Ask any HVAC worker what his or her plans are this summer and you might get a punch in the face. While others industries get ready to book vacations and loung by the pool, HVAC techs are bracing themselves for their busiest, and sweatiest, season of the year.

Which presents some big challenges. As Charlie Greer of Contracting Business explains in “How to Stay Profitable This Summer,” service firms often get too caught up in the frenetic pace of handling as many calls as possible — but often lose sight of the advantages (and profits) of tackling fewer service calls and doing them well. Says Greer: “Your customers are not interested in getting a rush job today because you’re busy.” 

Greer adds, “In the summer, the tendency for HVAC contractors is to run their techs as long and hard as possible, and squeeze in as many calls per day as they can. In reality, it’s better and more profitable to take your time and perform a complete inspection on every call, every day of the year, regardless of the call load or outside temperature.”

Here are a few more tactics Greer advises for making the most out of HVAC high season:

Strategies for Summer Success

Don’t overwork your techs. You can only do so much in a day, then you’re worthless.

  • Educate your techs on the cost to run a call. Explain to them that on any given call when they don’t bring the cost of the call plus the parts the company loses money.
  • Provide training needed to perform the tasks at hand.
  • Listen in on your dispatcher’s communications with your technicians.
  • Tell your customer service reps that it’s okay if someone is unwilling to wait for service. Don’t force your techs to rush though calls in order to capture every call that comes in.

With this last piece of advice, Greer advises being transparent with customers and not overpromising, “Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to your interactions with customers. Don’t tell customers you’ll get there that day when you know it’s impossible. When it doesn’t look good but it’s still a possibility, it’s okay to tell them you’ll try to get someone there that day.”