Most office building owners understand how important it is to maintain good air quality in their buildings.

They upgrade their HVAC systems, invest in HEPA filters and set up green planters to help filter chemicals from the air, but most of them don't understand the role their ductwork plays in maintaining the air quality in their building. How can contractors talk to clients about the relationship between ductwork and air quality?

Health concerns

Here is one excellent way to start the conversation with your clients — reinforce the potential health concerns their employees could be facing if there are problems with their building's ductwork. An individual's risk for health concerns will depend on their age and any pre-existing health conditions, but ductwork that is dirty or in poor repair can encourage the spread of viruses throughout the building. No one wants to deal with a sick workforce, so this can motivate even the most frugal manager to invest in ductwork cleaning or upgrades.

A self-contained problem

Ductwork and your clients’ HVAC work together as a self-contained system — you know that, but many of your clients probably don't. In many cases, it's easier to show instead of tell. You can tell your clients their ductwork is full of dust, dander, pollen and other contaminants all day, but until they see the facts for themselves, it won’t sink in.

Pick an easy access point and open the duct to show them what is inside. Another option is to use a small video camera inside the duct. The older the building, the worse the buildup will likely be, and it can be an eye-opening demonstration of the amount of work you need to do to ensure their employees and customers are safe and healthy while they are in the building.

Cleaning or replacement

Do the ducts need to be replaced, or can your client get away with having the ductwork in their building cleaned? You’ll hear this question often. Building owners are always looking for a way to save money, and a duct cleaning will usually be less expensive than full ductwork replacement. Consider the age of the building and any previous HVAC work that has taken place.

Inspect ductwork that is more than 15 years old and replace it before it can cause bigger problems. Reinforce the fact that ductwork that is older than 15 years is more prone to failure, and that it is better to get ahead of the problem before it starts costing them more money.

For ductwork that has been installed in the last 10 years, encourage your clients to get a thorough cleaning. Considering following the cleaning with duct sealing. Well-maintained ductwork can last for years, but if it gets dirty or damaged, it can cause more problems than it solves.

Incorporating air quality into your business

Business owners are becoming more aware of how important indoor air quality is to their building's collective health, which can be a great opportunity for HVAC repair companies. The field is still growing, which makes this the perfect time to add air quality protocols to your business. Talk to your clients about the importance of interior air quality — reach out to them even if they're just calling you to repair their faulty air conditioner, or if they haven't contacted you at all.

The best way to keep an HVAC system running well is to keep it maintained — and that includes ductwork maintenance. This preventive maintenance can help save them money in the long run — and it is a great way to motivate your clients to take care of their systems or to hire you to do it for them.

People tend to ignore their HVAC systems until they start acting up. Getting your clients to proactively take care of their HVAC maintenance can help improve your business and keep your clients' systems running smoothly for years to come.