With inflation at a 40 year high, we’re all spending more than we want to on heating and air conditioning. But what if those costs could be brought down through simple logistics?
HVAC – or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning – is a $100 billion industry, but it hasn’t seen many logistical upgrades in the past few decades; the supply chain technology is outdated, equipment isn’t standardized, and there was no centralized database linking technicians, suppliers, and manufacturers – until now.
The tech company Bluon was originally conceived to create a new type of environmentally-friendly refrigerant, and they succeeded. But when they tried to bring the product to market, they were met with resistance from an industry still stuck in the past in many ways. They found that technicians couldn’t adapt their product to existing systems because of a lack of technical support, so they created the Bluon app, which has now become their main product, and a must-have for thousands of independent technicians across the country. Now it’s bringing fresh ideas and creating an inadvertent but much-needed disruption to the industry.
The Bluon app helps technicians and consumers by cataloging for the first time the thousands of different HVAC systems and repair parts in one easily-searchable location. It’s a game-changer for techs who often have to deal with dozens of competing systems in a single day. Chairman and CEO Peter Capuciati says the app “has become, sort of, loved by the industry at large because everybody wins, right? It’s making everything quicker, more productive, more, more efficient.”
The app also connects techs with local distributors when replacement parts are needed, meaning it’s no longer necessary for technicians to call around to various nationwide distributors to find parts, often at an inflated price. And it connects those technicians to a specialized “help” line staffed with experts. It all means that a heating or air conditioning problem that once took hours to diagnose and fix now only takes minutes. “To take a unit from a 30% efficiency loss to a 10% is a really not complicated,” says Capuciati. “You are benefiting the consumer by hundreds of dollars, maybe thousands of dollars per year.”
And it’s not just benefitting the bottom line. Those types of efficiency upgrades are having a huge environmental impact as well, reducing carbon emissions by an average of 500 metric tons per tech, per year. And with more than 150,00 techs now using Bluon – about half of all HVAC techs in the U.S. – those numbers are adding up. Capuciati credits the increased support provided by the app, saying “The power of improving, supporting technicians to reducing C02 and greenhouse gas emissions is insanely powerful. We are doing about five times more benefit than all electric vehicles sold this year.”