Why add IAQ testing to your HVAC services?
In the wake of the past year’s business losses, many HVAC service companies are looking for new ways to boost revenue. Adding IAQ testing can be a profitable new revenue stream and also help you sell indoor air quality products and solutions.
Indoor air quality solutions are a natural fit for HVAC service providers. And the market is growing: it’s expected to increase by more than 9 billion USD by 2024, according to Technavio, a global market research firm specializing in technology.
Before you can sell the solutions, you need to understand the problem. So let’s start with why your customers are motivated to improve indoor air quality.
Your customers want IAQ improvement (and it’s not only about COVID)
Even before COVID happened, indoor air quality was a big concern that was increasingly impacting your customers:
Poor indoor air quality causes illness. Studies show that people can experience a range of respiratory illnesses, from viral illnesses to asthma to cancer, from exposure to harmful airborne particles. They also cause headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and eye, nose and throat irritation, according to the EPA.
Air quality problems impact workplace productivity. It’s well documented that air quality problems make workers slower and less productive. This is a huge problem for businesses who are trying to stay competitive.
And now, people are trying to prevent the spread of COVID. Air quality has never had higher stakes. Businesses need to be able to reopen safely and stay open. They want to keep their employees and their customers safe. HVAC companies can provide a range of indoor air quality products and solutions that can make a big difference in getting commercial customers back on their feet.
Here’s an informative infographic about IAQ from ACHRNews that you can share with your customers.
Indoor air quality testing provides the proof
Chances are, your customers are experiencing more than one of the impacts described above. You can show them exactly what is contaminating the air in their spaces, and to what degree, with IAQ testing. That provides the conclusive proof that helps you sell the products and services your customers need.
Let’s review the components of measuring indoor air quality, and the contaminants to test for.
The 3 components of indoor air quality measurement
Three components contribute to indoor air quality:
- Temperature and humidity. They affect not only comfort, but also the spread of some contaminants such as mold and even coronavirus.
- Ventilation. The supply and removal of air, along with proper distribution throughout the building, can help to reduce and even eliminate many sources of indoor air pollution.
- Contaminants. There are a wide variety of harmful substances that can be present in indoor air and lead to adverse effects for occupants. Mitigation strategies depend on the specific IAQ challenges that are found in a space.
As an HVAC service company, you are already measuring and mitigating two of these components of IAQ. Adding IAQ testing for airborne contaminants gives you the ability to provide a complete solution for healthy air.
Common contaminants to look for with IAQ testing
Particulates. These include solid and liquid particles from combustion of fossil fuels, along with dust, pollen, pet dander, soot, and cigarette smoke.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Cleaning products, new furniture and carpets, paint, aerosol sprays, dry cleaned clothing, and many more items emit organic gasses, such as formaldehyde, that are harmful to breathe.
Mold. When there is excess moisture present, mold can develop in air ducts, inside walls, and other places that are not readily accessible to building occupants.
Carbon monoxide. Furnaces, boilers, generators, and vehicle exhaust are common sources of this deadly odorless and colorless gas.
Carbon dioxide. High levels of carbon dioxide are often found when a building’s ventilation is inadequate to handle the occupancy level. This is the main culprit behind declines in work productivity due to poor indoor air quality.
Radon. This is a radioactive gas that finds its way from soil into buildings through every crack and opening in floors and ground-contact walls. It’s the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.
HVAC companies can help to identify the presence of these harmful substances in indoor air using test kits and sensor equipment.
How to get started with indoor air quality testing
Develop a portfolio of IAQ solutions. Every HVAC company is offering filtration solutions such as MERV 13 or HEPA filters. However, there are many more solutions you can offer in the areas of ventilation, air purification, and even humidity control.
Read this article to learn more about selling indoor air quality solutions.
Invest in sensor equipment and test kits for your technicians. There are different types of sensors that are used to detect specific contaminants. For mold, you can use a test kit that collects air and surface samples that are sent to a lab. In other cases, such as particulate matter, handheld sensor units can measure levels in a specific location. For continuous monitoring of a large building or space, you can install wall-mounted sensors that provide ongoing readings.
Chances are, you are hearing questions about monitoring the air for the virus that causes COVID-19. That technology is in development; you can learn more here.
Train your technicians in the correct use of sensors for IAQ testing and identifying levels that require mitigation. Also, it’s just as important to train your technicians on how to talk to customers about air quality problems and solutions. Your sales will grow when your techs offer IAQ testing on every service call.
We will address this last item in an upcoming article. Stay tuned!
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