best kind of maintenance.
Like most things in life, the goals here are multifaceted. The primary goal is to service your customer so that their HVAC s