How to Start an HVAC Business

The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry offers plenty of opportunities for those who want to start their own business. Whether you’re interested in starting a small, local business or a large, national company, there’s a place for you in the industry.

There are many things to consider when starting an HVAC business, from the initial investment to the type of business model you’ll use. But with careful planning and execution, you can be well on your way to success in this growing industry.

In this article, we cover all you need to know about starting an HVAC business.

Starting an HVAC business

HVAC contracting is a competitive field, with a number of contractors competing against each other in demographically-defined markets. When it comes to beating the competition and standing out above the rest, differentiating yourself is key. It’s also critical that you take advantage of new technologies.

There are many ways to set yourself apart, but a great place to start is by offering unique services that other contractors in your area don’t.

For example, you could focus on a specific type of HVAC system or market, such as commercial refrigeration or solar-powered heating and cooling. You could also target a particular demographic, such as seniors or eco-conscious homeowners. By zeroing in on a niche, you can become the go-to contractor for that type of work, which will help you win more business.

Overcoming the challenges

Like any business, there are certain challenges you’ll need to overcome when starting an HVAC company.

To start with, the industry is highly regulated, so you’ll need to obtain the proper licenses and permits before you can begin operating. You’ll also need to have a solid understanding of the technology involved in order to provide quality services to your customers.

In addition, the HVAC industry is subject to seasonal fluctuations, so you’ll need to manage your cash flow carefully in order to keep your business afloat during slower periods.

Marketing your business can be a challenge, as most homeowners don’t think about their HVAC system until it’s not working properly. To reach potential customers, you’ll need to create a strong marketing campaign that highlights the benefits of regular maintenance and repair services.

Staffing can also be a challenge, as qualified HVAC technicians are in high demand. To attract and retain good employees, you’ll need to offer competitive wages and benefits.

Another challenge that you’ll need to consider is how to accurately estimate costs for plumbing work. The good news is that there is HVAC costing software that helps with this.

You’re here to find out how to start an HVAC business, so let’s get into it. Let’s start by looking at how profitable an HVAC business is.

How Profitable is an HVAC Business?

The answer to this question depends on several factors, such as the size of your business, the services you offer, and the markets you serve.

The HVAC industry is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, so there’s potential for high profits. According to a report by Statistica, the global HVAC market is expected to reach $367.5 billion by 2030. This is an astounding figure.

This growth is being driven by a number of factors, including an increase in construction activity around the world and a growing awareness of the importance of energy efficiency. As more and more homeowners and businesses focus on reducing their energy consumption, the demand for HVAC services is expected to increase.

What great about an HVAC business is that the investment scales as the business scales. So, if you’re able to grow your business, the profits will follow.

Of course, as with any business, there are certain costs that you’ll need to take into account. These include the cost of licenses and permits, marketing, and employee wages. Additionally, you’ll need to factor in the cost of HVAC equipment and parts.

To get a better idea of how profitable an HVAC business can be, let’s take a look at some examples of successful businesses in the industry.

Examples of Successful HVAC Businesses

There are a number of companies that have found success in the HVAC industry. One example is ServiceMaster, which is one of the largest providers of residential and commercial HVAC services in the United States.

Founded in 1947, ServiceMaster has a long history of success in the industry. In 2020 the company reported net income of $53 million.

Another example of a successful HVAC business is ARS/Rescue Rooter, which is one of the largest residential HVAC service providers in the United States.

Founded in 1975, ARS/Rescue Rooter has a network of more than 100 locations across the country. The company now reports revenue of over $3 billion.

So, there’s significant potential for high profits in the HVAC industry.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Start an HVAC Business

Now that we’ve answered the question, “how profitable is an HVAC business?” let’s take a look at how you can start your own business in the industry.

1. Create a Business Plan

The first step in starting any business is to create a business plan. This document will outline your business goals, strategies and objectives.

To get started, you’ll need to list out your business’s mission statement and measurable objectives. This will help you stay focused as you grow your business.

Next, you’ll need to decide on the HVAC specializations that you’d like to pursue. For example, do you want to focus on residential or commercial HVAC services?

After deciding on your specialization, you’ll need to identify key performance indicators (KPIs) that you’ll monitor to gauge the success of your business. For example, one KPI could be customer satisfaction rates.

You’ll also need to establish an overall budget for your business. This will include the cost of licenses, permits, marketing, employee wages and HVAC equipment.

2. Perform Market Analysis

After you’ve created a business plan, you’ll need to perform a market analysis. This will help you better understand the opportunity that exists for your business.

To start, you’ll need to define your target market. This is the group of people that you’ll be catering to with your HVAC services.

Next, you’ll need to conduct a competitor analysis. This will help you understand who your competition is and what they’re offering. It’s critically important that you truly understand who your competitors are, how they are positioning themselves, and how much market share they have. This will allow you to consider how you will look to take some of that market share and what strategies you’ll need to adopt to do so.

Once you’ve identified your competitors, you’ll need to conduct an industry analysis. This will help you understand the trends that are happening in the HVAC industry.

You’ll also need to perform a legal and regulatory analysis. This will help you ensure that your business is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.

After you’ve gathered all of this information, you can then start to develop approaches to help grow your business. Some common approaches include SWOT analysis, SOAR analysis, PESTEL analysis, and Porter’s Five Forces analysis. A quick Google search will give you all the information you need for each of these.

3. Get your HVAC Business License

After you’ve created a business plan and performed market analysis, you’ll need to get your HVAC business license.

The requirements for an HVAC business license vary from state to state. However, there are some general requirements that you’ll need to meet.

First, you’ll need to have a minimum amount of experience working in the HVAC industry. This experience will need to be verified by a certified trade school or by passing an exam administered by the state.

Next, you’ll need to pass a criminal background check. This is to ensure that you don’t have any felonies on your record.

Finally, you’ll need to obtain liability insurance for your business. This will protect you in the event that one of your customers files a lawsuit against you.

4. Do the Paperwork

After you’ve obtained your HVAC business license, you’ll need to do the paperwork to get your business up and running.

First, you’ll need to decide on the legal structure of your business. The most common structures for businesses are sole proprietorships, LLCs and corporations.

Once you’ve decided on the legal structure of your business, you’ll need to obtain any permits or licenses that are required by your state.

Next, you’ll need to open a business bank account and obtain any financing that you need for your business. This could include loans for equipment and tools, as well as working capital.

Finally, you’ll need to file the proper paperwork with your state to ensure that your business is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.

5. Do the Branding

After you’ve obtained your HVAC business license and done the paperwork, you’ll need to do the branding for your business.

The first step in branding your business is to create a logo. This will be the visual representation of your brand. When creating your logo it’s, important to keep it simple and memorable.

Next, you’ll need to set up a corporate website. This will be the online home for your business. On your website, you’ll need to include information about your services and how to contact you.

You’ll also need to create business cards for your business. These will be used to promote your brand and help people remember your name.

6. Set the stage for effective management

As the owner or manager of an HVAC business, you’ll need to set the stage for effective management from the outset. This means having a clear understanding of your business goals and objectives, as well as defining the roles and responsibilities of each team member.

You’ll also need to establish a pricing strategy that takes into account the cost of goods and services, as well as the overhead associated with running your business. You’ll also need to adopt technology that can help you with scheduling, routing, dispatching, billing, invoicing, and bookkeeping. We cannot stress the importance of having the right systems in place enough.

7. Set up a team

An HVAC business can’t run without a team of qualified technicians. So, it’s important to consider the need for in-house team members and the potential HVAC technicians in your area. Once you have a good understanding of the workforce landscape, you can then define the roles and responsibilities of each team member.

Running training sessions on a regular basis is also important to ensure that your team is up-to-date on the latest HVAC technology and procedures. Doing so will not only result in better customer service but will also help to increase profits.

8. Create a marketing plan

As a new HVAC business, you will need to create a marketing plan to generate interest in your company and attract customers. There are many different marketing channels you can use, including digital channels such as websites, blogs, and social media networks, as well as print media outlets such as newspapers and magazines. You should also consider listing your business in local directories and online listings. Also, referral marketing and word-of-mouth can be powerful tools for generating new leads.

When creating your marketing plan, it is important to set realistic goals and budgets for your campaigns. Be sure to research your target audience so that you can tailor your marketing messages accordingly. Also, make sure to measure the results of your marketing efforts so that you can adjust your strategy as needed.

Drive Sustainability – Avoid These Mistakes

When you’re starting an HVAC business, it’s important to avoid making mistakes that could undermine your ability to be successful in the long term. Here are four mistakes to avoid:

1. Don’t burn bridges that might help you build new ones down the road: It’s important to maintain good relationships with other businesses, even if you’re in competition with them. You never know when you might need their help down the road.

2. Don’t jump into the process unplanned: Don’t try to start your business without doing any research or planning first. This will only increase the chances of making mistakes that could be costly later on.

3. Don’t undermine your health: Running a business can be stressful, so it’s important to take care of your health both mentally and physically. If you don’t, it will eventually catch up to you and negatively impact your business.

4. Don’t let the customer service standards fall: Personalized support is everything in the HVAC industry. If you’re not providing excellent customer service, your business will suffer.


If you’ve gotten this far, then chances are you have plenty of questions about how to start an HVAC business and make it successful. Let’s take a look at some FAQs.

What certifications are required/available?

There are a variety of certifications available for those in the HVAC industry, but not all of them are required. The most important certification to have is the EPA Section 608 Technician Certification, which ensures that technicians are properly trained to handle refrigerants. Other popular certifications include the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification, as well as state and local licenses.

How do I register my HVAC business?

You will need to register your business with the government, as well as obtain any necessary licenses and permits. The process for doing this will vary depending on your location, so it’s best to check with your local government offices for more information.

How much, on average, does it cost to start an HVAC business?

The cost of starting an HVAC business will vary depending on a number of factors, such as the size of the business and the location. However, you can expect to spend several thousand dollars on equipment and supplies, as well as marketing and other start-up costs.

What tools and equipment are required to start an HVAC business?

In order to start an HVAC business, you will need a variety of tools and equipment, including refrigerant recovery machines, vacuum pumps, leak detectors, and more. You can either purchase this equipment outright or lease it from a supplier.

What do you need to ensure your HVAC business is professional?

There are a few things you can do to make sure your HVAC business is professional, such as investing in branded uniforms and vehicles, as well as creating a detailed business plan. You should also make sure you are properly trained and certified before starting your business.

Can you get rich in an HVAC business?

This one is entirely up to you. If you are willing to put in the hard work and dedication, you can certainly make a great success of the business. Just remember that success in this business takes time, dedication, and hard work.

How to find investors for my HVAC startup?

If you’re looking for investors for your HVAC startup, there are a few places you can look, such as online crowdfunding platforms or private equity firms. You can also reach out to friends and family, as well as local business associations.

How easy is it to set up an HVAC business?

The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including your experience in the industry, your business acumen, and your financial situation. That said, it is generally not too difficult to set up an HVAC business, especially if you have the help of a reputable contractor licensing service.

Is the HVAC business space competitive?

There are a variety of factors that come into play when determining the competitiveness of any given business space. The HVAC industry is no different. When considering the competition in the HVAC industry, it’s important to take a look at the overall market landscape, as well as the specific niche that your business occupies. The HVAC industry in some areas is a highly competitive one, with a large number of businesses vying for market share. This is due in part to the fact that the industry is relatively mature, with few new entrants making waves. Additionally, many of the key players in the space are large, well-established companies with significant resources at their disposal. With clever marketing tactics, you can quite easily compete with these big players though.


The key to success in the HVAC industry is to be prepared and to always give your best. With the right knowledge, tools, and dedication, you can certainly start and grow a successful HVAC business. Just remember to take things one step at a time and to always put your customers first.

We hope you enjoyed this article on how to start an HVAC business. Why not take a look at our other HVAC articles.

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Thanks for reading!

About the author Steve Coffey

I am passionate about the building materials industry helping companies all throughout the channel see success and exceed the expectations of their audiences

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