The Phrase That Should Make You Push an HVAC Tech Out the Door

By: Brian Schutt  |  January 22, 2015

Heart Transplant

“It’s time to replace your furnace.” Seems harmless enough, right? But would you trust a cardiologist who only gave you the option to have a heart transplant?

At Homesense, we believe that you know what’s right for you better than we do. We didn’t need to do a focus group to come up with that, it’s just common sense. When you call us to your home, you’re not looking for someone to come make decisions for you, we believe you’re looking for someone with expertise who can trust and depend on to provide you the necessary information in a way you can understand, so that you can make the right decision for you and your home.

Our process is built around that belief, and therefore you won’t hear our technicians making the declarative statement “It’s time to replace your furnace”. What we will do is present you with the information you need to make that determination. You know, we know, heating and cooling equipment brakes eventually. And, at some point the best decision is to replace it. We believe that you don’t need to be strong-armed by someone you just met into that decision, if it’s indeed the right one.

In the fantastic book “How will you measure your life” by Clayton Christensen, he explores the two basic ways workers are incentivized within contemporary motivation theory. To quickly summarize, the majority of firms in HVAC use money as a carrot and demotion/firing as a stick, then send them out into your home under the premise that you’re talking to an objective specialist with your best interests in mind. We’ve explored this frustrating paradox before, in explaining that you get what you incentivize.

The other motivation theory views workers as humans. In that humans, while not immune to Pavlovian behavior modification, are far more complex and have much more depth. While the source is ironic, the quote attributed to Bill Belichick that “talent sets the floor, character sets the ceiling” is the way we view our team. Our work as a company is to find people with great character, intrinsically motivated to do right thing every time, and create a structure that rewards that.

This is not to say that everyone else in the industry is out to get you. It is to say that if the first thing they recommend is the heating and cooling equivalent of a heart transplant, it might make sense to get another opinion before that surgery.

Brian Schutt


is the co-owner of Homesense Heating | Cooling. Born and raised in Indianapolis, he loves the city and its people, and is committed to bringing a servants mindset into the heating and cooling industry. One of the ways he does that is to translate the technical language of HVAC into the manageable and understandable for homeowners.

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