Educating the Customer: How to Maintain Your HVAC Unit


Even if you’re currently a highly-skilled HVAC technician, there was a time you weren’t. You didn’t just wake up one day and know everything you now know about HVAC systems, after all. You went through training, studied hard, and acquired hands-on experience to accumulate all of the knowledge and skills you have.

Just like you may have known very little about HVAC systems before you embarked on a career in the heating and cooling industry, many of your clients and prospects probably don’t know much about their HVAC system. That’s why your clients rely on you to keep their systems running properly.

While you can obviously do many things to keep your clients’ systems working, one of the most effective things you can do is educate your clients about maintaining their HVAC system. Maintaining an HVAC system involves more than just calling you every so often and having you perform an inspection. Maintaining a system requires you and your clients to work as a team and you to act as the team’s consultant.

Explaining Benefits and Risks

Many homeowners don’t understand the benefits of maintaining their HVAC system and how their involvement is crucial to the health of their system. The Department of Energy estimates that heating and cooling expenses can account for more than half of a homeowner’s utility bill. You should explain that your clients can increase their energy efficiency and lower their utility costs simply by maintaining their HVAC systems.

If that doesn’t motivate your clients to participate in the maintenance of their system, you should further explain that a well-maintained HVAC system can help keep your clients healthy and safe. A neglected system can threaten a client’s health with poor air quality or mold. If an HVAC system has been ignored long enough, its electrical components may also become unsafe and increase the chance a customer will experience a fire in their home.

Making Suggestions

Even if your clients fully understand the benefits of maintaining their HVAC systems, it doesn’t mean they want to add something to their mandatory to-do list. Instead of telling your customers what they have to do, offer them suggestions about the simple tasks they can do to maintain their system on their own. Also explain how doing them will make your joint effort to keep the system working properly much easier and less expensive overall.

In your role as team consultant, suggest that your clients do the following:

  • Replace their system’s air filters monthly.
  • Clean the evaporator coil at least once every year.
  • Clean their system’s coil fins and keep them straight.
  • Clean the heat exchangers annually.
  • Inspect the system’s ductwork and piping yearly to ensure they’re sealed.
  • Keep the system’s drains clog-free.

Remember, it’s likely your clients don’t know their HVAC system as well as you do. With this in mind, take the time to show your customers how they can execute the maintenance tasks you’re recommending to them.

Giving Assurances

Once you’ve provided suggestions to your clients, remind them that you are their teammate when it comes to maintaining their HVAC system. Assure them you’ll be doing your part to keep their system working properly just like they will. Be specific about the things you’ll do to maintain their system to provide them with motivation, demonstrate that you are part of their team, and give them peace of mind.

Let them know that while you’ll handle the technical tasks, such as tightening electrical connections and testing the system’s controls, their responsibilities are just as important to maintaining the health of their system. Let them know you’re a simple phone call or text message away if they experience a problem before your next scheduled visit.

Don’t forget to mention how well your clients have done with their do-it-yourself maintenance during your next visit as well. When their efforts are recognized and appreciated, your clients will be more likely to continue acting on your suggestions, which will make your team more successful in the short- and long-terms.