HVAC maintenance agreements are crucial for driving revenue, with a successful maintenance contract program easily accounting for 50% or more of your HVAC company’s annual revenue. Below, we’ve delved into
HVAC maintenance agreements are crucial for driving revenue, with a successful maintenance contract program easily accounting for 50% or more of your HVAC company’s annual revenue.
Below, we’ve delved into the fine details to help you understand how to price contracts appropriately, structure service tiers to your advantage and sell plans to customers that streamline their management.
Supported by a sharp service contract program, expect to increase profits, level up year-round cash flow, and better retain clients – all while lowering your marketing expenses.
HVAC maintenance contracts are agreements between an HVAC company and a customer that outline various coverage options and discounts for a homeowner’s HVAC system maintenance.
These contracts go by various names, including standard maintenance contracts, service agreements, club memberships, and, in some cases, comfort plans. However, despite their many names, these agreements provide the same services, even if they omit the term “contract.”
So what services are typically included in an HVAC maintenance plan? It usually offers routine maintenance, tune-ups and cleaning. However, some companies throw in extra benefits to entice customers, such as reduced rates for service calls or priority and emergency service.
You may find that some businesses include free maintenance plans with a system installation. Others will give customers discounts for committing to a long-term plan, like offering a free third year of maintenance when homeowners commit to a two-year HVAC service contract.
An HVAC service contract is critical for increasing profit and keeping customer retention rates high. In addition, a maintenance service contract guarantees a company repeat business instead of relying solely on repair calls and installation jobs.
Suppose a customer purchases a new HVAC system that probably won’t need repairs for some time. A business can retain this customer by offering regular maintenance that extends the lifetime of the new unit. This tactic turns a single visit into repeat business.
Frequent maintenance visits also allow technicians to build relationships with clients. This familiarity establishes trust and enables techs to upsell or pitch additional products and services like air purification systems. This can help boost sales as customers grow to trust their long-term tech’s advice.
Most importantly, HVAC service contracts keep technicians busy during slow seasons, smoothing out the industry’s seasonal ebbs and flows.
Considering HVAC systems can encounter numerous problems, homeowners can only do so much on their own. Beyond the peace of mind that comes with scheduled maintenance, the following benefits make service contracts a smart decision for homeowners:
Improved Energy Efficiency. Despite being one of the most basic fixes, homeowners usually overlook filthy air filters. Clean HVAC systems reduce energy consumption by 25-30%, saving customers significant cash on electricity bills. In fact, a clogged system’s fan has to work much harder, dust settles around the home and air doesn’t travel as far. Explaining these issues to customers helps them see the value in HVAC service contracts.
Detection of Minor Problems Before They Become Major Ones. With at least two inspections per year, there’s a dramatic reduction in the chance of system malfunctions, breakdowns and failures that can lead to more costly repairs.
Prevention of System Damage. Preventing damage ensures that equipment lasts as long as possible, saving homeowners money in the long run. Not only will a well-maintained system grant reduce customer headaches, but it will also require fewer repair calls and ultimately pay for itself.
Discounts. Most HVAC companies offer discounted repair costs and equipment rates under their service contracts. Some even provide free labour. As a result, regular maintenance can save homeowners money, especially when you factor in costly repairs due to poor upkeep.
Priority Service. Many HVAC service contracts prioritise anyone under a service or calling in for emergency service. Priority service means that homeowners get speedy service during the busiest times of the year instead of waiting in queue.
Equipment Warranty Longevity. Some manufacturers require their systems to undergo regular service to keep their warranty valid. By providing this service in your HVAC contract, your customers get the most value from their system’s factory warranty should anything go wrong.
Increase In Home Value. A shipshape system with a good warranty can also appeal to buyers should the homeowner decide to sell their house down the line.
These benefits all make HVAC service contracts worth their weight in gold to customers.
What you include in your HVAC maintenance agreement is entirely up to you. For example, some HVAC service contracts only include preventive maintenance. Others may provide special perks or even let clients choose specific services to add to their HVAC maintenance agreement.
So, what should you include in your contact? Priority scheduling, rebates and discounts on repair work and equipment, and even faster response times are popular options. These won’t cost your business much money, but they can prove incredibly valuable to your clients.
This benefit sees customers jump to the front of the line whenever they call for repairs, no matter the situation. Priority service is especially beneficial to homeowners during a major heatwave or cold snap when HVAC companies are busier than usual and have long delays. Instead of waiting days for a tradie to fix their cooling in the middle of summer, your company’s HVAC contracts may guarantee same-day service.
While not every company can provide HVAC emergency repairs after hours, this service definitely appeals to customers who stress about having round-the-clock access to heating and cooling. For example, elderly people may like the peace of mind that comes with this service, so they worry about the extra cost that comes with having this option in their maintenance agreement.
It costs a company more to obtain a new customer than to retain an old one. By offering reduced rates for service calls, you not only save money on advertising costs but guarantee your customers will call you whenever issues arise. In addition, some companies waive the diagnostic fee while others may offer discounts on labour costs or the repair as a whole in their contracts.
Homeowners can avoid paying for the biggest air conditioning and heating repairs with an HVAC service contract, saving them a bundle. Then, when they inevitably need to replace worn parts, you can offer them a discount. Most companies offer a discount of around 15% or exclude installation labour costs when including this service in a maintenance agreement.
Preventive maintenance for heating and cooling equipment is essential and not something most homeowners can complete. With regular HVAC maintenance, homeowners will reduce their energy bills, experience cleaner air and increase the lifespan of their air conditioner. During preventative maintenance visits, a tech will usually:
HVAC seasonal tune-ups require different services compared to preventative maintenance. During each seasonal tune-up, a technician may:
You can decide whether to include new filters and belt changes as part of your basic HVAC contract or throw them in as an add-on accessory offer.
Note: Most homeowners assume HVAC service contacts include replacement filters. Rather than making homeowners pay this extra cost, consider building the charge into your contract’s overall cost.
HVAC businesses often provide several service contract tiers. While every business has a different approach to inspecting and maintaining HVAC systems, most have three broad categories of service: basic, mid-level and the premium plan – often referred to as bronze, silver and gold.
Although the price will increase as you move up the contract tiers, the services included will also become more comprehensive. Naturally, offering a tier for every budget ensures your business attracts a broader range of customers, depending on what they can afford.
For example, your service contract plans might look like this example created inside FieldPulse’s Variant Proposal tool:
Trying to decide what your service contract should include? Most maintenance plans typically include the following benefits and maintenance tasks:
These preventative HVAC maintenance tasks are low-cost, do-it-yourself projects that homeowners can complete without the help of a professional.
Mid-level plans often partially cover the cost of heating and cooling repairs alongside routine maintenance. Plus, the plan may provide minor repairs, with homeowners paying money out of pocket for more expensive heating or cooling issues.
The most expensive plans typically cover all costs for maintenance and repair visits, as well as the costs of selected parts for heating and cooling repairs. Services included:
There are numerous factors to consider when figuring out what to charge customers for a maintenance contract agreement. For example, the unit’s size, age and efficiency are crucial. Meanwhile, it should account for the time of year and unit accessibility.
Basic plans often start at $200 for basic cleaning, then gradually increase for more complicated air conditioning and heating systems or cleanings. The highest contract cost is typically around $300-$500/year. The following pricing structure provides a useful guideline:
It’s a good idea to make your HVAC service contracts as comprehensive as possible. A high level of detail makes it clear to homeowners what services and benefits they can expect when signing a new agreement.
Otherwise, you could run into a situation where a client expects particular heating and air conditioning repairs to be covered under the terms of their maintenance agreement while you don’t.
If the terms of your service contract aren’t outlined properly in writing, you might fall into expensive and inconvenient misunderstandings. In the worst-case scenario, getting taken to court is even a possibility.
Remember that contracts protect both the client and the company. Therefore, clearly convey what tasks technicians will perform, the expected number of visits and payment terms. Then, get the contract signed!
Treat your HVAC service contract as legally binding. If you ever end up in court, having a clear contract with no loopholes could save you from a big problem. It’s always smart to have a lawyer review your contract terms.
Be precise when explaining what is and isn’t covered by your contract. If you or the client don’t fulfill the agreement’s obligations, then one or both of you can remedy the situation or exit the agreement.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach for inspecting and maintaining HVAC systems. As you can’t simply take the same approach as everyone else, reflect on how each contractual inclusion affects your business’ performance.
For example, your business might not have the resources to provide 24-hour emergency repairs. Or maybe offering free labour will put too much pressure on your profit margins. Always review what tasks you’re comfortable performing before locking yourself in a contract.
There’s no right way to determine the number of visits a consumer should receive or when to schedule their visits. That is all up to you! However, the minimum number of yearly visits should be at least two. FieldPulse lets you automatically schedule jobs and see when a visit is approaching.
Keep in mind the age of the unit in question and maintain records of when maintenance takes place (which, again, FieldPulse can help with) so you can accurately determine how many visits might be required to ensure an HVAC system doesn’t breakdown.
While it might seem silly, spell out payment terms as clearly as possible in the agreement. The more consideration you put into your agreements, the more security you provide for your company and the client.
Put yourself in the clients’ shoes. Would you want to commit to a contract without everything, including the payments, clearly defined? Build trust in your company’s service by remaining transparent about your payment terms.
Everyone wants that kind of protection for themselves, and a client seeing you provide that for them helps them feel at ease handing over money.
The agreement must be signed by yourself and the customer. Otherwise, the parties aren’t bound to it. You can quickly accept signatures on maintenance agreements within the FieldPulse app, as well as keep track of maintenance agreement contracts.
While it might feel overwhelming to keep records of all of your HVAC service agreements, FieldPulse’s easy-to-use maintenance management software makes tracking HVAC contracts a hassle-free experience.
You can easily view scheduled maintenance visits, attach photos and forms to agreement files and check payments, along with many more features covered below:
Ready to try FieldPulse alongside your HVAC business? Book a free demo to experience FieldPulse’s features and see how they fit your business’s specific needs or go at your own pace with a free 7-day trial.