Upgrading HVAC system? 7 Questions to Ask your Clients First.

Air conditioning, heating and ventilation systems are big investments for consumers. HVAC technicians need to be knowledgeable about the systems they are installing. So they can give the best advice and help to customers, this will allow your customers to make the best choice for their home. If a customer is looking to upgrade an existing system. There are questions that a technician should be asking.

5+ Questions to ask your clients Before you upgrade their HVAC system 

5+ Questions to ask your clients Before upgrading their HVAC system

  1. How Old is Your HVAC System

On average a HVAC system should last about 15 years. Air conditioning units, should have a 10 to 15 year life span.  While furnaces, should last between 15 and 20 years. Failure to maintain a system properly will see it’s life span reduced significantly. Many systems will last well beyond their life span. But as a system gets older, it’s performance will reduce. It is important to begin planning for a new system before it is to late and the system completely fails.

  1. Does your HVAC system provide adequate heat and cooling?

If a customer is finding their home too hot or too cold.  It could be a sign that the HVAC system is not functioning as efficiently as it should. An efficient system will heat and cool the home evenly. Aging or badly configured systems will result in the home being uncomfortable. Making the environment too hot or too cold. Due to the HVAC system not working to it’s maximum capabilities.

If this is the case the HVAC system should be tuned up. If this does not resolve the issue or the HVAC system is too old. You should talk to the customer about upgrading their HVAC system.

  1. Is the customer suffering from allergies or feeling uncomfortable?

HVAC systems should manage a home owners air quality.  A fully functioning and well configured HVAC system should:

  • Hold air quality at an acceptable level.
  • Filter harmful particles from the air
  • Maintain an acceptable level of humidity

If customers are experiencing allergies or feeling uncomfortable due to poor air quality or humidity. The HVAC system should be maintained. Regular maintenance should prevent any of these problems. If these problems continue,  you should recommend a new system. Newer HVAC systems come with advanced air purification filters and ventilation control.

  1. Are your energy bills high?

If a customer is experiencing high energy bills. This could be due to the HVAC system not functioning properly or due to the system being old. If energy bills are excessively high. It is recommended that a qualified engineer performs an energy audit. This will identify if the HVAC system is the cause of the high energy bills.

Performing this energy audit will help your customer gain your trust. You will not be seen as another technician who wants to sell the most expensive system. You will be seen as a technician who wants to help. You can also recommend impartial third party engineers to perform the energy audit on your behalf.

If the HVAC system is over 15 years old. It will not be as efficient as a new model/  This means it will be consuming more energy and causing higher energy bills. In this instance upgrading to a newer more energy efficient model is recommended. 

  1. Does your HVAC model require regular repairs?

Has the same client been contacting you for repairs recently? Even if you are making regular income fixing the same system. It is better to build lasting business relationships. If a unit continues to break down. This will look bad on you as an engineer.

If the same customers are calling you ever few months for repairs.  You should recommend they invest in a new system. Explain how a new system is an investment. That will save them money in the long term, through not having to pay regular repair bills. Also mention the savings they will make in utility bills by upgrading to an energy efficient system.

  1. Does your HVAC system cause a bad odour?

HVAC systems that cause a bad Odour can be more than annoying. They can be dangerous. If a system is continuing to produce a bad smell. It could be due to trapped gases in the flue. These gases can be harmful. Causing illness over a long period of exposure. It is important to talk to the customer and explain. Do not scare them, explain the situation.  Explain how over a period of time these gases can cause health problems. If the problem persists and the HVAC unit is old, recommend upgrading the HVAC unit.

  1. Does you HVAC unit make a bumping sound?

It is common that some HVAC units make some noises. If a HVAC unit is making loud and what might be described as “strange noises”. This could be part of a bigger problem. The diagnosis of a noisy unit can be tricky.  Especially if the unit is not making noises when you are inspecting it.

As always technology is here to help. Suggest the customer uses the video camera on a smart phone to record the noises. Have your customer be as detailed as possible and find out when the HVAC unit makes noises. What function if any has been performed before or during the noises being made.


Asking your customers questions can help you diagnose problems more easily. It can also help to build a relationship of trust and understanding. It is important to educate your customers in simple terms they can understand.

When recommending a new system. Explain the cost savings to them and help them understand the savings they will make in the future. Asking questions is one of the best ways to communicate with your customers. People do not like being “spoken at”. Asking your customers the above questions will help to create a picture of the situation and help your customers understand the problems and solutions.