8 Ways New HVAC Technicians Can Improve Customer Retention

HVAC Technician Improving Customer RetentionAs a new HVAC technician, you want to build up a long-lasting customer base. You can do this only if your customers trust you and your work. If they do, they’ll call you again anytime a problem arises.

Use these tips to ensure your customers call you again—and recommend you to all their friends.

1. Greet Customers in a Friendly, Professional Manner

You didn’t necessarily choose HVAC tech as a career because you wanted to work with people. Nevertheless, having good people skills is important in any profession. Your attitude and demeanor can leave either a positive or negative impression on your customers.

When your customers first greet you at the door, smile and introduce yourself. Shake their hands if your hands are clean. If they seem stressed and concerned (and many people with HVAC problems are), acknowledge their concerns and assure them that you’ll work your hardest to solve the problem.

2. Explain the Problem in Words Customers Can Understand

Even if your customers don’t know a lot about HVAC technology, they want to know what’s going on and what needs to be fixed. They also want to get a sense that you know exactly what the problem is.

Before you start repair work, take a few minutes to explain to your customers the exact nature of the problem. Explain the problem clearly, avoiding technical terms they may not know. But don’t talk down to them either—tell them exactly what’s wrong and how you can fix it.

3. Be Prepared in Advance to Repair Any Problem

You want your customers to trust you and your skills. You’ll seem a lot more skilled and competent if you’re able to fix the problem quickly. But you can only do that if you have all the right tools and equipment.

Keep a supply of all necessary tools and equipment that you’ll need on a day-to-day basis. If you need to order a part, let your customers know exactly what you’re ordering and how long it will take for it to arrive. If the delivery is late, call your customers and let them know.

4. Offer Discounts for New Customers

A great way to please customers is to offer a discount for first-time customers. Of course, if you work for a company, your company will determine the type of discount you can offer. If you work as an independent contractor, the discounts are up to you.

You can continue to mail coupons to your customers so they’ll think to ask you for help in the future.

5. Leave the Home Cleaner than You Found It

Even if you solve your customers’ HVAC problems, they won’t be impressed if you leave their home looking dirty.

You should consider wearing shoe covers or placing a plastic covering on the floor in front of the HVAC system. Your job isn’t complete until you’ve made sure the area is clean and uncluttered.

6. Leave a Card Behind

Don’t leave behind any dirt or clutter, but do leave behind a card with your name and business information. A business card enhances your professional image and makes it more likely for your customers to call you in the future.

There are other ways to leave your name behind as well. You could place a sticker on the HVAC system with your company information on it. You could also give the customer a thermometer with your contact information on it.

7. Update Newsletters, Blogs, and Social Media

Your customers will continue to trust your expertise if you present yourself as a trusted voice about HVAC issues. You can mail a monthly newsletter to your customers or email them a newsletter or blog. Newsletters and blogs also remind your customers about you so they’ll call you when a problem arises.

Social media is another great way for you to build credibility and keep in touch with your customers. Post several times a week on sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Talk about what your company is doing and how you’re helping the community. You could also offer deals and contests through social media to increase customer attention.

8. Check Up on Your Customers

Most professionals recommend that customers get their HVAC systems checked about once a year. An annual check can improve the system’s efficiency and prevent future problems.

To promote customer retention, keep track of when you last visited each customer. About a year after the last visit, mail or email a reminder about the annual service check.

If you’re about to graduate and start working as an HVAC technician, you should have your eye on building a customer pool that lasts. Follow these tips to retain your customers and ensure regular work for your new HVAC business.

Keep reading our blog for more tips about the journey to becoming a successful HVAC technician.

6 Reasons Why HVAC Technician Is the Right Career for You

Hvac-technician

After graduating from high school and college, many of your associates will spend the rest of their work lives sitting at a desk. But that’s just not what you see yourself doing.

Have you considered becoming an HVAC technician? While this job isn’t right for everyone, it’s the perfect fit for some.

Here are six reasons why you might be the type of person who would succeed as an HVAC technician.

1. You Prefer Hands-On Work

In school, you were expected to do a lot of learning by reading, writing, and listening. But this just didn’t work well for you. Once you got to perform an operation yourself with your own two hands, you finally understood how the process worked. Your favorite classes might have been chemistry, mechanics, or physical education.

HVAC technology is the perfect career field for those who prefer hands-on work. HVAC technicians solve problems by examining and repairing different kinds of heating, cooling, and ventilation technology. When you work in HVAC technology, you can see the direct result of your knowledge and skills on the technology in front of you.

2. You Like to Work on a Variety of Different Projects

Everyone has had a job where they felt like they did the same thing day after day. While some people feel comfortable with this kind of routine, it seems too monotonous for you. You want more variety and excitement in your career.

As an HVAC technician, no two days are alike. One day, you might repair a family’s heating system that’s blowing cold air. The next day, you might fix a water leak in a hospital’s air conditioner. You’re always on your toes, ready for a new challenge.

Today, many people decide to update their HVAC systems with more energy-efficient systems. This leads to a constant demand for services, which gives you a variety of interesting projects to work on.

3. You Want to Help People

Many companies have the ultimate goal of increasing their bottom line, but that doesn’t drive you. You prefer to work one-on-one and help people with their problems.

As an HVAC technician, you’ll have unique skills that you can use to serve others. When you install and repair HVAC equipment, you can keep people comfortable in both hot and cold temperatures. Your service is important to protecting the health of your customers. After all, extreme temperatures can lead to serious health problems for people who are elderly or in poor health.

In many jobs, you don’t get to see immediate results of your work. As an HVAC technician, however, you’ll interact directly with your customers and you’ll see the impact your work makes on their lives.

4. You Prefer Staying Active All Day

You dread getting a job where you have to sit at a desk all day. You know that long periods of sitting lead to health problems like high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease. You prefer staying active at work. You might be an athlete or a fitness buff, or you might simply want to stay in good health.

Becoming an HVAC technician is a great choice to avoid the dreaded desk job. As an HVAC technician, you’re constantly going from place to place to complete different jobs. While at the jobsite, you’re on your feet to install, repair, and replace HVAC systems. Your active job can help you burn more calories and keep your heart in good shape.

5. You’re a Problem Solver

Maybe you’re the type of person who sees a problem and immediately wants to figure out how to fix it. As a kid, you might have played with LEGOs or Rubik’s Cubes. As a teenager, you probably liked video games. Maybe you took apart your watch or your DVD player just to see how it worked.

As an HVAC technician, you’ll get to put your problem solving skills to the test. Your customers will present you with new complex problems that you’ll need to address quickly. If this sounds like fun, HVAC might be the right profession for you.

6. You Value Freedom and Independence

You don’t like the idea of a supervisor watching you at every moment. You also don’t like the idea of being tied to one place based on the company you work for.

Working as an HVAC technician will give you independence and breathing room. As an HVAC technician, you’ll often work on your own. Plus, you can work anywhere in the country.

If three or more of these characteristics apply to you, working with heating, cooling, and ventilation might be the perfect job for you. Start preparing now for a future career as an HVAC technician.

At Technical HVAC Institute, we can help you reach your goal of becoming an HVAC technician. We offer a hands-on HVAC certification course that gives you a license to work as an HVAC technician. Call us today to learn more.

Practical Application: 3 Ways Electricians Use Math on the Job

electricianmathpencilsOne of the most common questions high-school math teachers hear from their students is, “When will I ever use this in real life?” If you hope to pursue a successful career as an electrician in your life, your teacher’s answer could have simply been, “Every workday.” (more…)

What You Need to Know About Federal Financial Aid Eligibility

CoinsObtaining training, such as that offered through vocational programs at HVAC Technical Institute, makes a lot of sense if you want to enter a rewarding and satisfying trade. Beginning a new educational venture brings a lot of questions, and many of those concerns center around funding school and paying for related expenses.

(more…)

10 Reasons to Become an HVAC Technician

10 Reasons to Become and HVAC Technician

How to Respond to These 4 Common On-the-Job Injuries for Electricians

Electrical work can be challenging and rewarding, but it can also be hazardous. Professional electricians must make informed decisions about potentially dangerous materials and situations on a daily basis.

While adequate training and OSHA safety standards prevent many on-the-clock injuries, accidents still can occur. In this blog, we list four injuries that can occur during electrical work, and we’ll provide you with the information you need to respond appropriately if you or one of your co-workers experience these injuries.

1. Electrical Burns

Perhaps the most obvious potential injury for electricians is electrical burns. Because most electrical jobs are completed with the power turned off and while wearing gloves, burns do not occur as often as one might imagine.

When electrical burn incidents happen, they usually affect the hands or forearms. Always check that the individual is no longer touching a live wire before offering medical assistance.

If the burn went through clothing, do not attempt to separate the cloth from the skin since this action may cause further damage. If the burn occurred on bare skin, use a sterile, lightweight covering to shield the area from airborne particles. Only use gauze or a similar material for this purpose since most other types of cloth can leave fibers in the wound.

Seek medical attention as soon as possible, especially if the injured person develops shock or loses consciousness for any length of time.

2. Electrical Shock

Electrical shock can occur with or without accompanying burns. As with electrical burns, always remove the source of the electrical shock before attempting to help the injured person.

Immediately following an electrical shock, a victim may become confused, disoriented, or clammy. Keep the person warm and call for emergency responders if the injured person does not seem to recover within a minute or so. Take note of any abnormal symptoms, such as seizure or breathing changes, since these signs can indicate a more serious medical situation.

Even when electrical shock is minor, it can cause nerve damage, especially in the hands. If you suffer a mild electric shock at work, see your doctor as soon as possible to assess any potential lingering effects of the incident.

3. Falls

Many electrical jobs require professionals to work while standing on ladders. As with any job that requires use of a ladder, falls can occur, especially when the ladder is used improperly, placed on an uneven surface, or chosen poorly. Never use a ladder that’s too short for the room you’re working in since stretching out to reach the ceiling can contribute to loss of balance.

Falls can occur at the same time as electrical injuries because high amounts of power may throw the victim a short distance. Always look for the symptoms of electrical injuries before treating fall-related injuries.

Once you have ruled out or dealt with any electrical injuries, ask the injured person to describe any areas where he or she feels pain. Falls, especially from higher positions, can cause broken or dislocated bones. If you see any significant bleeding or bone deformation, call an ambulance. Slow bleeding by covering the injury with a cloth and applying pressure until first responders arrive.

In some situations, a fall may result in a concussion. If the injured person throws up, experiences dizziness, loses consciousness, or develops a headache, let the EMTs know

4. Lacerations

When cutting electrical components, tools could slip and injure an electrician’s hands or arms. If you or someone else on your jobsite cuts themselves, cover the wound and attempt to stop the bleeding. If the bleeding does not stop or the person begins to feel faint, seek medical care. You should also seek immediate care if the laceration has punctured the victim’s hand or severed a significant amount of flesh.

Once the bleeding stops, wash the wound with water and assess its size and depth to determine whether stitches are needed. Minor cuts can be covered by a common bandage or closed using a butterfly bandage. Deeper lacerations need stitches to heal properly and should be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible to limit the threat of infection.

Limit other workers’ exposure to an injured person’s blood as much as possible to reduce the risk of disease transmission.

 

The correct response in the aftermath of an injury can minimize the pain and lasting damage that the victim experiences. Follow these guidelines and stay up-to-date on required safety and first aid training to ensure that you are equipped to handle these common injury types.

As mentioned in the introduction, the best ways to reduce the occurrence of jobsite injuries is through proper training and adherence to strict safety standards. Sign up for an electrical course to refresh or expand your skillset and learn more about safety in the electrical industry in our previous blog, “How OSHA Applies to HVAC Techs and Electricians.”

Take a Knee: 7 Strategies to Prevent and Treat Knee Pain for Electricians

kneeling-electricianAs an electrician, you spend a lot of your working hours crouching or kneeling. These positions can cause swelling, tenderness, and pain, especially as you initially transition from a sedentary job to a hands-on electrical position.

In this blog, we offer seven strategies to prevent knee pain related to your work as an electrician and address any discomfort you may currently experience.

1. Choose Supportive Shoes

Many knee problems result from excessive strain on the joint. Supportive shoes reduce the stress on your knees while you stand and walk so that normal movement doesn’t contribute to knee pain.

Look for shoes with cushioned soles or invest in orthopedic inserts. Additionally, choose close-toed shoes or work boots that come up higher around your ankle. This ankle support stabilizes your entire leg, including the knee.

2. Consider a Brace or Compressive Bandage

Compression and support of your knee joint can help decrease any discomfort you feel. You can wear a knee brace or strap whenever you need extra support, including while you’re at work. Simply avoid wearing a brace during long periods of kneeling since the tightness may reduce your circulation.

If your knee becomes tender or achy, use a compressive bandage during your off hours. Compression reduces swelling and can therefore help your knee heal more quickly.

3. Elevate Your Feet After Work

Because most knee issues are related to stress, it’s important to let the joint rest. When you get home from a long work day, prop your feet up. To target your knee joint more effectively, slide a pillow beneath your knees as well.

This position allows your legs to take a break and can restore normal circulation after your knee has stayed in a restrictive position for too long.

4. Give Yourself Breaks to Stretch

If you have a history of knee pain, prioritize stretching throughout the work day. If possible, do some simple stretches once an hour.

After you spend time on your knees, stretch before you get into a vehicle or take a new position.

5. Start a Low-Impact Exercise Routine

The right shoes and joint brace can provide support to your knees, but your knees also need support from your muscles. One of the best way to strengthen these muscles is through a low-impact cardio routine.

Walking, swimming, and stationary cycling are all good exercise options for people who are trying to prevent knee injuries. Try to include at least 30 minutes of exercise in your daily routine.

6. Use Cold Therapy and Anti-Inflammatory Medication

To address acute knee pain, take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. Look for a painkiller than includes aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen as its active ingredient.

To supplement a recommended dose of one of the painkillers listed above, use a cold compress. Wrap the compress in a towel to protect your skin and rest the compress directly against your knee joint.

Leave the compress in place for 10 minutes, and then take the compress off for 20 minutes. Repeat this pattern three to five times.

7. Use Protective Gear and Correct Positioning During Work

While you can make several choices at home to protect your knees, your most important prevention happens at work. When you have to kneel down, use knee pads or place your knees on a cushioned mat.

When you need to crouch down, place yourself near a wall so you can reach out and steady yourself if needed. Stand up often to give your knees a break.

Use these tactics to control your knee pain while you work in the electrical industry.

Learning how to complete your job correctly is vital to maintaining your physical health as an electrician. Whether you just decided to make a career change or you need to brush up on a particular skill, enroll in electrical courses from HVAC Technical Institute.

4 Most Important Business Tips a Contract HVAC Technician Should Know

You’re studying to become an HVAC technician because you don’t want to work a normal nine to five job. You want to make your own hours and, if possible, start your own business one day.

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8 HVAC Industry Media Outlets You Should Start Following Today

As a budding HVAC professional, it’s critical to build a knowledge base about industry happenings. You need to stay informed in order to adapt to changes in the business and to understand the greater economic landscape of your occupation.

The best way to do this is to follow HVAC-specific publications. While there’s certainly a lot of fluff out on the internet, we’ve sifted through it all and supplied you with eight helpful HVAC industry media outlets. Read on to learn more.

1. Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News

If there’s one media outlet you absolutely have to follow on this list, this is it. ACHR News is hands-down the industry standard for HVAC-related media, including breaking news, market breakdowns, video tutorials, content marketing how-to’s, product reviews, and instructional webinars.

All of the content you’ll digest from this site will be thoroughly researched and highly relevant.

2. National HVAC & Refrigeration Insider Online

Networking is a huge part of meeting other HVAC professionals, prospective business partners, and future clients. The National HVAC & Refrigeration Insider Online keeps you informed about industry expos, conferences, conventions, courses, workshops, and other events. It also publishes a product showcase every month, which reviews new and potentially revolutionary products.

3. HVACR Business

Is management part of your long-term career strategy? If so, then start following HVACR Business: The HVACR Management Magazine. This leadership-focused publication produces content about management strategies, customer service issues, sales and marketing best practices, and other executive-level concerns.

4. HVAC News

If you’re a total news junky, the HVAC News is for you. It rolls out daily blurbs about which companies merged and which technologies just got released across the HVAC and refrigeration industries. It maintains a calendar of industry expos and a database of HVAC jobs throughout the U.S.

5. TheHVACSource.com

Though TheHVACSource.com features a bare-bones web design, its less-is-more approach packs a lot of punch. Each piece of content is highly usable for an up-and-coming HVAC professional, particularly the site’s downloadable eBooks, digital trade publications, online training programs, and industry news.

6. Supply House Times

The official publication of the American Supply Association gives you a broad-minded perspective about what’s going on in the construction sector, based on what suppliers are doing and how they’re doing it.

The digital edition of the magazine offers access to the Times’s A-list columns, like Dan Holohan’s Heating Help and Jim Wheeler’s The Air Side. It also offers a fantastic multimedia section with a menu of podcasts, videos, an eBook, and a mobile app.

7. Contractor Magazine

Contractor Magazine calls itself the online resource for mechanical contracting, and it lives up to that label. It provides unique, interesting, and timely news pieces about things like construction unemployment rates. It also provides informative web features like 5 Common Plumbing Code Violations. The bottom line is that every piece of content on the magazine’s digital edition is useful.

8. Engineered Systems Magazine

Unlike the other media outlets on this list, Engineered Systems Magazine is written by engineers for people who work in construction and HVAC.

This monthly publication gives you a great insider’s look into the design and construction process of large buildings in the private and public sector. Through this analytic lens, it also discusses trends in equipment and techniques.

Talk to the well-informed instructors at HVAC Technical Institute to learn which industry-specific publications, social media accounts, and insider profiles they follow. Our staff stays abreast of industry voices and events, including the influencers featured in this list’s media outlets. Contact HVAC Technical Institute to get more information about how you can start your career as an HVAC professional.

5 Common Hand Health Problems for Skilled Laborers (And How to Prevent Them)

When you work as a skilled laborer, you rely on your hands. Unfortunately, because of how much you use your hands, you become vulnerable to many hand health conditions.

In this blog, we list five common hand-related issues that affect skilled laborers and offer advice for preventing each issue.

1. Burns

Many hands-on technical fields include working closely with wiring and mechanical components that can become hot. Burn injuries are particularly common among electrical workers since electricity can cause burns without direct contact.

Mild burns can cause pain and discomfort that may impact your ability to work. Severe burns can inhibit the use of the hands and leave scars.

Prevent burn injuries by taking these steps:

  • Always turn off the power to equipment before you begin work.
  • Follow protocol, especially in high-risk situations.
  • Wear protective gloves and long sleeved work clothes.

Use common sense when welding, working with electricity, or using hot machinery to avoid burns.

2. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome, or CTS, occurs when the tendons in the wrist become too inflamed to operate normally within the space between the bones of the wrist, known as the carpal tunnel.

CTS makes hand motions less precise and often causes persistent pain in the wrist, palm, and fingers. Take these precautions against CTS development:

  • Avoid working when your hands are cold or stiff.
  • Take frequent breaks, especially if you notice numbness in your hands.
  • Wear a brace overnight to keep your wrist straight.

Work with your doctor to determine if you have other risk factors for CTS, such as obesity or poor posture.

3. Lacerations

You work with tools and mechanical parts that have sharp edges on a daily basis. Cuts and scrapes represent the most common injury for skilled laborers. According to the US Bureau of Labor, 63% of all work-related injuries are lacerations.

While many lacerations are just inconvenient, a deep cut can affect the use of the hand and may contaminate a worksite through blood contact.

Protect yourself against lacerations in the following ways:

  • Avoid using materials or equipment that you are not trained for.
  • Wear work gloves when handling sharp objects.

If you or a co-worker sustain a cut, put pressure on the wound and clean up any blood as soon as possible.

4. Joint Pain

Frequent physical labor can leave you with aches and pains, especially in your hands. Over time, chronic joint pain may make it difficult for you to do your job efficiently, especially if you also experience swelling around the affected joints.

Prevent joint pain by doing the following:

  • Change positions when you feel discomfort in your hands.
  • Keep your elbows and wrists straight when possible.
  • Practice good posture.

If you experience joint pain, use cold therapy and a brace to decrease your symptoms.

5. Overexertion

Skilled laborers are at a high risk for overexertion injuries due to the physical nature of their work. Overexertion injuries affecting the hands often occur due to excess pressure, long-term use of vibrating equipment, or repetitive motions. Overexertion can lead to fatigue, which contributes to the risk of more serious injuries.

Avoid overexertion by doing the following:

  • Do not push yourself during lifting or pressing motions.
  • Take frequent breaks when working with vibrating equipment.

Follow all worksite safety policies to reduce the risk of overexertion.

 

Remember, your two fundamental safeguards against injury are work knowledge and basic safety equipment. Stay educated in your field and never perform any work without the use of appropriate safety gear.

If you have sustained any of the injuries listed above or suspect you may be developing a hand health condition, address your concerns with your primary care physician as soon as possible. Use the prevention methods detailed above to ensure that you can continue to do your best work.