By Tony Abate
Indoor air quality (IAQ) in a home or office can present new opportunities for expansion of business as well as supply a tremendous health and cost savings benefit for your customers.
However, IAQ not only impacts the health of customers but can also reduce energy costs through strategic improvements made to HVAC systems. Keep in mind that both health and cost benefits are highly marketable to clients.
Awareness of IAQ and its benefits for health and well-being has increased dramatically over the past few years and for good reason. Studies by the USEPA and similar organizations have shown definitive links to airborne contaminants and the spread of illness and allergic symptoms. The EPA has stated that 50% of illness is caused by poor air quality.
The aim to be greener and more sustainable has led many people to look more closely at HVAC systems and materials for their homes and businesses. Residents and business leaders alike are demanding higher performance and efficiency from their HVAC systems. In addition, this awareness has led to a demand for high-quality air monitors to consistently and effectively measure air quality within homes, office spaces and similar assets.
Bi-polar ion air quality purification products, when used in addition to HVAC systems, provide an effective solution for any kind of user. These systems are to eliminate mold, dust, odors, as well as control bacteria and the spread of airborne viruses. They are also equipped to reduce airborne particles and germs that can bypass normal ventilation and filtration systems. Users who install these devices typically save more than $200 a year in energy costs, in part due to less airflow restriction on the HVAC system and lower energy demands.
These products can be combined with IAQ monitors and also systems for outdoor air quality, and in turn create a successful IAQ strategy. This system is also able to be validated and tested to consistently show that IAQ is healthier and more beneficial for the public than outside air.
In effect, IAQ products present a major opportunity for HVAC contractors. For one, IAQ products aren’t affected by seasonality like heating and cooling. Also, offering greener and less expensive solutions to customers aids in solidifying long-term business relationships. Most wholesalers carry IAQ related products in their catalogs, but will need to adapt to the needs of the market in order to raise awareness of their services.
First, invest into training employees about IAQ and messaging around related products. Groups like IAQA (Indoor Air Quality Association) offer training and certification programs so employees can receive necessary training. Next conduct regular training classes for contractors and empower them to effectively market and sell IAQ products.
In addition, continue researching new and innovative technologies. For many years the media filter was the predominant technology used to clean air. Now, numerous technologies such as electrostatic precipitators and bi-polar air ionization offer new ways to purify air beyond what the media filter could offer. Lastly, help teach contractors how to market effectively. Many contractors don’t offer accessories simply because they don’t know how.
The HVAC market is competitive and dynamic and customer loyalty is critical to success. Business owners can gain a competitive edge by offering IAQ expertise and products the public is demanding and contractors will require moving forward.
Tony Abate is the Vice President and Chief Technical Officer at AtmosAir Solutions
(www.atmosair.com ) in Fairfield, CT. which markets and sells indoor air quality products to businesses, contractors and home owners. Abate is a Certified Indoor Environmentalist as designated by the Indoor Air Quality Association and the American Air Quality Council.