How to make money in the slow season

Recap Your Summer

The summer was hot, did your hvac company capitalize? Every summer in the heating and air conditioning world it’s a mad scramble…..grabbing emergency service calls, taking care of existing customer’s systems, and finishing up the left-over maintenance agreements from the spring.  Does this sound about right???  Well the big question is, did you make enough money to make it through the coming slow months?  I had a hvac owner recently say, “he wished September didn’t exist.” That’s a pretty strong statement, but I bet many on you can relate.

Read on for some tips that can make the “in-between” months easier to survive.

Capitalize on the slow times or the “in-between months”

Let’s put on our thinking caps…..summer is over, but it’s not hot enough to drive a lot of service work and ultimately replacements.  Let’s face it, homeowners will suffer through a few more hot days before they’ll fork out big bucks on their A/C system. And the cold nights of winter are a long ways off….

So it’s time to get creative

What is our best lead source, your most coveted possession???  Your existing customers!!!  Hopefully you have a large number of maintenance customers on the books, and if you don’t that’s ok.  But, it’s time to start aggressively growing your maintenance base if you don’t. So, what can we do to keep your team busy and break even when the temperatures are mild?

Let’s market to our existing customers

Everyone is looking for a bargain and save a little money these days.  There’s an old saying in this business…..”Just break even in the slow months”  and that’s a win for your heating and air conditioning business.  You already have a relationship with your customer, so let’s use that to our advantage.

So what do we market to our existing base?

  • Accessories:  (C02 detectors, UV lights, air cleaners, surge protectors)
  • Duct cleaning
  • New duct systems: Very labor intensive, and typically low profit in the busy season, but a great offer in Sept-Oct.
  • Savings off a new system

What we are attempting to do is simple.  We want to drive enough revenue to break-even with our expenses/overhead and have enough work to keep our staff busy.  And more importantly keep them on the payroll, we don’t want to have to lay off valuable employees during the slow months.  During the busy times, we may turn these types of jobs down or over price them, so we do not get the work.  These can become welcomed additions to your job board!

Special Offers

Special offers are a great way to entice existing customers; as well as, new customers that may be willing to take the plunge and invest in your services.  Remember, our goal here is to at worst break-even during the “shoulder seasons.”  So, what are we talking about?

  • Upgrades – offer the next higher SEER unit for the same price as the lower SEER unit. (Talk to your equipment supplier, they may work with you, they want to move boxes too during the slow times)
  • Rebates – the manufacturer typically offers rebates in the spring and fall.
  • Free A/C or Furnace – this one takes some creativity, but we are thinking “out of the box” right?
  • Free extended warranty – another adder to entice homeowners to buy, remember we’re trying to push them off the fence!

Additional Services

Adding additional services to your contracting business is a long-term commitment.  Many HVAC companies expand into related industries to help smooth out the peaks and valleys of heating and air’s seasonality.  These can be natural compliments to your HVAC business.

  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • IAQ
  • Home Automation

Just Break Even!

We as contractors know we can’t push consumers to do something they do not want to do.  We all know our business is driven by air conditioners or furnaces breaking down.  What’s the statistic??? There’s only 2% of the general population ever in the market at any given time that needs our services.  That becomes even smaller when we are between summer and winter.  So, if we can just break even during these months, it’s a BIG WIN for your company!

The bottom line is the HVAC business is year round, not seasonal!


Thank you for taking interest in our article!

“We Speak HVAC!”