HVAC software is a field service management software used by those in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning industry. By purchasing an industry-specific software solution, you can be assured you’re working with a software provider that understands the needs of your business.
Companies in most other industries typically specialize in either service or product sales. HVAC companies handle both. To make things more complex, HVAC companies generally not only do service work but job-oriented contract work.
This contract (warranty work) can amount to a large percentage of your service calls. Proper warranty tracking is necessary to ensure a company is not accumulating costs in an unneeded situation, such as performing work “under warranty” only to find out a customer should have been invoiced. You’ll also need to track any work performed stemming from a warranty situation to manage the claim process and tie it in with your billing (accounting).
To find out which HVAC software will work best for your business, we’ve reviewed several options and rated our best choices for a variety of categories.
Jobber is an HVAC business software–providing estimating, quoting, scheduling, dispatching, CRM, and payment processing. This helps your teams dispatch estimates, installs, repairs, and track jobs all in one place. Jobber also offers free product coaching and has a private Entrepreneurship Group that lets users ask questions and share advice with thousands of other business owners.
Why We Like It: Jobber knows what its strengths are–scheduling and dispatching–and does them well. The calendar offers a variety of views (monthly, weekly, grid, etc.), and depending on how your day is scheduled, you can view overlaps and who is available for dispatch purposes. There is also a map view that lets you view days out into the future and show different locations so technicians can see ahead of time where they’ll be on a specific day.
In addition to scheduling and dispatching, Jobber provides estimating and quoting, CRM, and invoicing with online payments. This lets your employees schedule HVAC assessments and work requests, build quotes in the field, let clients approve and request changes within their client hub, and keep track of service agreements.
Jobber also integrates with two of the most popular accounting software options available (QuickBooks Online and Xero)–allowing your business to continue using the financial package it’s used to while implementing featured dedicated to the service side of your business. Jobber will usually run promotions for new users, with their lowest package starting sometimes starting at $25/month for the first 3-months ($49/month thereafter).
While Housecall Pro can serve a variety of industries, the solution was made with HVAC businesses in mind. The software provides customer management, service plans, a price book, sales proposal tools, QuickBooks integration, consumer financing, and reporting options. It also offers GPS fleet management, dispatching, and online payment processing.
Why We Like It: Housecall Pro offers strong functionalities both in the office and in the field. This means both management in the office and technicians out in the field can get access to scheduling, invoicing/estimating, and payment collection.
The combination of desktop and mobile use allows you to manage scheduling by setting up new and recurring jobs, both notifying and dispatching technicians and estimators, and managing time and location details surrounding a job. Invoice and estimating capabilities provide customers with a record of both proposed and completed work. The sales proposal features allow you to present pictures and detailed options–giving customers clarity they may desire. Housecall Pro also includes HVAC maintenance contracts, which itemize services for a specified fee. This helps frame maintenance contracts as savings opportunities and allows you to itemize benefits your business can provide.
For small businesses, these features are very affordable–starting at $49/month. The solution also integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks, a preferred small business accounting software by many, which means your business can continue to use the financial solution it’s used to while adding HVAC and service features that you need to grow.
FieldEdge is an HVAC service software that equips technicians with the tools needed to ramp up efficiency, generate bigger tickets, and provide customer service. Using the mobile app, technicians can access a customer’s full work history to have all the information required to get the job done. They can also access a fully customizable price book with “good”, “better”, and “best” options to help increase sales. Finally, invoicing in the field is possible upon job completion–allowing clients to sign off on work done and technicians to collect payments in the field.
Why We Like It: The mobile app is always paired with the office–letting office personnel view which technicians are nearest to the customer’s location. This helps intelligently route technicians to the new job. The office personnel can easily send all-important work order details directly to the technician’s mobile device. Techs will also have access to the needed forms to complete the job.
Technicians can also easily pull up the previous history done at the customer’s location–letting the technicians understand the full scope of the job. The technicians can even reorder parts on the spot and give the customer a timetable for when the parts should arrive and thus the work be completed. Payment can even be collected on the spot with FieldEdge’s built-in payment processor.
ECI ThermoGRID is an all-in-one contractor software used by HVAC, plumbing, and electrical contractors. Intended for a small and medium-sized residential and commercial contractor, this cloud-based platform centers on the services you provide. By providing functions vital to a field service-based business, ECI ThermoGrid helps keep customers happy through scheduling and dispatching, eliminating errors in invoicing, accurate inventory, and accurate job costs.
Why We Like It: ECI ThermoGRID includes the largest feature-set at its price point–and it’s not close. While it’s not the most inexpensive software, it does include a large catalog of features compared to others at its price point. One of those features includes scheduling and dispatching. At their disposal, dispatchers will be able to see a tech’s availability, skill level, and distance, to assign whoever would provide the best performance and thus generate the most revenue. This is just one small example of how deep the features go, rather than just providing a simple GPS-navigational alert to a technician.
ThermoGrid also helps your business create invoices for parts and equipment. An extensive service prices book is easily searchable in the office or the field–allowing you to quickly add items or apply discounts. If approval is needed, they can be sent back to the office through the cloud, and payment can be collected on the spot with a credit card or ACH. ThermoGrid has also recently implemented integration with QuickBooks accounting software–allowing you to tie together orders, inventory, and financials directly into the program–meaning you don’t have to bounce back and forth between two different options due to daily syncs.
BuildOps is an HVAC software specifically for commercial contractors. Dealing with larger commercial clients will typically require a solution with an advanced feature set, as well as the ability to scale your operations when needed. Automated real-time reporting allows managers to identify trends and make data-driven decisions whenever possible. On the customer-facing side, BuildOps allows customers to access a portal to view photos and videos of required work, or view and sign off on PDFs or custom work order forms.
Why We Like It: BuildOps is specifically built for commercial contractors. Due to the more complex requirements, these businesses may deal with compared to residential contractors, BuildOps has a dedicated onboarding team that looks to understand your operation and integrate the software into your business environment organically.
Workforce capacity planning features within the HVAC scheduling module can quickly identify when jobs are behind schedule and pull in available techs who are best equipped to get the job back on schedule. BuildOps also maintains a strong asset management feature–allowing you to maintain asset lists for all job sites. Built-in optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities let you snap photos of data and capture the make, model, and serial number on every asset.
BuildOps also understands that larger businesses may no longer use a small business accounting software such as QuickBooks, and thus offers integrations with multiple alternatives, such as Sage, Vista, Spectrum, and more.
Interested in learning more about HVAC software? These frequently asked questions (FAQ) can help point you in the right direction:
HVAC software is designed for use in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning industry. Whatever sort of job your HVAC business is contracted out for, you’ll need a field service software that provides functionalities relevant to the HVAC industry by linking financial and operational modules together. HVAC software can often be referred to interchangeably as field service software or plumbing software, but does have its role carved into the HVAC industry.
The goal of HVAC service software will be to increase the efficiency of your business and eliminate errors. Purchasing a software solution that was developed with your industry in mind will give you the peace of mind that the developer and/or reseller are experienced in working with companies just like yours.
HVAC software can come in many forms, such as software intended for use by a single contractor, to software that can be referred to as an enterprise system. Office staff and technicians alike can benefit from HVAC service software that provides scheduling and dispatch functionalities and more.
The core of your HVAC software will be organizing your technician’s tasks, generating work orders, and providing customer service. Below is a detailed description of the functionalities found in the top HVAC software options:
Any HVAC business can enhance its productivity through better utilization of resources. This is why implementing HVAC software is so important for HVAC companies. But how does productivity become enhanced? These are some of the top benefits of HVAC software:
The HVAC industry deals with a large number of work orders. Most come into a centralized location (the office), but the information needs to go out to employees in the field (the technicians). Job tracking and scheduling need to be as streamlined as they possibly can.
A quality HVAC software will be able to schedule recurring jobs, establish priority levels to jobs, and show you which technicians are available for dispatch. This allows you to run a location-optimized approach to work orders, rather than allowing your entire team to jump on available appointments. For HVAC businesses that offer planned preventive maintenance work as part of their service agreements, a mass scheduling tool can help automate the HVAC dispatch process and set up appointments in bulk.
HVAC software allows you to input parameters so it can find optimal routes, match technician availability with their current shifts, and show estimated costs. “At-a-glance” schedule views also let you monitor any overlap to avoid overbooking.
Maintenance contracts are one of the most consistent sources of income for HVAC companies. These maintenance agreements usually come as a part of commercial contracts, and businesses need to sign off on any proposed workloads. By being able to consistently hit these maintenance benchmarks as well as stay within any proposed budgetary guidelines will ensure your customer remains an ongoing satisfied customer.
Outside of emergency service calls, planned preventive maintenance, otherwise known as scheduled maintenance, makes up a large portion of a technician’s workflow. This proactive approach to maintenance means your technicians are frequently visiting customers to service their HVAC equipment to increase uptime and reduce the need for reactive maintenance. HVAC software helps create a time-based schedule that ensures this type of proactive maintenance occurs at regular intervals.
By building and validating your schedule, you’ll be able to determine appropriate times for new installs, routine maintenance, and emergency maintenance. HVAC software should allow you to view your schedule as tasks presented in rows and columns. This should allow for easy shifting of work to account for higher priority jobs–keeping customers satisfied when emergencies occur.
With a large portion of business software being available online, new value-adds have been put into software solutions that benefit the customer, and not only the business. This is provided via a customer portal, which puts functionality into the hands of the customer.
Examples of things the customer can do through a customer portal include viewing work history, requesting service via online booking tools, approving estimates, and paying bills through online payment processing tools. Customers can also edit work orders to ensure timeliness, accuracy, and overall satisfaction.
Another way to improve customer satisfaction with your HVAC software is through accurate and on-time estimates. Providing customers with a printed estimate form is becoming more of a relic of the past. Today, technicians should be able to put together an estimate on the spot and send it to the customer digitally–allowing them to digital sign with an eSignature tool. This lets your team get started on work and repairs at a much faster pace–meaning your customer is less likely to shop around for alternative deals while they wait for you to prepare final figures.
QuickBooks Online is one of the most used HVAC software for small businesses. Quickbooks software is used by many small HVAC or other service businesses. The industry-neutral solution provides basic financial management at one of the lowest costs available on the market. The most important features needed in an HVAC software that Quickbooks lacks are scheduling and dispatch.
As Quickbooks was designed for bookkeeping, it won’t do what an HVAC contractor needs and will require integration with 3rd party add-ons to become a complete HVAC software. This can be accomplished through a variety of add-ons, or one “complete” add-on that covers all the needed functionalities, such as tracking work orders, equipment installation details, service agreements, and maintenance reminders.
The best approach will be figuring out which functionalities you need to be added on to Quickbooks the most, or if the number of functionalities needed can perhaps justify a completely new system. Many solutions may already market themselves as HVAC software compatible with QuickBooks, which simply put, means they offer industry-relevant features but rely on QuickBooks to provide the core accounting.
If your company needs assistance to set up QuickBooks for your HVAC company, getting in touch with a qualified reseller of the software who specializes in the industry will be your best bet.
The cost of HVAC Software will be dependent on the type of business you’re operating. Do you have a large client base of commercial businesses? If so, you’ll need commercial HVAC software, which will generally carry a higher price tag than someone with a smaller volume who only handles residential clients.
The price of HVAC software will start between $10/month to $40/month depending on the level of functionality and number of uses needed. Subscription-based pricing is common for online or SaaS-type solutions. Some HVAC software can be bought outright and installed locally, meaning you pay a flat one-time cost. Some options may be as low as only a few hundred dollars, while others may be closer to $10,000 for the initial purchase. The differences in cost will depend on who the software is targeted for, as an inexpensive option designed for a 1-man shop won’t have the same effectiveness for a business with hundreds of employees.
HVAC businesses that need extra add-ons such as GPS tracking for their fleet, mobile access for everyone in the field, customer portals, and more, will look to spend additionally upfront per month, depending on the agreement with the software provider.
As with any other type of software, as your business grows, so will your need to have a wider functionality depth in your software. As that need grows, the license fee you’ll pay for software will grow as well.
Online resources exist for HVAC companies to get the proper documents they need to manage their business. These tools include break-even calculators, measurement conversions, labor rate calculators, and more.
While you may be hard-pressed to find a truly free software option, many software vendors may provide a free trial of their software options, which can give you as little as 24 hours to as many 30-days of access to the software. Many software demos these days will come in the form of a guided walkthrough with a vendor, who can show you the ins and outs of the software, answer any questions, and hopefully give enough examples to let your company make a decision.
One way to save money on HVAC software is to consider integrating two low-cost options to ensure you are receiving every piece of functionality your business needs.