HVAC Price Book

HVAC Price Book

In the HVAC industry, the pricing strategies used makes the difference between profit and loss. A well-constructed HVAC price book, also known as an HVAC flat rate price book, is more than just a list of services and prices; it is a vital tool that enhances efficiency, boosts customer satisfaction, increases profitability, and supports scalability. This Be Elite Guide explores the key components of a successful HVAC price book and provides insights on how to create, integrate, and optimize your pricing guide to meet your business and customer needs.

Scaling Your HVAC Business with a Price Book

An HVAC price book is crucial for scaling a profitable and efficient HVAC service company. It simplifies the sales process, making it easier for customers to understand and purchase services. For HVAC professionals looking for flat rate pricing, this tool standardizes prices across the business, ensuring consistency and transparency in customer charges. A comprehensive price book covers a wide range of services from routine maintenance to complex installations, each tailored to include labor, materials, overhead, and desired profit margins.

The Importance of Consistent Pricing

Inaccurate and inconsistent pricing can cripple profits and ultimately lead to business failure. Despite this well-known fact, many HVAC businesses struggle to develop and fully implement a pricing process. Proper pricing offers several benefits:

  • Protects Profits:Ensures every job is profitable.
  • Increases Professionalism: Enhances the business’s reputation.
  • Establishes Client Trust: Clear, upfront pricing builds customer confidence.
  • Improves Cash Flow: Reduces or eliminates receivables.
  • Reduces Administrative Burden: Cuts down on time spent on invoicing.
  • Prevents Billing Mistakes: Minimizes errors and client disputes.
  • Ensures Consistency: Standardized pricing sets clear expectations for staff.
  • Fosters Employee Trust: Transparent pricing creates a better working environment.
  • Consistent Pricing Across Teams: Ensures uniform pricing between sales and service technicians, enabling companies to have selling technicians.

Why HVAC Companies Don’t Have a Price Book

Elite Trades has worked with HVAC companies for over 20 years, identifying common barriers to creating a price book:

  • Lack of time: Building an HVAC price book takes time. There can be over 500 HVAC repair and replacement tasks in a complete price book which takes time many HVAC company owners simply don’t have.
  • No support: Having implemented structured HVAC pricing requires many other supporting systems in place such as purchasing, inventory, call center, back office and HVAC training programs to ensure full integration. Without these systems many business owners struggle to implement an HVAC price book.
  • Stuck in the old days: Many business owners choose not to face the fact that the industry (and customers) have changed. Just because you have always priced services without an HVAC price book doesn’t mean you should continue to.

“Partnering with Elite Trades addresses these challenges. We guide our clients step-by-step through the process, ensuring their pricing is fair, consistent, and integrated into their software for easy application by technicians.”

Developing Your HVAC Price Book with Elite Trades

Elite Trades knows the importance of proper pricing, so much so that we provide a free HVAC price book to our clients. Proper pricing not only protects profits but it protects clients, ensuring repeat business, happy employees and a thriving company. Calculating accurate pricing requires specific details about your company, your team, and your market. Elite Trades assists HVAC business owners in developing and implementing proper pricing.

1. Categories Your HVAC Price Book Should Have

Creating an easy-to-use price book pays dividends for years and makes training your HVAC technicians simple. While building out your HVAC price guide, these are must-have sections to include: 

Service & Diagnostic & Warranty Fees

  • Service Call: Include trip charges, dispatch fees, or other service call fees.
  • Diagnostic Assessments: Fees for troubleshooting, advanced diagnostics, and identifying HVAC issues.
  • Emergency Service Rates: Premium charges for urgent services outside regular hours.
  • Warranty Fees: Charges for warranty repairs, processing and other warranty related services.

HVAC Repairs

  • Heating System Repairs: Be sure to build out subcategories for common repairs made to furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, and other heating equipment.
  • Cooling System Repairs: AC repairs dominate the revenue stream for most HVAC service companies. Build out a complete list of repairs you make to air conditioners, evaporative coolers, and other cooling systems.
  • Ductwork Repairs: Repairs for ductwork, including leaks and insulation.
  • Thermostat Repairs: Include smart and programmable thermostats.

HVAC Maintenance

  • Heating System Maintenance: This is where all of your tune ups and other subcategories for furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, and other heating equipment annual maintenance should be listed.   
  • Cooling System Maintenance: Tune ups for AC systems as well as air conditioner clean and checks and other annual routine cleanings and servicing that you offer should go into this section .
  • Filter changes:  Standard and nonstock furnace and air conditioning filters.

Indoor Air Quality & Duct Cleaning

  • IAQ System Installation: Humidification, dehumidification, filtration, air purification and other IAQ systems offered should be itemized and listed in this section offering an easy to choose service list for your customers. . 
  • Duct Cleaning: Whole home duct cleaning, dryer vent cleaning and common duct cleaning services.

HVAC Replacements

  • Heating System Replacement: Build out your heating system replacement price book by segmenting off the major types of replacement systems you offer such as: gas furnaces, heat pumps, 80% furnaces and high efficiency. 
  • Cooling System Replacement: As the HVAC industry continues to advance in both comfort and efficiency, the replacement offerings a typical HVAC contractor needs to include in their price book are compounding. Be sure to include entry level as well as over the top levels for all replacement air conditioning models you install. 
  • Ductwork Replacement: All ductwork replacements and upgrades.
  • Thermostat & Controls: Often when your team is selling a new or replacement HVAC system, the t-stat as well as controls will need to be replaced. List out all of the controls your team is familiar with as well as control options and put them in their own section called t-stat and controls. This will allow you the flexibility to adjust pricing based on the fact that they are commonly added on to a much larger project.

HVAC Installation, Remodel & Retrofits

HVAC New Construction: It can be tough to build out task based pricing for new construction. However, if your company offers any HVAC construction work and you can find a way to standardize the pricing, it will be worth it. 

Remodels: Customers are continually improving their homes, which means adding living space via additions and basement build outs as well as making major changes to their current living space. Make a section in your pricing manual that allows your team to price things such as adding zones, heat runs and second or third systems as seamlessly as possible.

2. What Services to Include in Your HVAC Price Book

In our work at Elite Trades, we have found that HVAC contractors looking to build a price book either want to have way too many services included in the price book or far too few. Here are some good rules to follow when including what should be in each category.

  • Do you perform the service on a daily or weekly basis? If so, then it should be in the pricebook.
  • Is the material and equipment required to perform the work available? If not, then this should be treated as a special task and quoted accordingly.
  • Is the scope of work consistent? For jobs that cannot be performed consistently, omit them from the price book so that clients are not being charged too much or too little. 
  • Include the services you want to sell. Specifically on the replacement side, we see HVAC contractors with way too many options. Dial in what your company is comfortable with and what is in the best interest of your clients and prune out the rest. 

3. Pricing Strategy: Setting Your Rates & Markups

Elite Trades is well published on the subject of setting the selling price of HVAC services. Your HVAC price book should be based on many factors such as: 

  • Direct labor costs for primary and secondary technicians
  • Benefit burdens
  • Market conditions
  • Company image and market perception
  • Vehicle types and inventory
  • Accepted payment types
  • Business cycle (growth, maintenance, repair)

We lay out exactly how to establish what to charge for HVAC services in accompanying guides of this HVAC price book guide. 

4. Elite Pricing Strategies

Dynamic Pricing Adjustments

  • Keep an eye on industry changes and utilize dynamic pricing to adjust costs (and in turn your selling rates) based on increasing costs, demand and supply chain factors.
  • If you need to increase the prices of your HVAC services, do so when you are headed into a busy season vs. going into the slow season.
  • As costs of goods to provide HVAC services drop or demand flattens, consider dynamic price reductions based on the new market change. 

Maintenance Club Discounts and Promotions

  • If you have the annual maintenance program that all healthy HVAC companies have in place, you’re likely offering discounts, promotions and other incentives to these clients. Make sure your price book incorporates any discounts, promotions, and loyalty programs into the pricing. 

5. Training HVAC Techs & Sales Teams

Training HVAC Technicians and Sales Teams

Once fully developed, you’ll need to train not only the service techs but your sales team and potentially office team on the new HVAC price book. Here are some major (and often overlooked) things that you must ensure are handled via training: 

  • Weekly or biweekly meetings will help with implementation of the new price book
  • Ensure the team is comfortable with the categories and layouts 
  • If you have a membership program, make sure the team knows where to find special member pricing
  • Role-play common scenarios in order to ensure each member of the team can execute the price book 

Allow Team Member Feedback on Pricing

SPOILER ALERT: Some of your HVAC techs will think the pricing is too high. This is largely because without a thought out price book, they don’t have anything to compare pricing to. Therefore, on the surface on point pricing can seem to be high without a full understanding of all that is included in it. Here are some tips to handle and put employee feedback and your HVAC price book to good use.

  • Encourage constructive feedback from the team on pricing
  • Engage employees in conversation that brings to the surface all concerns about the price
  • Evaluate this feedback and make needed adjustments
  • Add and remove services as needed

6. Using Software Tools to Simplify Price Book Building

For the last 5+ years, modern software such as ServiceTitan and HouseCall Pro has been automating much of the price book presentation process. Despite this clear advantage, software has struggled to produce a way for HVAC contractors to quickly and simply calculate the selling price of their services as well as produce a turnkey price book. Our HVAC Price Book Builder, available for free, is:

  • Simple & scalable for your HVAC business
  • Printable or uploadable to any software
  • Completely customizable
  • Pre-loaded with hundreds of tasks
  • Not reliant on a glitchy app or special software
  • Suitable for time and material pricing or fixed fee pricing
  • Designed to ensure pricing consistency
  • Protecting your profit margins by ensuring appropriate charges

Integrating Your HVAC Price Book with Software

For reasons we covered briefly above, the best way to put a complete and accurate HVAC price book to work is by integrating your price book with business management software like HouseCall Pro or ServiceTitan. This will significantly improve operations, efficiency and profitability, but will also make things much easier on your technicians and customers. 

ServiceTitan Integration

ServiceTitan offers robust price book capabilities and integrations including Price Book Pro. ServiceTitan’s price book allows media uploading, dynamic linking of HVAC materials and equipment and many industry leading features. 

  • Integrated with most major HVAC vendors and manufacturers
  • Centralized pricing data
  • Real-time pricing adjustments with dynamic pricing
  • High customization
  • Easy organization
  • Professional client presentations

HouseCall Pro Integration

HouseCall Pro’s built-in price book integrates seamlessly with our Price Book Builder and offers these advantages: 

  • Simple integration
  • Low cost 
  • Easy maintenance and organization
  • Fast price book adjustments 

Best Price Book Solutions for HVAC Contractors

Over the years, there have been countless options offered to HVAC contractors looking for simple and dynamic pricing calculators and price book development tools. Each with their own unique advantages, most with the same disadvantages. Choosing the right one depends on your software affiliations, ease of use, and cost.

Elite Tip: Avoid extra costs for price book production. Instead, invest time and money into creating a customized HVAC price book to meet your needs and simplify training for your technicians.

ServiceTitan – Price Book Pro

A paid product that integrates with their software, providing a pre-built online HVAC flat rate or time and materials price book. Comes prebuilt with thousands of tasks, as well as media to enhance the visual look of the price book. Many contractors find ServiceTitan’s Price Book Pro overwhelming and end up preferring a lightweight product in the end. 

HouseCall Pro

Although not as complete as other solutions, it is a good starting point for many heating & air conditioning companies. HCP emphasizes the ease of use and mobile access, ideal for straightforward, effective solutions but lacks the ability to integrate material pricing, equipment pricing and inventory directly into the price book. That said, many HVAC contractors appreciate the simplicity of the HouseCall Pro’s price book product. 

Profit Rhino

Known for its extensive template library and customizable options, it is suitable for HVAC contractors wanting control over their pricing structures.

QuickBooks

By far, the most popular HVAC accounting software, QuickBooks serves as the price book hub for the majority of the HVAC service contractors in the US. QB and QBO touts the ability to have built in price books for all services offered and can be used to build estimates and invoices.

Elite Trades Price Book

Built for HVAC contractors by HVAC contractors and designed to meet the specific needs of elite HVAC service contractors. It’s optimized for pricing accuracy and integration with major software like ServiceTitan or HouseCall Pro. The Elite Trades HVAC pricing calculator and price book is built to provide a lightweight, easy to use price book builder which is seamlessly integrated into the HVAC software of your choice. 

Maintaining Your HVAC Price Book for Long-Term Success

An HVAC price book is a dynamic part of your business and not a one time push. The world’s best owners and operations are working on (or having their team work on) the price book on a daily basis. Lock in to these few things to guarantee your pricing is not only fair, but it is accurate:

Update Material & Equipment Costs Monthly

Pricing increases for HVAC equipment and materials seem to coincide with the seasons. Ensure your price book reflects the latest prices for equipment and materials by doing a deep dive into these costs at least four times annually, but ideally monthly. 

Monitor the Market

As quickly as things have been changing in the HVAC space that impacts all things heating and air conditioning, it’s super important to keep your eyes on:

  • Market conditions 
  • New competitors moving into your market
  • Old competitors making major or minor changes
  • Increase in equipment costs
  • Changes to product and equipment distribution 
  • The overall labor market 

Keep an eye on these things and your competitors, but base your prices on your business’s goals, size, and service offerings.

Take Advantage of Technology

The software HVAC business owners are using provides huge advantages which can only be had if fully applied. Keep track of updates and changes made to the technology that you are currently using so that you can fully utilize all that you are paying for. 

Additional HVAC Business Price Book Resources

Elite Trades offers extensive resources to HVAC business owners for building, maintaining, and improving your price book.

Free HVAC Price Book: Feel free to claim your free HVAC price book builder now

Not Sure What to Charge for HVAC Services: Visit our blog on setting your rates

Multi-trade Companies: Not only do we have price guides for HVAC contractors, we have price book resources available for the plumbing, water conditioning, well and electrical industry

Ready to Take Your HVAC Business to the Next Level: Book a free consultation to learn more

Take what you have learned in this guide and implement it today to take control of your profitability, efficiency, team member & customer satisfaction. 

Eric Smith - Founder & CEO of Elite Trades

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