Attorney Portrait
Topic Growth,

If you own or manage a small- or medium-sized HVAC business, you’ve probably established a roster of regulars. Returning customers are essential to any business, but for growth, you need to attract new ones, too. But how do you go about doing that? 

This article will walk you through how to grow an HVAC business step by step. You’ll learn about customer retention and digital marketing. You will also get expert tips on forming strategic partnerships. Get insight on how technology can help your business and receive tips you can start using today.  

Grow Through Stronger Customer Retention  

There are two key foundational blocks for any HVAC business, and they are related. The first is your existing customers, and the second is new business.  

How are they intertwined? Regular customers are your best source of free word-of-mouth advertising. When they refer you to friends and family, you bring in new clients.  

In order to get those coveted referrals, you need to keep your existing customers happy. This is well worth it financially because it costs much more to gain a new client than to keep one you already have—a whopping five to 25 times more.  

Here’s something else to keep in mind: Increasing your customer retention by a small percentage can grow profits exponentially. A 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by over 25%.  

So, how do you retain existing HVAC customers? Here are some tried-and-true strategies you can start using immediately:  

  • Follow up after performing a service to make sure everything is to the customer’s liking. A quick phone call three to five days later shows you want to make sure they’re satisfied.  
  • Offer membership programs and discounts for regular customers. For instance, you could offer a 50% discount on furnace or AC repairs for every three services the client books.  
  • Develop new services for regulars, like seasonal maintenance checks or winterizing. Offer these at an exclusive price for valued customers.  

Expanding Your Digital Marketing and Online Presence  

It’s essential to have a strong online presence for your HVAC business. That means having a solid digital marketing plan to engage with existing customers and reach new ones.  

Here are some steps to developing your digital marketing plan: 

Build an Engaging Website.  

When new customers are looking for an HVAC specialist, they often search online. Even if they’ve seen your brochure around town, customers may look for a website to make sure your business is legitimate.  

Therefore, you need to have a professional-looking website. It should include at least these sections:  

  • Homepage: introduce visitors to your business  
  • About page: with business history, bios, credentials, etc.
  • Services page: list what you do for customers 
  • Testimonials page: feature reviews and compliments  
  • Contact page: include accurate contact information 

You can easily build your own website in a weekend with drag-and-drop platforms that let you customize ready-made templates. It’s best to use your own photos, but if you need them, you can find royalty-free art at no cost online.  

Don’t forget to add some email capture bars in key locations throughout the site. These are places where a customer can leave their email address in return for something from you. You might offer a discount coupon or a free downloadable checklist, for example.  

Use the emails you collect to assemble a mailing list for future use. You can use the list to send announcements or newsletters.  

A free or low-cost email management system can help you automate your emails. You can also employ this system to conduct sales nurture campaigns. These initiatives use emails to convert leads into customers by moving them along a “sales funnel” and closer to hiring you.  

Use Search Engine Optimization.  

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of making your online presence easier for people to find. The goal is to get your website to rank higher with search engines like Google.  

If you get on the first page of Google searches, you can pick up customers who might never have heard of your HVAC business otherwise.  

How do you boost your SEO?  

Be sure to mention your location (city and state) several times on your website. Include some area landmarks for even better local SEO.  

Incorporate keywords into your website copy. These are words and phrases that customers would use to search for an HVAC specialist online. Examples include “furnace not turning on” or “air conditioner not getting cool enough.”  

Use the same keywords in hashtags for your social media posts (see below).  

Add a blog to your website. Valuable content positions your business as more of an authority in your industry and community. It’s also another place to include geographic and keyword SEO.  

Use links to authoritative sources on your website and in your blogs. These are sites that everyone agrees are reliable and informative, like “.edu” and “.gov” websites. Eventually, you want other websites linking back to your site as an authority, too.  

FROM ONE OF OUR PARTNERS:How to Create an HVAC Business Plan  

Develop a Social Media Presence. 

It’s vital to have social media accounts for your business, not just personal accounts. Don’t try to use every single social media platform on the internet. Instead, pick a few you can master and be consistent with them.  

Most home service businesses have a Facebook page. You can expand on that with Facebook ads (see below) and participation on community group pages.  

Facebook groups for your town are a goldmine for new customers. You’ll find people looking for heating or cooling specialists there to schedule services or answer questions. Most groups allow free ad posts on certain days of the week.  

YouTube is another great platform for the HVAC industry. You can review heating and air conditioning products and post how-to videos. Include your contact information so that if a DIY video doesn’t solve the problem, a customer can call you.  

Leverage Online Advertising.  

There are many different types of advertising, including print and billboard advertising. However, online advertising is one of the most economical options for small businesses.  

One of the most effective types of online advertising is pay-per-click (PPC). It can help raise awareness of your brand, which is your business and its unique market position.  

With PPC advertising, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. So, you’re not wasting your ad dollars. And you can set a budget that grows as your marketing funds increase.  

Facebook offers a form of PPC advertising for users, for instance. You can set this up via the Facebook Ads Manager page.  

When placing ads, think about where your customers spend their time online, just as you would when choosing social media platforms. In addition to Facebook, you may want to consider Google and Yelp.  

Ask for Online Reviews.  

Online advertising dovetails neatly with another strategy: gaining online customer reviews. Nearly half of consumers in one study said they trusted online reviews as much as personal recommendations from people they know.  

Whenever you finish a job with a customer, ask them to post a review online. Text or email a reminder with a link to where you want them to post their review.  

If a customer posts a negative review, don’t ignore it. Reply quickly so the public can see you’re responsive. Offer to fix the problem at no additional cost if the error was made on your part. This helps maintain your online reputation and shows you stand behind your work. 

Utilize Strategic Partnerships and Referral Programs.  

One of the best ways to get new customers is to network with other non-competitive professionals in your area. Some businesses that might need HVAC assistance include:  

  • Property managers  
  • Real estate agents  
  • New home construction companies  
  • Renovators and remodelers
  • General contractors and handyman services  
  • Electricians and plumbers  
  • Green energy and solar specialists  
  • Hotels and motels  
  • Apartment managers

The idea is that you all help each other find the professionals or work you need in a mutually beneficial relationship.  

Here are some networking tips you can use now:  

  • Look through your local phone directory to find other businesses.  
  • Use Yelp, Google, Angi, etc., to find compatible home service providers.  
  • Send an introductory email to businesses you want to collaborate with.  
  • Mail a paper brochure or flyer to promising business contacts.  
  • Always carry conventional business cards in case you meet a prospective partner.  
  • Connect with other professionals via your local chamber of commerce.  
  • Join membership groups like Rotary International for more connections.

You can offer referral clients from your network a discount or perk to sweeten the deal.  

FROM ONE OF OUR PARTNERS:HVAC Pricing Guide: How to Price HVAC Jobs  

Boost Efficiency with HVAC Software and Technology.  

Whether you’re a startup or a small, established HVAC business, your time is money. It’s always better to spend as many of your work hours on billable services as possible.  

Fortunately, technology today facilitates this with HVAC business management software. Service Fusion, for example, lets you organize and automate tasks.  

There are multiple features and benefits you’ll enjoy with HVAC business management software:  

  • Tracking your fleet, including fuel costs and truck rolls  
  • Managing customer calls and client histories  
  • Streamlining invoicing and payment processes  
  • Organizing referrals and sales leads  
  • Creating and sending estimates  

Real-time alerts and notifications keep you current on dispatching, job site activity, and customer texts.  

The end result is improved customer satisfaction. Plus, you’ll see increased employee retention and better control over your overhead and income.  

RELATED ARTICLE:Ask the Business Operations Manager: How to Keep Your HVAC Business Booming  

Grow Your HVAC Business by Expanding Service Offerings  

One way to expand your client base is to offer additional services. You’re probably already providing the basics, like repair and installation. But are there more specialized services you could offer to set yourself apart from the competition? 

Some hot areas right now include:  

  • Service maintenance plans for regular customers  
  • Smart home technology for comfort and safety  
  • Indoor air quality improvement and monitoring  
  • Sustainable and energy-efficient HVAC solutions  
  • Connection to the Internet of Things (IoT)  

Are you only open Monday through Friday, 9 to 5? Heating and cooling emergencies rarely happen during banker’s hours. 

Consider adding emergency coverage if you don’t offer it already. This isn’t a new trend, but you can pick up customers who can’t reach other companies when it’s urgent. You can add an emergency surcharge for last-minute appointments after hours to make up for the inconvenience.  

Top tips to help make 24/7 service go more smoothly:  

  • Set up an on-call schedule so everyone knows who is covering extra hours.  
  • Partner with an answering service or use field management software to assist with phone calls.  

FROM ONE OF OUR PARTNERS:How to Scale Your HVAC Business  

Measure Success and Continuous Improvement  

When you set growth goals for your HVAC business, make them specific and measurable. Don’t use vague goals like “get more customers.” Instead, set a goal like “increase revenue by X% per month over the next 12 months.”  

This way, it will be easier to measure results and track your performance. You can record your revenue each month and look for upward trends that indicate progress.  

You can also integrate revenue goals with other key performance indicators (KPIs) such as:  

  • Customer retention  
  • New customers obtained  
  • Operating costs  
  • Average sale amount  
  • Job time and response  
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Billable hours   

Get in the habit of tracking KPIs and goal milestones regularly. It will allow you to course-correct quickly if you’re not meeting milestones towards larger goals.  

First Steps to Growing an HVAC Business

You have some ideas now to start building up your customer roster, but you might need a concrete place to start. 

Here are our top tips to get you going on the path to growth and success:  

Develop Your USP.

We mentioned having a unique market position above. This is sometimes called a USP or unique selling proposition. You want to identify your USP so you can use it to stand apart from your competition. Maybe you are the best at converting apartments to heat pump technology. Perhaps you want to emphasize your expertise as a green, eco-friendly consultant.  

Tweak Your Website.   

If your website is looking a little weak, it’s time to give it a little attention. Do some keyword research and rework your website copy for SEO if needed. 

If you don’t have a blog page, add one. Consider what your customers need most and write a few short articles that address those pain points. Post them on a schedule for over a month or two to keep your website appearing active.   

Make sure your contact information is easy to find and read wherever a user might be on your website. Also, try viewing your site on your phone. Make sure it is fully functional on mobile devices.   


Set a goal of attending at least five live networking events this month. Events might include a trade show or a chamber of commerce event. You could also network via Lions Club or similar groups. An in-person interaction can have a far more memorable impact than any ad or sign. Just be sure to carry business cards to hand to potential business contacts.  

Simplify Management with Software.

You may already have business management software, but services and features change. If your current solution is not fully meeting the needs of your business, reevaluate. Do a little poking around on the internet and see what’s out there.   

If you haven’t implemented a management software solution, you’re in the perfect position to get exactly what you want from the jump.   

The best service business management software can automate many of your most tedious tasks and keep your business organized and scale with you as you bring in customers.  

Related Posts

Stay Informed

Get the latest news and insights plus, Service Fusion offers and updates.