The IAQ business
One of the fastest-growing parts of our business today is that of indoor air quality mitigation. The sad thing is most HVAC contractors and many supply houses just aren’t on the bandwagon yet. Why not? Because most think of it as part of the duct and chimney cleaning business, a good part of which is just a scam since most A/C ducts in newer construction don’t really need cleaning, and the cleaning process usually does more harm than good.
However, people are either becoming more sensitive to air pollutants, or they are just becoming more aware of the problems the pollutants cause. Either way, there is a growing demand for such services.
What does it take to get into the IAQ business? It just requires making HVACR contractors and service companies aware of what is available and letting them see how easy it is to install some of the new devices. This is where you come in.
IAQ centersNo, entering this field doesn’t necessarily require you to put on special classes or to have dedicated stores. What I am suggesting is that you set up an area labeled IAQ Center where everything dedicated to that market is on display. This will generate enough interest and grow your business. Yes, everything should be on display, including replacement parts (such as bulbs and filters), so contractors know that they will be available after the equipment has been sold and installed (contractors worry about that).
Also realize that there is far more potential to this business than just the residential market. There is an even keener interest interest and more money to be spent in large commercial, industrial and institutional markets. Such places as hospitals, clinics, schools and government buildings are constantly incurring infected and foul-smelling air that has to be dealt with. Supplying the equipment that is needed to isolate infected areas (such as special fans and plastic sheeting), and the products to solve problems on a large scale can also become good profit centers for your company.
Is it necessary for contractors to attend special schools to learn more about this business? Well, it depends on how far they want to get into it because there are certification programs. However, much of it just involves common sense and the addition of packaged devices that are easily installed, such as UV bulbs, special filters, humidification or dehumidification equipment, entering-air dehumidifiers, and ozone or hydroxyl generators (safer), along with the tools of the trade (yes, even duct cleaners).
I have added hydroxyl generators to that list because I have recently received some information about this from HGI Industries where it claims to be able to decontaminate indoor air and to eliminate odors such as ammonia and sulfides with its equipment. If this actually works (write and tell me), it should be a boon to the IAQ industry where better odor-elimination devices are needed.
There is, of course, a lot more to IAQ mitigation that goes beyond just installing products on HVAC systems, but that isn’t your business. Just be aware of what’s new in this emerging market and keep abreast of the needs of your customers as they grow along with it.