Big App-etite? Timothy Robb Tackles 2015 HVAC Predictions

Timothy Robb Tackles 2015 HVAC PredictionsEarlier in the week, we took a look at some 2015 HVAC predictions from Goodway’s Timothy Kane — this week, Director of Marketing and Strategic Business Development Timothy Robb is placing his bets for the coming year. One of his top three predictions? The “appitization” of HVAC service.

I Want it Now

Consumers are quickly becoming accustomed to mobile applications which give them access to virtually anything on-demand. Consider Netflix for videos, Uber for taxis, Whatsapp for messaging, and even GrubHub for food. If there’s something you want, chances are there’s an app out there to connect you with the right providers at a time of your choosing. This “appitization” makes things simpler for consumers and more cost-effective for companies; if their app can secure a place on consumer smartphones or tablets, doing business means less spend and more profit.

But what about HVAC?

Cost/Benefit

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), nearly 100 million homes in America enjoy air conditioning and that number is on the rise. This means a massive market for HVAC companies, especially when it comes to service and preventative maintenance. The problem? Both sides are stuck in a rut.

For consumers, it’s often tough to spot a problem with HVAC systems before it’s too late, while scheduling routine maintenance like filter changes or coil cleaning can be tedious, since most companies prioritize installation over maintenance.

Why? Because it’s far more profitable. Preventative maintenance for companies generates far less revenue than installation and if a “simple” fix turns into a big job, trips between a parts facility and customer’s home can quickly add up.

As a result, there’s a kind of stalemate: consumers and HVAC contractors both ignore this kind of necessary maintenance, despite the fact that regular service checks can help drive new business for companies and keep consumers satisfied. In short, lack of convenience often trumps common sense.

The New Home

There’s a better way. Robb sees the development of HVAC system apps and sensors that directly connect consumers and contractors, making it easier to schedule service or detect small problems before they become big issues.

A recent GigaOM article, for example, talks about new smarthome hubs that will have this kind of monitoring functionality built right in, providing a simple way to forward concerns on to providers and allowing them to accurately gauge the cost and time needed for a fix. Pair that with a simple smartphone application to schedule service, ask a question or request a quote and there’s potential for a massive market shift in 2015.

Want to know more about where the industry is headed this year? Check out our interactive predictions infographic for our other 2015 HVAC industry predictions.

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