The Sentree Air Conditioning Monitoring System which provides 24/7 real-time remote monitoring of residential central air conditioning systems to track A/C health is now available and shipping.
We thought a quick Q&A with one of our contractor customers would be a great way to tell you how Sentree can help provide value to your HVAC business and your customers.
SENTREE FOR HVAC CONTRACTORS
Donald Donnelly, in South Carolina, started Purrfect Comfort about four years ago, but he’s been in the building industry for decades. His focus is on residential properties, where 30%-40% of the properties are second homes for his customers. Since Purrfect Comfort is a small company and his customers are often away from their homes, Donald was looking for a remote monitoring solution that could help him and his team manage the business more efficiently and provide the service their customers expect. He learned about Sentree while searching online for tools that monitor air conditioning (A/C) units remotely.
HOW DOES TECHNOLOGY LIKE SENTREE ADD VALUE TO YOUR BUSINESS?
I see Sentree as a differentiator compared to the big HVAC operations. They have service contracts, but the customer calls them when something goes wrong. With Sentree, I can offer 365 days of monitoring and know the A/C system is running properly.
I can provide comfort and peace of mind for my customers because I’ll have confidence in the pressure levels and status of the A/C units. I can also see that all of my installations have been done to manufacturer specifications and have maximum efficiency.
I’ll also be more efficient with coordinating my service calls. Because I can see all of my customer properties on the Alert Labs Dashboard, I can prioritize and schedule repairs and regular maintenance visits so the most critical problems are looked after first.
HOW EASY WAS THE INSTALLATION PROCESS?
The installation was pretty straightforward. It took a little bit longer for the first unit because I needed to get familiar with the parts and read the instructions and go through the install. But now that I’ve done it, I could easily install my next Sentree in 10-15 minutes.
HOW WILL SENTREE HELP YOU PROVIDE BETTER SERVICE TO YOUR CUSTOMERS?
With Sentree, I can now get real-time diagnostics, remotely, without having to use pressure gauges. This is important because refrigerant is lost every time you put gauges on, which reduces the efficiency of the unit.
I will be faster and smarter with my service calls because I can be proactive and plan my service calls. I can contact customers before there is a big problem and schedule the visit when they can be home, and not wait for an emergency call.
When I think about the summer and one of my customers is on a two week vacation…they want to arrive at their house and enjoy the ocean, but now they’ve got to wait for somebody to work on their A/C unit because it stopped cooling while they were gone. I can now tell them there’s a definite problem with the unit in advance. We catch it early and it’s not a surprise for them.
HOW DOES SENTREE MAKE IT EASIER FOR YOUR FIELD TECHS TO DO THEIR JOBS?
By using Sentree, we can see on the Dashboard when refrigerant is leaking. Most of the time, it’s a slow leak, so with Sentree, we’ll see that it’s losing refrigerant even when the house is still cool.
The fact that Sentree uses a cellular connection is great. Techs don’t need to worry about relying customers’ WiFi network or needing their password. Set-up will go faster because Sentree connects directly to the cell network.
OVERALL, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT SENTREE AS A PRODUCT FOR HVAC CONTRACTORS?
This is going to really change the HVAC industry. Business owners like me who use technology early are going to have an advantage. We are going to be able to provide better service to our customers. We can provide more value by fixing problems before they become really expensive and give our customers peace of mind that their property is protected. My customers are going to trust me and the service I provide for years because of Sentree.
WHAT FUTURE TECHNOLOGY DO YOU IMAGINE WILL HELP THE HVAC INDUSTRY?
You start reviewing the algorithms and you realize that a capacitor must be weak because you can see that the fans have been stopping and starting….I think Sentree is a phenomenal product because as a contractor, you get to call the customer up and say, ‘Have you noticed anything different with your cooling? I was notified by your Sentree sensor that there’s something unusual…might be a simple capacitor, but your condenser fan has been going on and off and the amperage shows a little higher this month.’
The feedback from Donald represents comments from other contractors after they completed their Sentree installations. They agree that the installation process was easy to follow and didn’t take hours of training to learn, and will save them time in the field. They are looking forward to using Sentree to help run their business operations more efficiently by being able to schedule repair and maintenance visits, with knowledge about each A/C unit, at a time that is convenient for their customers is extremely beneficial to these business owners. The remote monitoring and the insights into A/C performance offers service opportunities that haven’t been possible with other diagnostic tools. To know about an issue before it becomes a bigger problem saves time and money, and keeps their customers happy.
Overall, the contractors know that they can provide a top level of service for their customers that will set them apart from their competition and help their business grow.