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The Importance of Addressing Humidification In HVAC/Home Performance Conversation

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It continues to amaze me how often we are in a customer’s home as the second, third or fourth opinion and are for the first time introducing the vital role humidification levels play in home comfort. For those of you that already understand how important this is, just move to the next article. For those that don’t, read on.

We as humans feel humidity as a much stronger portion of the sensory experience than temperature on its own. 70 degrees and 10% humidity, you will need a sweater. 70 degrees and 70% humidity, you’ll feel like you’re dying. We have won contracts merely because of a short explanation of the impact humidity has on comfort. Not only is it good for the bottom line to become an expert on humidity, you are doing your customers a disservice if you don’t fully educate them on how their new, or old, system will make them feel.

This really cuts to the heart of why someone wants your services. It’s important to see the bigger picture, even within a true “emergency service” scenario. The customer’s immediate need may be a frozen home without a working furnace. It is easy to address that surface issue, repair or replace the furnace to restore heat in their home, and feel satisfied at a job well done. But, failing to ask if they were even comfortable to begin with leaves significant opportunity behind. Again, this is not just a way to increase revenue. Addressing the hidden needs of the customer is how you build a lasting reputation as a company that cares. Our goal is always to: answer the question the customer isn’t asking. This philosophy was instilled in our company ethics from day one by my father, the founder of our company.

Improper humidity control explains why the basement feels muggy. It shows why the bedrooms are uncomfortable when the living room feels perfect. Humidity over 60% produces a breeding ground for allergens. Lack of humidity produces nose bleeds and dry skin. Your body becomes susceptible to colds, the flu, and other infections. Cold weather and dry air also helps harmful viruses survive. Low humidity will cause you to feel colder, to which the normal response of cranking the heat will only further dry the air. Neither too low or too high is a sustainable answer to the customer’s desire to be comfortable in their home.

Take the time to become an expert on humidification. Take the moment to identify and address the questions your customer isn’t asking. It’s not sufficient to guess, or even have an “okay” knowledge of how humidity affects home comfort. To steal a line from my late Grandmother: “There is nothing wrong with the dollar I paid, so there should be nothing wrong with the services rendered.” Doing the right thing for the customer – even if it takes extra effort before, during, or after – is the only choice.  Your bottom line will thank you, but more importantly your customers will thank you.

Dave Schmidt

Posted In: Building Performance, Residential Buildings

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