Especially for small to medium-sized contractors, maintaining a steady income stream can be a challenge, particularly during the off-season. Add-ons represent a possible year-round income stream. Items like whole home air cleaners, desuperheaters and whole home dehumidifiers may not be part of a basic HVAC system, but perhaps they should be part of your company's services.
Programmable and Smart Thermostats
While modern home and commercial HVAC systems are already equipped with programmable thermostats, this is not the case with older systems. Programmable thermostats allow users to set different temperatures for different times of the day – or even for different rooms. This allows for more efficient operation of an HVAC system. While programmable thermostats can be installed by savvy consumers, it’s also a service that can be provided by professionals for homeowners and commercial clients who prefer not to take on the task.
Smart thermostats take programmable thermostats one step further by allowing users to control their indoor environments from their personal computers or mobile devices. Smart thermostats also provide diagnostic reports that point out the sources of energy waste. This information, combined with programmable thermostat features, allow users to schedule high-energy use for off-peak hours, saving money as well as allowing systems to operate more efficiently.
Whole Home Air Cleaners
Improving indoor air quality is a vital aspect of maintaining overall indoor comfort. Poor indoor air quality is not only detrimental to the occupants of a building; it detracts from the efficiency of an HVAC unit. HVAC units have air filters; however, they cannot completely prevent contaminants from entering the HVAC system or room interiors. Whole home air cleaners trap more contaminants than standard HVAC filters; some whole-home air cleaners also kill contaminants with a brief electrical charge.
Whole House Fans
Although whole house fans are often used as substitutes for central HVAC systems in moderate climates, they can also be used in combination with central HVAC systems. Running a whole house fan during the early morning or evening hours can draw fresh, cool air into the home, reducing the need for air conditioning during the midday hours. Whole-house fans can also be used to cool down attic air, which can sometimes reach 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whole Home Dehumidifiers
During the summer months, discomfort often results from excess humidity as much as from high temperatures. In additional, excess humidity also encourages mold spores and can cause significant damage to wood floors and furnishings. A whole home dehumidifier works along with an HVAC system to remove excess humidity from indoor air – and prevent the unit from overcooling interior spaces.
Heat Pump Add-Ons
If you are located in a warmer climate, many of your customers and potential customers may have heat pumps installed. In such cases, heat pump add-ons represent a mutual win-win: more efficient operation for the customer, and additional revenue.
- Variable-Speed Blowers: In central HVAC units, blowers move cooled air from the unit through the ductwork into interior spaces. Variable-speed blowers operate different levels – depending on the optimal cooling for a particular space. This allows the HVAC unit to operate at a lower level more often – saving money on operating costs.
- Variable-Speed Compressors: Variable speed compressors can be set to operate based on the preferences of building occupants. Scroll compressors increase internal refrigerant compression, thereby improving heat transfer efficiency.
- Desuperheater: Desuperheaters reclaim excess heat generated by consumer heat pump for producing hot water inside the home.
Overcoming Homeowner Resistance
Many homeowners hesitate to take on the additional costs associated with HVAC add-ons. However, contractors can point out that making the investment is actually a money saver in many cases because of the increased efficiency of the operation of the HVAC system. Improved indoor air quality also translates into fewer respiratory complaints and overall improved comfort for building residents.