Guide to Tools + Transportation: Page 1. THE HVACR CONTRACTOR’S WEEKLY NE WSMAGA ZINE SINCE 1926 November 11, 2013 | $5.00 | Visit us online at www.achrnews.com, Twitter, Facebook + LinkedIn Small Contractors Find Ways to Compete With Big Firms By Matt Bishop Of The NEWS Staff fyi hvac briefs Commercial Contractors • H.B. McClure Co. (Harrisburg, Pa.) acquired the assets of Henry Mechanical Inc. (Lancaster, Pa.). • University Mechanical & Engi-neering Contractors Inc. (Tempe, Ariz.) won the First Place Safety Excellence award for exemplary safety practices and performance from the Sheet Metal and Air Con-ditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA). H VAC companies come in all different sizes and locations. But when it comes to operating in a major metropolitan area, how much does size matter? Although the bigger companies might have sizable advertising budgets and access to large client lists, smaller firms often have a better rapport with customers, leading to more repeat business. But there’s no doubt that with a small business, reputation is everything. “If you have 50 clients that love your service, and each of them tells two people to call you, you have 100 new clients,” said Michael Rosenberg, president, Rosen-berg Indoor Comfort, San Antonio. “If you are a small or big company and you continue to o upset your customers, these clients will not continue to use your company and they may tell their friends and family not to use you. Referrals are one of our biggest sources of new customers.” Much of the success smaller companies find depends on the Reputation, Referrals Key to Overcoming Size Factor HVAC SMALL BIZ Putting Small Contractors on the Map Manufacturers • NuHeat Industries Ltd. (Vancou-ver, British Columbia, Canada) entered into a partnership with OJ Electronics A/S (Sønderborg, Denmark) to develop a next-gen-eration thermostat for floor heat-ing systems. Manufacturer’s Reps • HTS Texas (Houston) will serve as the representative for Krueger-HVAC (Richardson, Texas) in the Texas cities of Austin and San Antonio, and the central Texas counties, effective immediately. Continued on page 5 • See SMALL | page 8 Hybrid Vehicles Inspire HVAC Contracting Efficiency By Matt Bishop Of The NEWS Staff Maintenance Per Gallon Matt Marsiglio, service manager, Flame Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Warren, Mich., refreshed his fleet in June with 45 new trucks, which increased the company’s average mpg from the 10-11 range to 12-13. Although it may seem insignificant, he said, the savings have already begun piling up. “Fuel cost is one uncontrollable we deal with,” Marsiglio said. “We know when our T raveling from job to job, HVAC companies log lots of miles on the road. While more miles typically means more work, it also means higher gas and maintenance costs. To offset these added expenditures, many business owners are considering a more efficient fleet. materials are going to increase because our suppliers will warn us. We don’t know when fuel increases, so when we’re doing pricing, it’s tough to speculate. If we can control two miles per gallon times 45 trucks times 20,000 miles a year, it starts adding up to real money. “It was definitely financially driven, but part of it was we use Ford vehicles, and they’re going to be changing their vans, so we wanted to let the new styles work their way in.” Eric Knaak, vice president of operations, Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning, Roch-ester, N.Y., said his company has made use of hybrid vehicles for the last few years — but only for the home-performance aspect of the business. “It seemed to tie in really well with home performance, not to mention it’s a good way to market efficiency,” Knaak said. • See HYBRID | page 13 Tweet @achrnews www.achrnews.com A contractor is completing a 25-minute job in 1 minute. Is Now Featured On Our Home Page! Go to achrnews.com and view real-time tweets from The NEWS and other HVACR professionals. Post comments to Twi er and include @achrnews. Find out how easy it is to set up Copeland ™ Condensing Units: Take the 1 minute challenge.