December 2019

The Contractor's HVAC Winter Checklist

Wolseley PRO Pipeline Blog

With winter now in full swing, you’ve likely fielded most of the phone calls about furnace breakdowns. Now, you’re left with helping homeowners keep their furnace in working condition. But when it comes to keeping your customers warm and comfortable all winter long, there’s more to it than just the furnace. Do you offer a maintenance check and consultation package? This is a great way to help you fill your schedule during the winter season.

We’ve compiled a winter checklist here, assembled from our decades of experience in the industry, to help you fill in those gaps.

Do A Proper Combustion Analysis

You can no longer just eyeball the plane on a furnace. You need to ensure the furnace is firing properly. Not only does this prevent serious carbon monoxide issues from creeping up, but it also improves the furnace’s efficiency. Helping your clients stay safe and save money will help you earn their trust, which will drastically increase the chances that they’ll call you when they have HVAC problems.

Air Filters For Furnace

Check For Humidifiers

Some home HVAC systems have a humidifier built-in. Inspect and clean it, and replace the pad if needed. If the home doesn’t have a built-in humidifier, you can make the suggestion to your customers or suggest they add portable humidifiers that are sizeable to rooms within their home.

Check Their Air Filters

When customers buy air filters for their HVAC system, they typically look for three things:

  1. Does the manufacturer’s packaging claim to filter a lot of junk out of the air?
  2. Do the filters fit the dimensions they need?
  3. Are the filters on sale?

Most customers don’t understand that the wrong air filters can actually impede airflow and cause their furnace to work harder–and maybe even shut off–leading to higher energy bills and uneven airflow in the home. So, while an air filter may claim to filter a high number of foreign air particles...if the air isn’t flowing, nothing is filtering!

When helping customers with air filters, make sure to choose the right ones for the best airflow and their furnace’s needs.


Check for Blocked And/Or Closed Vents And Registers

A common misconception among homeowners is that closing registers to avoid heating a rarely used room will save money. This misconception is most prevalent with homeowners who grew up with radiators. It’s up to you to explain to customers that this practice actually increases their energy costs.

Homeowners may also place furniture in front of return-air vents. It’s common to believe that “slightly” blocking one return-air vent or closing one or two registers won’t make much of a difference, but again, this practice doesn’t help airflow and decreases energy efficiency. Ensure, too, that any grilles to the outside are free and not blocked or clogged by autumn leaves, winter snow, or any furniture or small buildings (e.g. sheds).


Honeywell_FC_T10_StatSensorHoneywell T10 Pro Smart Thermostat - Shop Now 

Check The Thermostat and Make Sure The Homeowner Knows How Their Thermostat Works

With so many thermostats programmable these days, a homeowner may not know or may have forgotten how to program theirs. Walk through how to use a thermostat with your customers to give them the best value for their home’s HVAC.

Here are a few steps to help you carry the conversation:

  1. When giving instructions on programming and use, take cues from your customer and ensure you’re showing them slowly enough. You’ve seen hundreds of thermostats in your career; a homeowner has maybe seen a handful. Don’t rush!
  2. Make sure the room lights are on so the homeowner can see what you’re doing. Again, this comes down to your familiarity with the system versus their unfamiliarity with it. Encourage them to ask any questions if they’re unclear on what you’re doing with the thermostat
  3. Confirm that no artificial sources of heat, like a television or other large electronic device, are near the thermostat. If the sun shines into the room and either heats up the room or shines directly on the thermostat, suggest ways for your customer to mitigate the sun’s effects on home temperature readings
Honeywell-Smart-Lyric-Thermostat Honeywell Lyric Round Thermostat - Shop Now

Why The HVAC Winter Checklist Matters

An affordable maintenance check and consultation package for your customers will greatly help you fill in gaps in business during the winter season. In addition, you’ll also help customers save money with energy efficiency and keep them safe. In the end, this earns trust and builds your rapport with them in the long term.

For more great business tips and seasonal advice, sign up to be a Wolseley PRO and get the latest news straight to your inbox. 

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