HPAC Magazine

The Maintenance Plan

April 9, 2024 | By Mathew Pottins

Ensure long-term customer satisfaction by offering service plans with every installation.

(Getty Images)

Hydronic systems are often praised for their efficiency and comfort. As we all know, these systems are an intricate network of components piped together to create a seamless heating experience in homes and commercial buildings.

However, their complexity can pose challenges for homeowners and contractors when it comes to maintenance and upkeep. A new system installation shouldn’t be a one and done with that customer.

In the world of HVAC services, unlike some other industries, contractors face a unique opportunity to not only retain customers but also expand their business. They can do this by offering comprehensive maintenance and service plans tailored specifically for the hydronic systems they install.

It’s understood, but it’s also important to reflect on the many key components of a hydronic system and to educate your customer on the different parts and their proper servicing requirements:

Boilers or heat pumps: these are the heart of the system, responsible for heating the water or fluid before circulation and a source requiring regular inspection.

Pumps and valves: these components facilitate the movement of the heated liquid throughout the system, ensuring even distribution to the radiators, underfloor heating or other heat exchange points. Are they doing their job? (Let’s not get into the zoning with pumps or valves argument right now)

Radiators or heat emitters: these are the key devices that release heat into the occupied spaces. You might think radiators are as easy as install and walk away, but once you’ve introduced thermostatic radiator valves and auto air bleeders things start to change, homeowner education is always welcome. Or maybe you’re installing air handlers or fan coils which now have electronics involved.

Expansion tanks, makeup water feeds and pressure regulators: these essentials are vital for maintaining proper pressure levels within the system and preventing damage.

Piping and insulation: the network of pipes through which the heated water travels, often concealed within walls or floors, require periodic checks for leaks, corrosion, or insulation integrity.

Condensate kits: providing a condensate neutralization kit and keeping the neutralizer fresh to ensure there is no corrosion in the plumbing and following local codes.

These are six major elements of a hydronics system that need to be maintained, and the average homeowner doesn’t want that servicing burden. So, let’s dig into how to make more money in hydronics while keeping your customer happy for the next 20-plus years.

Custom Plans

Every hydronic system can be a little unique, and this can be overwhelming to the common homeowner, which also means service plans can be specifically tailored to the heating system installed in each and every location.

Regular maintenance not only keeps your company fresh in the face of the homeowner, but it allows you to keep that system running smoothly for the long haul.

I recently installed a boiler with an air handler and in-floor heating in my house, and the first thing my wife said was: “This looks pretty complicated, what if something goes wrong?”

I replied: “I know a guy.”


There is no question that maintenance and service plans will benefit your customers, likely extending the life of their systems. And of course providing service plans offers benefits to your business as well:

Predictable revenue stream: service plans provide a consistent source of income, ensuring a steady cash flow.

Customer loyalty: by offering regular service you build trust and loyalty with end users, increasing the likelihood of repeat business and referrals.

Reduced emergency calls: regular maintenance helps identify and address potential issues before they escalate, reducing the number of emergency service calls for your team (how about we sleep on the weekends).

Extended system lifespan: proactive maintenance leads to a longer lifespan for system components, reducing the constant replacement of parts.

Market differentiation: contractors offering comprehensive service plans stand out in the market, attracting homeowners who prioritize the long-term health of their hydronic systems.

Upselling opportunities: during routine service visits contractors can identify opportunities for system upgrades or improvements based on customer feedback, leading to additional sales (I know we are a humble trade, but you have permission to do this).

Business Value

The addition of a comprehensive service plan with scheduled visits that you initiate by reaching out to customers annually, will not only keep your customer happy, safe, and lower their stress levels, but it will give you (the contractor) the opportunity to hold on to that customer.

And that’s what really increases the value of your company. <>

Mathew Pottins has worked with HVAC manufacturers and suppliers for over a decade, and his passion is in growing the industry. He runs Laylan Hydronics and HVAC Sales and he is also a partner in an HVAC business management services team. He can be reached at mathew@laylanhvac.com.



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