business growth

You Work Hard to Win a Customer – Don’t Lose Them over Fees

When an air conditioner or furnace breaks down, the homeowner is immediately concerned. What will it cost to get it fixed? Will I have to run up a big charge on my credit card or will I have to forget that weekend get-away? You’ve won half the battle; they give your company a call! Now, don’t lose the sale over fees. Here are some that can be deal breakers.

Trip Charges. Just about everyone who works has to get to their place of business and no one pays them for that drive. No wonder they question your charges if they include a trip fee. They’re wondering why they should pay you just to show up. After all, their home is where the work is. This can be a deal breaker.

Gas Surcharges. Homeowners are getting hit just as hard at the pump as you are when gas prices hit new highs. You may need to charge a fee to cover the extra costs you are incurring. Be sure to explain it to your customers and make it fair. Someone who is just miles from your location will probably be unwilling to pay a fee that is the same for someone 20 miles away. Consider a map of your service area with concentric rings flowing out from your location and a set gas surcharge cost for each ring. When you have initiated a surcharge, be upfront and explain it to your potential customer when they call for service. Be sure to drop it when gas prices fall again.

Diagnostic Fees. It’s acceptable to charge a diagnostic fee if you don’t get the job. Customers need to understand that calling for service is NOT calling for a free estimate. However, if you get the job, a diagnostic fee just doesn’t make sense. The first step in fixing a problem is finding the problem. No one wants to pay extra for it. If you have a minimum charge, be upfront about it and let the customer know at the time you answer the phone.

Overtime, Weekends And Holidays. This is a tough one. Markets are starting to see HVAC companies who do not charge extra for working outside of normal hours. This is a great selling point for the customer who has had their furnace quit working on a cold Thanksgiving holiday or a family who comes home in the middle of summer on a Friday evening and find the A/C has conked out. When it comes to personal comfort (and even personal safety), when heating or cooling quits functioning and it’s very cold or very hot, that’s an emergency. It’s also a cost you’re going to have to figure out how to handle. If you’re available 24/7 every day of the year, you need to know how you will charge your customers for evening, weekend or holiday work. Make your customers aware if your rates change during these times and what you will charge.

Costs for HVAC Services can be problematic. The customer is concerned about price the minute they know they have a problem. They want to know what it’s going to cost. But, it’s hard to estimate a cost before you know what the job will entail. Be honest about your charges. If you avoid surprising your customer, they are more likely to feel satisfied. Look at your business model and decide what fees you need to charge and what is a fair price for your services, whether you work by the hour or on a flat fee basis. Remember, customers aren’t just looking for the lowest price; they’re also looking for expert service. Be willing to explain your charges in advance and be sure to also mention the benefits of using your company. You can make the sale!


Why You Should Invest In A Company Wellness Program

corporate wellness programWellness Programs are steadily increasing in business settings.  Even large insurance companies such as Humana are offering their own wellness programs. You are probably asking yourself, why you, as a business owner, should offer a wellness plan to your employees.  Below, you will find several important reasons you should invest in a company wellness program such as Aptora’s Corporate Wellness Program.

Decrease in Absences

Improved employee wellness directly relates to a decrease in employee absences.  The top reasons given for absences are healthcare-related issues.  The healthier the employee, the less likely they are to call in sick or use vacation time for illnesses.  Companies that offer wellness programs have reported that they have significant decreases in absences.

Increased Job Performance

Aptora’s Wellness Program encourages employees to improve their fitness level by participating in fitness activities such as walking.  As the employee’s overall fitness level increases so does their job performance.

Improved Morale

Employee morale increases when employees feel that their employer cares about their health and is taking an active role in encouraging the improvement of employee health.

Less Turnover

Engaged employees are less likely to seek other job opportunities.  A good wellness plan can help employees feel like they are a team and give them a more enthusiastic attitude about their jobs.

Improved Chances of Hiring That Prospective Employee

Looking to get a “leg-up” on your competitors when actively seeking new employees? Consider this; when looking for a new employer the majority of prospective employees consider company health and wellness offerings.

Employees Feel Like They are a Part of a Team

By hosting a wellness program you allow your employees to feel as if they are a part of a team.  They do this by interacting with other like-minded employees that are working towards the goal of increased wellness.  Employees will naturally support each other in their wellness activities.

Decrease in Injuries

As employees improve their overall fitness, their risk of injury decreases.  Exercises such as walking helps improve your core fitness which in turn can decrease the likelihood of injury.  The “core” refers to four abdominal muscle groups that provide a focus for physical work.  If you have an unfit core, your other body muscles have to do the work and this increases the likelihood of sprains and strains.

Decrease in Insurance Costs

Insurance costs are expensive.  In most companies, health insurance is one of the top expenses.  It is no longer an option for a company to not offer insurance to their employees’ in order to cut costs.  So, what can the business do to help control this expense?  Invest in a wellness program.  If your company’s wellness program meets certain criteria (consult your insurance provider to see if your program does) you may be eligible for a discount on your company health insurance policy.

Are you ready to take the next step in starting your own wellness program?

After reading this article, are you thinking about investing in a company wellness program but you are not sure how to do this or you don’t want to have the ongoing expense of an outside Administrator?  Aptora’s Corporate Wellness Program may be the solution for you.

This complete do-it yourself system is easy to implement and use.  It is a low cost alternative to hiring an outside wellness firm to implement its wellness program in your company.  Aptora’s Corporate Wellness Program is a fully customizable system that covers all areas of implementing a wellness program including conception, implementation, documentation and tips to start and maintain your company’s wellness program.

Call (877)232-7978 or go to to receive more information on this revolutionary new wellness plan.







How To Utilize Search Engines For Your HVAC Website

The topic of discussion today is SEO, and how those of us in the HVAC industry can properly use search engines to our advantage to get more traction and traffic to our websites. I have utilized this technique and have seen some great results when seeing the data and noticing the growth in organic traffic.

Understanding How Search Works Today

To best understand how to fully utilize search to get visitors to your website, we must understand a few things about search.

Personalized Search: Search engines like Google are trying to deliver the best results to their users. They care about this feature more than their advertising platform. If you and your friends did a search you might populate different results because Google is trying to decipher exactly what you are looking for.

For Example, I am a giant sports fan, so most of my searches throughout the year will consist of searching up player performances and team news. My friend who may not like sports at all will not get the same results for some specific searches. I tried this out when my friend and I both searched the vague term “Brooklyn.”

My search results: Brooklyn Nets: NBA Basketball Team, Info about the Nets are the top results

My friend’s search results: he will get results about Brooklyn the city, and the top results will reflect trying to acquire information about the city of Brooklyn.

Search is trying to determine what results we are looking for without us having to mention it in detail using the search bar. The goal for the search engine is to provide a seamless and intelligent answer.

This concept of search is important to know for any industry.

How To Improve Traffic To Your Website – Organically

When I talk to my colleagues about buying services like SEO, we come to this discussion on what we are paying for. Many companies try to sell you rankings for specific keywords, which is a bad sign. No matter what anyone tells you, nobody can promise you rankings for words, and if they can, those are probably not words that will drive you traffic, leads, or any business. Buying keyword rankings is a flawed concept but many people fall into this vicious sales pitch.


What Should You Be Buying?

If you are planning to improve your positioning on search, it is best to buy into a company that is selling you a practical and technical strategy.

But What Does This Mean?

Taking into consideration the customers’ needs: Sometimes in something as technical as HVAC we do not understand that our customers do not understand the technical aspects of their heating and cooling systems.

A lot of SEO companies will try to promise you positioning on fat head terms like

  • Air Conditioning Repair [ City Name ]
  • Heating Repair [ City Name ]
  • Furnace Repair [ City Name ]
  • Boiler Repair [ City Name ]

This is not a bad strategy to start off with, but a person who is only promising you this is not being realistic when coming up with a strategy to optimize for search.

These terms are good to have, but nobody can promise you rankings for these specific terms. There are only ten slots available on Google’s first page results, and these generic terms are usually occupied by 3rd party websites like Yelp, Yellowpages, Homeadvisor, and Thumbtack. The realistic picture is, for these search terms you only have 3-4 slots to rank on the first page.

This is due to:

  • Competition
  • Authority of 3rd party sites

How Do We Reach Our Customers With Search Engines?

The answer that I have discovered to work is developing content that speaks to your audience.

Your audience has more questions to ask than just air conditioning repair.

They want to know why their air conditioner is not working, they want to see exact matches to their concerns, and they want to know if they call you, you know what you are doing.

Long form content is the best way to tackle your customers’ concerns, and this can simply be done in the form of a blog post.

Examples of this might include:

  • Why is my air conditioner leaking water?
  • Why is my air conditioner leaking water?
  • Why is my air conditioner not blowing air?
  • How do I clean my air filters?
  • How do I clean my furnace?

These are some examples of targeting specific customers and their problems.

What Are The Benefits Of This Strategy?

  • These terms are less competitive: If you know who your competitors are, and you do a search for these specific technical issues, you will notice the results are drastically different from when you were just searching for broad search terms like “air conditioning repair.”
  • They will rank better in search: Because these terms are less competitive, they are more likely to do better in a national and local search.
  • Tie this in with the concept of personal search: As I discussed earlier this concept of tackling low competitive content will directly benefit your customer’s personal search results. If you can make that initial interaction between the searcher and your website, that visit is logged into their history. This means that Google will know they have visited your website in the past, and it will populate results for broader terms that are more competitive because it knows you got the answer you were looking for from a different search query.


Understanding SEO is a tall order, but you can always simplify any form of marketing to just tying together the goals of the business and the needs of the customer.

Reach out to your customer, make content that will answer their questions and you will set yourself up to position yourself as a company that understands the industry, and be recognized as a trusted technician.

The more pages you produce, the more chances you have to generate more traffic. I highly recommend an HVAC technician to write about the needs of their HVAC customers, because we are on the front lines. We understand the customer, and we want to help them.

Make a list of your most common repair requests, and then make a list of requests you believe are rarely called in for. Reform these requests in the form of a question, and write a piece of content that will respond and answer the question. Make your page easy to navigate to the correct service, and have your phone number visible to call for service as well as other information like savings or coupons that can be clearly seen to convert the customer.

Content is the key to conquering the much-confused topic of SEO and in the technical place of HVAC we need to reach out based on our understanding of how the customer views their heating and cooling systems.

About The Author:  Chris Maderazzo is the owner of the heating and cooling company Easy Air and Heat. He has also established himself as a well-known and widely respected professional in the electrical contracting and service industry. His attention to detail along with superb leadership qualities has what helped him be successful in all his business ventures for the past 20 years.


portable air conditioners

Benefits of Portable Air Conditioners

Portable air conditioners provide a mobile-cooling unit that can meet your temporary or mobile-cooling needs. For companies involved in the construction industry, warehouses that have varied cooling needs (depending on the products being stored), and offices under renovation, temporary and portable cooling is a necessity. The flexibility and mobility these units provide ensure that cooling needs are always properly met.

How Portable Air Conditioners Work

Portable air conditioners work on the same basic concept of a central air conditioner. They remove hot air from the indoor space and release fresh, cooled air back into the area. The units use a tube to draw air out of the building, and another tube to expel the air to the outdoors. The tubes can be connected to any opening, like a door or window that links to the outdoors.

The portable air conditioner has a compressor, condenser and evaporator, just like other air-conditioner types. Refrigerant moves through the system, changing from a gas to a liquid. As it does, it absorbs the heat from the inside air, expelling it to the outside and sending cooled air back into the room. Through the process, the unit also removes water vapor from the air.

Portable air conditioners provide several benefits for specific types of businesses. These include:


portable air conditionersWith a portable air conditioner, companies can move the cooling anywhere they need it. This can be particularly valuable when an office is under construction, or for industries that regularly move from one site to the next.  Because they are lightweight and on casters, these units provide the flexibility you need to deliver cooling exactly where it is needed, and move it when the need changes.

Mobility is particularly important in some specific industries. For example, construction work, where the location of the job moves regularly, can benefit from mobile air-conditioning options. Also, businesses that have large computer server areas, which need more cooling than other areas of the office, can benefit from being able to move the additional air conditioning as the location of the server moves and expands.

Simple Installation

Portable air conditioners are simple to install, as they require nothing more than an opening to the outside to use. These units can be used directly out of the box, with minimal setup required. This means you can have cooling immediately, without the need to wait for an installation crew.

Reduced Humidity

Portable cooling units not only cool the space, but they also help reduce humidity in the space. As a portable air conditioner works, it pulls water vapor from the air, releasing it into the condensation pan or through a hose connected to a drain. This, in turn, lowers the relative humidity of the space.

Air conditioners typically maintain a relative humidity of between 40 and 60 percent. This is much lower than the outside air on a hot and humid summer day, and helps improve the comfort of those inside the facility. For workers who suffer from allergies, lower humidity levels can help keep allergens, like mold and dust mites, at bay, making allergies less of a problem for employees. Dehumidification also helps protect the assets inside from damage due to moisture in the air.

Affordable Cooling

One of the most obvious benefits of portable air conditioners is the affordability. If your facility needs cooling in a confined area, it’s often more cost effective to install a portable or temporary unit to cool that area than to make major changes to your HVAC system, or install a cooling system to the building that does not already have one. For mobile-cooling needs, portable air conditioners are the only viable option, as establishing a new HVAC system at each site is simply not affordable.

Portable air-conditioning units are a true asset to companies that have mobile job sites, or those that are under construction. With a portable air conditioner, your workers can feel more comfortable and experience improved productivity and safety. As you think about your cooling needs, consider the benefits of portable air conditioners.

About The Author: Dale Allen is the National Service Manager of Rankin, a Chicago land company and leader in temporary climate solutions.

hvac vehicle equipment

Choosing the Right Vehicle Equipment for Your HVAC Business

How does the inside of your work van look? Can you find your tools quickly and easily? How much physical effort is required to get your equipment out? Does it look polished and professional? These questions bring to light several important considerations for HVAC contractors and business owners. Take some time to consider your answers to determine if your work van is doing its job, or if it needs a few upgrades.

Let Vehicle Equipment Work for You

If you struggle with finding the tools necessary to do your job, consider adding cargo vehicle equipment to your work van. Cargo van equipment comes in all types, from racks that secure your ladder, to shelves that house your HVAC equipment.

A worthwhile addition to any HVAC operation, cargo vehicle equipment offers a wide range of benefits, allowing you to:

  • Become more efficient. Do you ever find yourself spending way too much time searching for a tool you need right now? With cargo management equipment, you gain immediate access to your equipment, saving precious time once taken up by scavenging through the back of your work van.
  • Give yourself a break. By organizing your HVAC equipment for easy access, you’ll save yourself from having to climb into your van to remove bulky equipment.
  • Look like the pro that you are. A well-organized work van immediately lets your customers know that you are a professional. It’s an easy way to build trust with your customers, ensuring them that you’re organized, efficient, and committed to doing your job well.

Now that you know how vehicle equipment can help you perform at your best, what equipment do HVAC contractors need most?

Vehicle Equipment for HVAC Contractorshvac vehicle equipment

There’s no shortage of tools that come along with working as an HVAC technician. From gauges to pumps, to ladders, to full air-conditioning units, HVAC equipment comes in all shapes and sizes. Accommodating all of this equipment requires versatile storage solutions that are durable enough to withstand the heftier items and flexible enough to allow for easy organization. To help you get started, here are some essential cargo storage solutions for HVAC contractors:

  • Shelving – A shelving unit keeps your tools organized and out of the way. Storing your tools on designated shelves allows for easy access and fewer headaches. You can opt to store the heavier equipment closer to the doors and keep those frequently used items in easy to grab places.  Bonus points for adjustable shelving, as it gives you the ability to move your shelves as your work requires.
  • Ladder Racks – Transporting a ladder is no easy feat. One of the heavier items in an HVAC technician’s arsenal, ladders take up considerable space and have unique storage needs. A ladder rack helps to secure your ladder to the roof or interior of your van, depending on the model. A well-designed, ergonomic ladder rack will take the strain out of loading and unloading your ladder.
  • Partition – A vehicle partition separates the front of the cab from the rear, securely storing your equipment in the back of the van.
  • Upfit Packages – If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution to your HVAC storage needs, an HVAC upfit package could be the perfect fit! Upfit packages provide all of the essential equipment to easily transport your tools and major equipment from job to job. Common components of an HVAC van upfit include shelves, rail kits, drawers, partitions, and storage bins.

If your HVAC van is in dire need of some organization, it might be time to invest in these cargo vehicle equipment essentials. As an HVAC pro, minutes spent unnecessarily scouring your van for tools are dollars wasted. With an upfitted work van, you’ll save precious time, increase efficiency, and establish yourself as a professional before you even make it to the door.


About the Author: Todd Goldmeyer is the Marketing Manager at Adrian Steel Company, North America’s leading manufacturer of cargo management solutions for trade vehicles. With over 60 years in the business, Adrian Steel is powered by constant innovation and guided by a commitment to providing best-in-class customer service. Learn more about our HVAC upfit equipment at!


Safety Tips For HVAC Contractors

Summer has come to an end, and with it the busiest time of the year for most HVAC contractors. But, that doesn’t mean it’s time to relax. Improving your business should be a year-round activity and the colder months are a perfect time to think about what you can do to make your business better.

Here are some safety tips to think about when you’ve got some breathing space this Fall and Winter:

1. Get Your Contractor License Bond and Know How It Works

This may not sound obvious, but getting bonded and understanding the claims process should help define how you think about workplace safety. To start, follow this 3-step contractor license bond process to get bonded at the best possible rate.

Once you’re bonded, familiarize yourself with how the claims process works. When you’re determining your standards of quality and safety, avoiding claims needs to be at the forefront. If a customer brings a claim against your business for improperly done work, it harms your reputation and can even prevent you from getting bonded again.

2. Maintain an Onsite Safety Manager If Possible

State and local regulations may or may not require it, but if possible, maintaining an onsite safety manager trained in OSHA or EM-385 rules and regulations can help maintain the highest safety standards in your workplace.

While a full 40-hour course in EM-385 rules may not be necessary, some type of certification can help. This onsite expertise can be incorporated into your advertising or bond application. As it shows your commitment to safety, it could even lower your premium for your contractor license bond.

ventilator-349658_6403. Ensure Your Equipment Keeps You Safe

Whether you’re dealing with summer heat or winter cold, gloves, face shields, helmets, and other HVAC contractor equipment needs to be properly used and maintained. Though this is only the start.

Proper ventilation can serve the dual purposes of keeping you and your employees at a comfortable temperature year-round, while helping to protect against the buildup of harmful compressed gases or chemical vapors. There’s never a bad time to invest in next generation equipment or at least double check maintenance.

4. Double-Check Your Electrical Systems

As any HVAC professional knows, extreme temperatures put incredible strain on heating and cooling systems. This means it’s also the season to double-check the electrical systems backing your equipment. Electrical malfunctions can lead to anything from blackouts to fires, putting your safety and reputation at risk.

Make sure you’re familiar with your state and municipal ordinances and safety requirements. Not adhering to these could leave you liable for any malfunctions that occur months after you’ve finished at a site, depending on the bond requirements for a given job. This is another reason to ensure you maintain high work standards.

5. Learn More From Online Safety Resources

Once you’ve checked your worksites and reviewed your contractor license bond, there are plenty of free resources out there with more information and tips on maintaining a safe HVAC workplace. One example is this exhaustive safety guide put out by State Auto Insurance. Resources like this offer detailed lists, including small details (like why you shouldn’t use impact tools with mushroomed heads) that you may otherwise forget about.

What kind of tips would you offer your fellow HVAC professionals? Share your best to make sure everyone has a great summer!


Eric Halsey is a historian by training and disposition who’s been interested in US small businesses since working at the House Committee on Small Business in 2006. Coming from a family with a history of working on industry policy, he has a particular interest in Surety Bonding, Contracting, and Professional Certification; he loves sharing his knowledge of the industry for JW Surety Bonds.

hvac contractors can make more money

Top 5 Ways HVAC Contractors Can Make More Money During The Summer

It’s summer, which means that people all over the country are going to be firing up their home air conditioners in an effort to stay cool indoors. This is good news for you, the HVAC contractor. Just as how business was (or should have been) booming with service calls and furnace replacements during the cold winter months, the summer should afford you the same type of opportunity when it comes to air conditioners. Though as you know, meeting your overhead costs and turning a profit isn’t easy — and just because you had a successful summer last year doesn’t mean that this year will follow suit.

With that being said, here’s a look at five ways you can make more money in the summer as an HVAC contractor.

  • Raise Prices: While this might be an unpopular tactic, in many cases, it’s a necessary one — especially if you haven’t done so in several years. Simply raising priceson your service calls can potentially bring in tens of thousands more dollars over the course of just a few months. Demand for HVAC services is high during summer — why not take advantage of the increase in business?
  • Charge More for Same-Day Service: This one should go without saying, yet many HVAC contractors still charge the same rate for a regular service call as they do for an “emergency” service call. Plumbers charge more for emergency service and delivery services charge more for overnight service — why shouldn’t you as well? That isn’t to say that you’ll lose business if someone doesn’t want to pay more of a premium fee, just explain that you can put him/her into your regular scheduling system, which offers standard prices. Think about this, however: When an air conditioner breaks on a 100-degree day, most people are going to want the problem resolved ASAP.
  • Think Add-Ons: Wireless thermostats, smart thermostats, air cleaners, portable generators, surge protectors — these are all popular add-ons that HVAC contractors can also offer to their customers while servicing their HVAC unit in the home. You can even offer a certain percentage discount on these items if the customer were to purchase it on the same day as you’re servicing their HVAC system. Some HVAC contractors have even invested in greater revenue-generating add-on services, such as duct cleaning and electrical work.
  • GPS Tracking: This isn’t so much a money-making tip as it is a money-saving tip. As you know, money saved goes right into your bottom line. Consider equipping vehicles with GPS tracking equipment. Not only can you map routes and service calls to more effectively and efficiently consume gasoline while your techs are on the go, but GPS tracking is also a safety feature. For instance, alerts can be programmed to deliver to managers or owners when a tech is speeding or driving erratically, so corrective action can be administered. You can also set maintenance reminder alerts on GPS units.
  • Run Promos: Finally, running promotions, both while in the customer’s home and through marketing can also be a big boost to business. For instance, techs should be taughthow to up-sell customers while in the home on additional services that are offered (i.e. thermostats, duct cleaning, etc.). It’s worth noting that they should be taught not to be pushy when attempting to sell the customer on these other services. With that said, keep a running list of your techs and the add-ons that they’ve sold in the month, and reward the top sellers at the end of the month. You may even choose to give your techs commission on any add-on sale that they make — it’s up to you how to handle it. Secondly, the summer is a great time to stay at the forefront of your customers’ minds through marketing. Advertise with coupons/discounts on air-conditioning services and educate potential customers about the importance of regular, routine maintenance on their air-conditioning units in your marketing.

Summer isn’t going to last forever, so take advantage of the opportunity to elevate your profits like never before. You may even elect to implement a similar sales-boosting strategy during winter, when servicing on heaters is the most common. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by — your summer should be booming as an HVAC contractor. How much do you intend to profit from it?

Author Bio

Patricia Bonacorda is the President of Spartan Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning , a commercial and residential plumbing and HVAC Company. For 51 years, Spartan Plumbing is a licensed, bonded and insured business that has provided professional plumbing, heating and air conditioning services throughout Maryland and Washington, DC.


You Cannot Afford to Pay Too Little

Can’t afford to pay too little? What?

The following is a favorite quote from our founder James Leichter. We have all heard stories about the person that saved some money only to have to do the whole thing over later. As the story goes, the buyer ended up spending more to buy the less expensive thing because he ended up buying the most expensive thing anyway.

Each time James would make an in-home sales presentation, he would include this quote on his proposal. One interesting aspect of this quote is how long ago it was written. Obviously people have been spending more on a lower price for many years. Please feel free to use it in your own business.

John Ruskin

“It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that’s all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.

The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.”

gps fleet tracking

Why Every Manager Should Consider GPS Tracking for HVAC Vehicles

HVAC company managers have many demands on their attention. In addition to managing customers and ensuring they are happy with the work and service you provide, managers must also manage a fleet of vehicles, ensure your tools are ready at all times, and keep a balanced budget. GPS fleet tracking for HVAC company vehicles can help make a few of these jobs a little easier. Here are a few reasons that every HVAC company needs to invest in GPS fleet tracking.

  1. Improved Response Times and Accurate ETAs

One of the biggest complaints customers have about service providers, including HVAC companies, is poor estimated time of arrivals. The customer does not comprehend all of the demands you have on your time and your drivers, but rather understands that you are not showing up when you say you will. When you use GPS fleet tracking, you can provide a much shorter arrival time window, because you will have an accurate idea of where your vehicles are and how long it will take them to arrive.

In addition, GPS fleet tracking can help improve response times when you have an unexpected need. Instead of simply dispatching someone to the customer’s home, you can check your tracking system and send the closest possible crew. This will give shorter response times for emergency calls, and help you save on fuel costs.

  1. Improved Customer Service

Customers do not like to have to wait for a four-hour arrival window. People have busy lives, and they don’t have a lot of time to wait for service providers. Additionally, many times the service provider is late, and HVAC companies have a serious customer service issue, including the loss of customers. Software Advice, who helps businesses find field service software, did a study on customers and service companies, and 67 percent said they would never do business with a company again if the technician was an hour late. Even a delay between 15 and 30 minutes would cause 25 percent to not re-hire. Accurate response times lead to improved customer service, and better likelihood of being hired again.

  1. Employee Accountability

gps fleet trackingIt’s no surprise that employees are often tempted to take personal trips in company vehicles. This fact drives up fuel costs quickly, as well as wear and tear on vehicles. When you have GPS fleet tracking, you can know where your workers are at all times. This helps you eliminate unwanted side trips and keeps employees accountable for their whereabouts. Also, if a customer claims that your employee arrived late to the job, you will have a way to verify whether or not this is true.

  1. Reducing Fuel Costs

Fuel is one of the biggest expenses for the modern HVAC fleet. GPS fleet tracking can help lower these costs in several ways: First, taking the most efficient route from one job to the next, lessens the amount of fuel you burn. Second, your GPS fleet tracking system can alert management to problems with excessive idling or high driving speeds. This gives you the opportunity to eliminate these behaviors and lower your fuel costs. Finally, cutting down on unwanted personal trips in company vehicles will help minimize fuel costs.

  1. Cut Expenses in Other Ways

Fuel is not the only way that GPS fleet tracking helps HVAC companies save money. If you are routinely paying overtime to your workers because they return late from the job, you may be able to cut this cost by increasing employee accountability for their whereabouts.

GPS fleet tracking can lead to discounts on insurance as well. While the discount will vary depending on the policy, driving record of the fleet and insurance provider, insurance companies have found that fleets with GPS fleet tracking are less risky, and are offering discounts as a result.

Ultimately, GPS fleet tracking helps HVAC companies run more efficiently, lower costs and improve customer service. With all of these benefits, it is an obvious choice for the management professional who wants to run an efficient, effective fleet.


Robert J. Hall is president of Track Your Truck, a leader in GPS vehicle tracking systems and software for small and mid-sized companies.


Kansas & Missouri Offer Tax Amnesty Periods

August 3 — Taxpayers in Kansas and Missouri who owe back taxes from prior years will be able to take advantage of tax amnesty periods beginning in September.


In Kansas, taxpayers who owe business or personal taxes accrued before Jan. 1, 2014, will be able to avoid penalties and interest if they pay the past-due taxes between Sept. 1 and Oct. 15.

The amnesty doesn’t apply to matters that are in appeal, under criminal investigation or at issue in any criminal or civil litigation related to taxes imposed by the state, the Kansas Department of Revenue said.

According to the DOR, the amnesty applies to:

  •  income tax,
  •  privilege tax,
  •  estate tax,
  •  withholding and estimated tax,
  •  sales tax,
  •  compensating use tax,
  •  liquor enforcement tax,
  •  liquor drink tax,
  •  cigarette and tobacco products tax, and
  •  mineral severance tax.


In Missouri, taxpayers owing personal or business taxes accrued before Jan. 1, 2015, will be allowed to avoid penalties, additions to tax and interest if they pay the taxes due between Sept. 1 and Nov. 30.

According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, the following tax types are eligible for the amnesty program:

  •  use tax,
  •  corporate franchise tax,
  •  corporate income tax,
  •  employer withholding tax,
  •  fiduciary tax,
  •  individual income tax,
  •  sales tax, and
  •  vendor’s use tax.

The amnesty doesn’t extend to taxpayers who are subject to civil or criminal investigation regarding unpaid Missouri taxes, and taxpayers who participate will become ineligible for future amnesty periods for the same type of tax, the DOR said.

Participants also are required to comply with state tax laws for eight years after the amnesty, the DOR said. Failure to comply will void the amnesty agreement, triggering an immediate requirement to pay any penalties, additions to tax or interest that were waived under the amnesty.

For More Information

Details on the Kansas amnesty period are at

Details on the Missouri amnesty period are at