As a contractor, it’s important to stay ahead of what your customers want and need. Today’s boiler market continues to produce increasingly automatic, efficient and smart solutions that can benefit most, if not all, of your hydronics clientele.
The payoff for you is the opportunity to sell products that can not only increase your bottom line, but improve your customers’ home efficiency and comfort, thereby boosting their potential lifetime value to you.
The following three boiler technologies are golden tickets to delighting your customers and building a trusting relationship that could last for years.
If you still think programmable thermostats are the latest gadgets in home temperature control, then you’re selling your customers short. Homeowners already expect the ability to schedule their temperature settings in advance.
You need to push the next level in thermostat technology — a smart thermostat. Not only can the homeowner manually program a smart thermostat, but the device can learn how to program itself (hence the smarts).
Smart thermostats integrate with a user’s wireless device and have the following features to varying degrees, depending on the model:
Over time, smart thermostats identify patterns in a user’s temperature settings. Maybe he or she wants the room warmer first thing in the morning after getting out of bed, but then things can cool down after they leave for work. The smart thermostat will learn all this and automatically program itself to maximize comfort;
Some smart thermostats come with sensors that can tell if someone is in a room. If so, the thermostat adjusts the temperature for maximum comfort. If integrated with a mobile device, certain thermostats can track a user’s location and, for example, start warming up the house when the homeowner is driving home from a late-night party; and
Weather tracking is a feature found on some smart thermostats that allows them to monitor outdoor temperatures and adjust indoor temperatures accordingly. For example, if the weather forecast calls for a major warm-up, the smart thermostat will make sure to keep the home cool enough.
Smart thermostats do all the work for your customers. Don’t miss out on selling nearly effortless comfort.
Variable speed pumps
A variable speed circulator pump can do wonders for your homeowner clients’ boiler efficiency levels.
Since the amount of necessary heating varies depending on whether it’s the middle of winter or early spring, your customers can lose efficiency by having a circulator that operates at only a few pre-specified speeds or, worse, a single speed.
A variable speed pump will modulate its speed precisely according to a home’s current heating demand. It gives a homeowner the best of both worlds: A powerful pump that can deliver high throughput when needed and the ability for the boiler to work at its highest efficiency based on the return water temperature.
The energy savings should justify the value of a variable speed pump to the homeowner.
High-efficiency combination boilers
While smart thermostats and variable speed pumps are external components of the boiler system, what about the boiler itself? For maximum efficiency that will impact both your customers’ space and domestic water heating, a combination boiler is the way to go.
A combination (combi) boiler combines a boiler and tankless domestic water heater into one, compact unit. There is no hot-water tank. Instead, the boiler circulates hot water through a heat exchanger, which in turn heats incoming cold water on-demand. The heated domestic water then flows to fixtures throughout the home.
Combination boilers offer your clients higher efficiency since water is being heated only on-demand and not throughout the day. They also cut down on the wait for hot water because there isn’t a finite amount stored in a tank.
Finally, they offer significant space savings by combining two heating functions into one unit.
Creating customers for life
Next time you get called on a boiler job, keep these technologies in mind. Your customer might not know he or she needs them but, once the benefits are understood, it could be an easy sell for you and a money-saver for them.
One more tip. Don’t start your pitch with the product, but rather the benefit it provides. Instead of selling a variable speed pump, sell its energy efficiency. Instead of selling a smart thermostat, sell some of its cool features.
Listen and understand your customers’ paint points and match them with solutions. Be a problem-solver. If you educate your customer on how your solution addresses their problem, you will be doing both them and yourself a favor.