If we look at where smart home adoption is today, we know that most homeowners are still learning the benefits of the smart home. We also know that one of the first products they purchase is a smart thermostat. While consumers are open to a “smart” approach, contractors need a plan to become the trusted source for the smart home and to understand how to approach each customer opportunity appropriately. Where do you – as a HVAC professional – fit in and how prepared are you to upsell smart technologies?
Approximately 16% of American households have at least one home automation device. This number grows each day as mainstream homeowners get more into the mix. In fact, according to Centre Code Research, 77% of homeowners who purchase a smart product are between the ages of 31 and 50.
Let’s look at the remaining 84% of homes that represent the biggest opportunity for HVAC professionals to get into the smart device arena. When asked why homeowners make a smart home purchase, some of the top answers are convenience and energy efficiency. This hits the core of the HVAC industry. The timing is ripe for contractors to upsell smart innovations in the areas of home comfort, simple light switches and other plug-in devices.
Let’s look at the HVAC industry specifically. When it comes to smart technology and products, how would you answer these questions?
Thermostats, for example, are one of the first entry points for homeowners in the world of smart. They help make the overall HVAC system more efficient and they reduce energy costs. The LUX/GEO is a nice first offering since it’s priced right at just $149 (MSRP) – much less than some of the higher-end options. This full-feature thermostat is easy to install and works with or without a “C” wire. It’s also easy to use, making it a breeze when getting the homeowner up to speed (it works with or without WiFi). And, as thermostats have evolved and gotten smarter, they are tapping into other HVAC areas such IAQ. This creates additional opportunities for HVAC professionals to engage and expand projects with homeowners.
Residential home builders often look to have systems in place to differentiate their communities. Investing in smart technology is one way to do that. Multifamily communities are usually oversighted by property management. Smart technologies give them more control and access to properties. Aging in place is also creating opportunities where devices are needed to monitor and control happenings inside the home, while the homeowner or caregiver is remote. Smart technology allows for this access.
If the HVAC industry doesn’t seize these opportunities, then who will? According to Parks Associates, only 10% of homeowners go to an HVAC contractor to purchase a connected thermostat. That means 90% of homeowners are going elsewhere. 31% go to their national or local retailer, but HVAC professionals are also losing ground to broadband service providers, security dealers and utility providers. We need to keep customers in our sandbox and others out. This is why having a plan in place that arms you and your staff with product information and general smart knowledge is critical. LUX is dedicated to providing contractors the tools and support needed to be successful while on the job. From our live US-based technical support team to our online web chats and videos, contractors have the opportunity to educate themselves and homeowners every place along the way. And, our downloadable product manuals make it easy to offer leave-behinds when the project is over.
LUX technicians working out of our Philadelphia, PA headquarters are level 1 & 2 certified and the on-staff technical supervisors are available to troubleshoot the exceptions. Our team of developers is supported by future-thinking product engineers whose task is to watch current trends in HVAC as well as smart products and home automation to ensure the latest customer demands and emerging technologies are captured and delivered in our current and future products. Let us help you emerge as the local leader in smart HVAC solutions.