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Tips To Help Improve Your Home Performance Department

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Well you took the plunge and bought that expensive Home Performance (HP) equipment. What are you doing with it now? Is that expensive equipment sitting idle a little more than you would like?

Well if you are like me at first, you blame not using your high dollar HP equipment, because of training. So, you attended a few training classes, joined another organization, and continued to receive training for you and your employees.

In addition, as I heard at ACCA’s Building Performance Forum, we newer contractors in HP are supposed to develop that “Special Person” in our companies to head up the department. Much like runners/jogger training for a race, first, you have to get out of your comfort zone, and train before you start running the HP Races.

Therefore, being a smaller company in a big city, we have to differentiate ourselves from the other HVAC contractors in our own areas, from the big boys to all the smaller “Chucks in a Truck.”

Here are a few tips to improve your HP department in no particular order.

1. Like a sports coach going over the game plan, remind your employees your company does indeed perform HP during a weekly meeting.

2. After most techs leave their company weekly meeting, hop into their service trucks, and start their daily run of service calls, they may forget about HP. Even after all your hard work and preparation for the weekly meeting (i.e., reading good articles in IE3, writing down bullet point items in your planner, and creating a nice PowerPoint presentation). So, debrief your service techs after each call and farm for opportunities for HP.

3. Use a simple Debrief Log and ask consistent questions to the techs after service calls.

4. Just like best, better, and good options on HVAC, plumbing, or electrical items, you need to remind your team members to recommend HP options while on regular calls of all kinds. If they know they are going to be asked about it after the call they usually engage the customer on these items.

5. Your technician gets to advise your customers on typical HVAC, Plumbing, or Electrical items during service calls. Most of you better ACCA members are already looking at the duct work and making recommendations there. Take it one-step further now that you are in the HP business.

6. At Barbosa, we advise our customers of the HP issues and resulting benefits while on a service call or during a clean and check we try to book the test.

7. While on a typical HVAC, plumbing, or electrical call, look at the customers’ home or business for various leakage areas before you use your equipment. 8. Use your checklist to do your HVAC tasks then develop a list of items to do HP related items.

9. When the technician has checked in with the customer, he or she should ask the customer about Hot Spots and Cold Spots, which could be related to HP issues.

10. While checking the air filter, your tech should look around the duct work, especially around areas where the duct work goes from the furnace closet into the basement areas or in the attic for gaps around equipment that are decent size leakage points when they do Blower Door Test or Infrared Red Gun Testing.

11. While around the indoor sections also look for those air infringement points, gaps, or holes around the utility connections. An example would be holes or gaps around the Electrical J-box on the wall and the big hole behind it where the electrician moves the insulation in the wall.

12. Inspect Gas piping to a furnace where the plumber left a big hole that connects to the outdoors. Up north this could be some air leaks around hydronic piping in lieu of natural Gas piping.

13. Always check the condensation line to avoid an early Sunday morning call after a warm Saturday night and the P.M./Comfort Club Member saying “Your Company was just out here” and now I have an A/C related condensation water leak. These HP issues related to the A/C condensation line lead us to check not only where the A/C condensation piping penetrates the wall or ceiling tops plates, but to check where other penetrations can also cause air leaks seal up opportunities.

14. Develop your own check list of A/C items that remind your technicians to check for HP issues.

15. This one is controversial, consider if all else fails and your customer is just not biting. We occasionally will give the HP testing free “If they Promise to stay at the house with us.” Sometimes if your customer sees with their own eyes where the bad air is coming in they will be convinced. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Just look how on a simple HVAC clean and check, you can find a lot of low hanging fruit related to HP, which will allow you to grow your HP department and also improve your profits. It’s better to pay off the equipment investment sooner, rather than later.

Drew Barbosa
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Posted In: ACCA Now, Building Performance, Residential Buildings

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