Wolseley PRO Pipeline Blog
Winter doesn’t only slow down traffic; it can also slow down your business if most of your work comes from construction. But as an HVAC or plumbing contractor, you have options that will fill in those times between furnace breakdowns and pipe bursts.Winter Services for HVAC Contractors
Aside from the rush at the beginning of the season, when homeowners discover that their furnace is broken, you can offer furnace maintenance throughout the season. Do this by creating an inspection package that answers these questions:
- Are the furnace and floor clean?
- Are the burners properly adjusted and clean?
- Is the correct air filter installed and is it clean?
- Is any of the ductwork blocked? (Check especially for closed ductwork in rarely used rooms.)
It’s great to be as transparent as possible with your suggestions for repairs and inspections. The more trust you build with your current customers, the more likely they are to call you back next year for furnace maintenance. It also leaves a better connection for you to reach out to them for future work.
Winter Services for Plumbing Contractors
Just like HVAC systems, homeowners don’t know there’s an issue with their plumbing until something breaks. This means homeowners won’t think about calling you to prevent pipe bursts and other plumbing catastrophes, so you need to remind them. As with HVAC contractors, you can also create a maintenance package that answers these questions:
- Is the sump pump—including the float—working properly?
- Is there a backup battery backup installed if the sump pump were to lose power?
- Do all downspouts lead into a tile drainage system?
- Is the tile drainage system clear of debris?
Sump pumps are especially important in areas prone to floods such as New Brunswick, parts of Alberta, Ottawa, Toronto, and any low-lying areas. Contact those customers first to see how you can help them keep water out of their house in the winter.
Talk To Your Customers
Your customers may be wary of you offering HVAC or plumbing services in the winter. Part of the problem is that these important components to a building don’t show any need for maintenance until something breaks, and those breaks can be costly. Compare that to owning a car: Because drivers see and use their car every day, maintenance tasks are usually done automatically.
But how many of your customers watch their furnace or stare at their pipes? Likely only those who are debating if they should clean up that area or not—which is to say, pretty much no one.
Communication is key here. When you talk to your customers, offer them some free advice. For example, suggest they double-check that all return air vents in and outside the house aren’t blocked. Or, ask them to walk around their property to see if all visible downspouts are pointing away from the house.
For HVAC customers, remind them that an inspection of their heating system is part of preparing for the winter. However, don’t just say, “Regular maintenance will make your furnace more efficient.” That phrase is thrown around so much these days that it means nothing.
Instead, make an analogy they can consume. For example, explain how much easier it is to walk on cleared sidewalks, i.e., it takes less energy. Then compare that to their heating system. Similarly, a cleaned and well-maintained heating system doesn’t work as hard to heat the house. That means lower energy consumption and overall maintenance costs in the long-term.
Get More Business Tips from Experts
You know, as an expert, that regular maintenance helps keep the plumbing and HVAC system in a home functioning at its best. Take your time with your customers, listen to their concerns and answer them as best as you can. The best long-term strategy for staying busy in the winter is to build trust with your customer base.