How HVAC Tools Can Revolutionize Your Service Business
March 14, 2023 - Management - 12 minutes
As a professional, it’s crucial that you and your team have access to the best HVAC tools and resources to complete jobs safely and efficiently.
A business is only as good as its tools. Sounds harsh? Maybe, but if you went to the dentist and they pulled out a forceps and a linen cloth, you wouldn’t stick around too long. So, it makes sense that having the best HVAC tools pays off in the long run.
You may have the highest-rated technicians in the industry, but if they don’t have the right HVAC tools – they’ll complete fewer jobs and be unable to maximize their productivity during the workday.
How can you tell when a tool is right for your HVAC business? The easiest way is to ask two questions: does it help me do more work in the same amount of time and does it help me earn more money? If the answer is yes for both of these (or even just one!), then you’re on the right track.
This blog to help you easily identify the essential HVAC tools that you’ll see across the industry. You’ll also learn how the right tools:
- improve the service efficiency of your office staff
- Increase the output of your HVAC technicians
- increasing your revenue over time
The Best HVAC Tools for Service Businesses
There are a lot of HVAC technician tool lists around, so to make it easier, we’ve broken ours down into a few different sections:
First, we’ll discuss the tools that will help keep HVAC technicians safe in the field and insurance companies happy. While some of the items on the safety list might seem obvious, they’re necessary to keep employees safe from risks outside of their control.
Then, we’ll go over the standard hand or power tools that you can find in every HVAC technician’s toolbox.
To round out the list, we’ll talk about the specific or essential tools to work on the HVAC systems your employees will be servicing regularly, plus some useful tips to run your business more efficiently. Let’s get started!
Learn about how HVAC inventory management software can help!
HVAC Safety Equipment and Products
Investing in the right safety equipment is key. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act) sets the industry standard and you should always consult their guides when making any safety-related decisions. Some owners like to cut costs there, but what does that say about their business and ethics? When you put the safety and wellbeing of your employees first, you send the right message to your customers, too. Not to mention that anything you might save in equipment costs, you’ll end up paying back in having techs off due to medical issues or, worse, a lawsuit.
This is a good, but by no means exhaustive list of safety gear:
- masks (specifically, for working with refrigerants)
- protective clothing
- protective shoes
- yellow jacket
If you’re running an HVAC business without the proper safety tools and equipment, it can only take one accident from an HVAC technician or even a client to bankrupt your company.
Clients will be quick to appreciate (and potentially leave a positive online review) the safety precautions you take while working on their property.
HVAC Hand Tools and Power Tools
Some HVAC technicians will be bringing their own kit to work – and that’s ok. But if you hire greener people who might not have put their personal kit together, you’ll still want to offer the basic tools (remember to read HVAC tool reviews before investing):
- screwdrivers, wrenches, and pliers
- hammers, drills, saws, and awls
- tape measures, staple guns, and extension cords
- headlamps and flashlights
Learn more about the importance of HVAC insurance.
Specific Tools for HVAC Installations
The following will be a set of tools that are essential to any HVAC business, but one thing that many owners miss is that these need to be checked regularly and updated to ensure they keep up with regulations and standards.
- air quality detectors
- multimeters and megohmmeters
- air conditioning vacuum pumps
- core removal tool
- coil fin straightener
- thermal imaging cameras and leak detectors
- nitrogen regulator
- flushing solvent and storage tanks
With this comprehensive list of important HVAC tools, you should feel confident and comfortable completing a wide variety of industry jobs. From installing to repairing and everything in between, you may need to venture outside of your toolbox occasionally – but this list should be more than enough to get started!
How HVAC Tools Can Improve Service Efficiency
HVAC has been around since the early 1900s and technology has advanced alongside the industry. Useful tools and devices have been invented to help make jobs faster and easier to complete.
Since most modern homes within the last 75 years were designed with central air systems – it’s more important than ever to be efficient when working on a client’s assets.
Sure battery-powered drills will save you some time, but if we’re talking about REAL efficiency for your business, then you’re going to need some real tools and those only come in digital form.
How HVAC Tools Can Boost Productivity
Business productivity is an important KPI (Key Performance Factor). The more jobs you can do with the same number of employees while keeping costs manageable, the more room for profit you have. But in order to do this, you need to improve your current strategy.
Keep track of customers
Having vital information about your clients easily accessible to your technicians and other departments in an organized database will certify that you’re always tracking customers across their journey.
Your HVAC database needs to track each customer from estimate to payment (and beyond for top-tier customer service). Having personalized communication options and the ability to send service reminders automatically will make sure you’re never losing track of operations or an opportunity.
Route optimization, assigning the technician with the right skills and tools for the job, and the option to mass schedule – creates efficiency from the field to the office. Not having to spend administrative time manually calculating routes will help improve efficiency across all operations.
You can make do with spreadsheets but a digital stock management tool with a trained admin behind it will make your stock process both cheaper and quicker. Technicians stay organized when coming and going from the warehouse and inventory waste is reduced, saving you time and money.
Automate communications so you don’t spend extra time texting, emailing, or sending appointment reminders to clients. There are a handful of digital tools to keep technicians in real-time communication with each other and clients.
Finding what works best for your team may take some trial and error – but we’ve found that Slack is a good communication tool to increase productivity in field service.
Branding your business
You can easily brand yourself as bigger and better than the competition by showing your clients how advanced you are. Being able to handle HVAC maintenance agreement contracts, manage large amounts of stock, and big clients are all things you can use in your marketing materials to attract more (and better!) customers later down the line.
Not only will your customers appreciate the increased efficiency from your techs – but your technicians will appreciate the access they have to proper tools in order to do their jobs well!
If your technicians are unable to complete the job due to a lack of resources from management, they’ll be less likely to accurately troubleshoot and perform the service needed. This translates to more time spent on worksites and annoyed employees – reducing productivity.
With the right skill set and toolbox – HVAC service techs can work to grow professionally and master their process in a client’s home. This will boost productivity and have them working towards and setting positive goals.
How HVAC Tools Can Increase Profitability
With the right HVAC software you’ll see increased service efficiency and technician productivity. The company will quickly become more profitable and you’ll be able to win larger contracts, access detailed reporting, and perfectly price your services.
Win bigger contracts
Whether you target commercial or residential contracts (or both) – HVAC proposal software will help you automate estimation and win more bids. Being able to build professional proposals in real-time will give you the upper hand on the competition that isn’t.
You can use spreadsheets and your accounting software, but having a reporting dashboard software that communicates with your job management one is ideal.
Insight into job costs
Made of labor costs and material costs + profit you need to make sure you take EVERYTHING, down to the last paperclip, into account when setting a price for your services
Understanding every cost that goes into your business will not only help you figure out where you can make improvements – but this will also tell you exactly where to set your prices.
HVAC businesses schedule and dispatch hundreds or even thousands of work orders per day. It’s the responsibility of their office staff and schedulers to process those appointments, assign them to a technician, and find a suitable date and time for the work to be completed. But this is no simple task. A good tool should automate as many of these tasks as possible. This being sure, make sure you’re automating the repetitive and the manual (think, standard email confirmations), but leave the activities that need a more delicate touch – like customers service – to actual people.
These are just some examples of the tools you can use in order to grow your HVAC business. This being said, even the greatest tools will fail in the absence of a forward thinking leader who can help their team make the best use of them. It can be overwhelming at first, but once you get started, the gains in efficiency and profit will definitely be a motivating factor.
For example, Hattie Hassan who started and quickly grew the Register for Tradeswomen, an HVAC and multi-purpose service company, faced some of these challenges head on. She’d already worked as an independent technician before starting her own business, so getting all the tools for her employees wasn’t a problem. But the day to day management of the company proved to be a lot more than she’d anticipated.
She struggled with:
- knowing where technicians were located when on the job
- spending too much on gas and vehicle maintenance
- sending emails to customers and keeping them updated on their job progress
- missing out on profitable jobs because they couldn’t produce a professional proposal in time
- spending too much on admin costs
For her, the right HVAC tool was an all-in-one software that helped her gain control of her business, an understanding of her true costs, and the possibility to do more jobs per day with the same number of employees . For you, the solution might look the same or it might be a combination of multiple platforms. But the end result should be the same.
If everything is operating smoothly and you provide technicians with the materials and resources they need – word will get out about how great it is to work with you and your company – from an employee and client’s perspective.
This will help you recruit new employees, take on my jobs, and create more satisfied clients that come back to you for any of their HVAC needs. All of this growth can easily be managed with the right software.
Start Revolutionizing Your Service Business Today
Having the proper safety equipment, hand and power tools, and specialized HVAC tools for your business to use will result in increased service efficiency – but the real rewards come when you find the perfect software for your operations.
The right digital tool can help revitalize productivity and find new ways to increase profitability. Don’t fall behind the competition and look to take advantage of the best resources available to your business and technicians.
With the right physical and digital HVAC tools – organizing, managing, and growing your maintenance business can be worry-free. If you’re having trouble choosing a digital tool, look here for the six most important questions to ask when choosing an HVAC software CRM.
If you aren’t taking advantage of the best resources available to your business – you’ll end up losing revenue to the local competition who is. So, get started NOW and take your business to the next level with the best HVAC tools you can find.