People toss around the term HVAC all the time but do you know what it means? Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning are basically all of the climate control systems installed in a residential and commercial business. Everyone has their comfort level regarding the temperatures inside their homes, and no one likes a broken system when needed. 

With billions of dollars in market revenue, you may find yourself curious about if you should try to get yourself a piece of the HVAC industry. If you hope to get into the industry from the ground up, you’re in luck; it’s completely doable. With some training and hard work, you can become an HVAC leader in your community. 

There may already be many HVAC businesses in your area, but it’s possible to build a business and become the leading authority in your town or city, even if you aren’t in New York. It’s not difficult to make sure your prospective customers can find you. Are you interested in starting an HVAC business or selling one of your own? Here are some things you should know about. 


How do I start a highly profitable hvac company? 

There are a few options when it comes to beginning your new HVAC company. You could opt to buy an existing company; this would allow you to have a built-in and established customer base from the get-go. Another option is to join a chain of franchises and become a franchisee. Or you can create your business from the ground up. 

There is no one way that is better than the others as far as getting into the HVAC industry. Each option has benefits but also drawbacks, and you need to choose the right path for you. If you opt for buying someone’s established business, you may appreciate getting all the equipment and materials. 

Taking over someone’s business also provides the opportunity to get their expert guidance and advice as you get going. Taking some time to learn from the previous owner can go a long way towards helping you be successful. Becoming a small business owner has a learning curve of its own. So don’t be afraid to ask questions of those who have paved your path for you. 

 Finding HVAC businesses for sale and evaluating their company to make sure your offer is fair can be tricky sometimes. However, buying an HVAC business for sale can save you the hassle of attempting to begin your own HVAC company that will potentially have an excellent reputation. 

 Getting connected with an HVAC franchise could be an excellent option for you. Franchises work well for those who can afford the initial startup fees. Plus, they can help you get into an ideal position to make money due to name brand recognition. A franchise for sale typically has a higher rate of success than the average startup business. The costs may also be lower than creating a business from scratch. 

 Maybe you’re unable to find a residential, commercial HVAC business franchise you’d like to be a part of or a business to purchase. Your final option is to build your HVAC business from the ground up; this can be complicated as you’ll need business acumen and the tools to complete the process of starting your company. You will also need to gain all the appropriate licensure without someone to guide you. 

When starting your own business, you will be able to establish your budget. However, a lot of time and sweat equity goes into creating a new HVAC business. The benefits of setting your schedule and the ability to set your policies can be some great perks though! 

HVAC unit on building

How much does it cost to start an hvac company? 

When you start an HVAC business or any essential home service business, there are many factors to consider; this is especially true when setting your initial budget. You also need to establish a location. That could mean that your HVAC company is home-based, or it may not. You can also decide if you will be an owner-operated company or if you will have someone handle that for you. If you do have someone do that for you, you will need more capital to do that. Lastly, if you are looking to have an office to work from, you will need to include those costs into your budget. 

There are many costs associated with starting a business. Be sure when you’re establishing your budget, you account for the cost of marketing your business. If potential customers don’t know that you exist, they will not hire you and use your services. Also, be sure you have the equipment needed to do your job to the best of your ability. 

One of the worst business mistakes you could make would be to not account for all of your anticipated expenses. The HVAC industry’s start-up costs generally range from $2000-$100,000, depending on what you may already have or what you need to acquire.

Here are a few things you need to budget to get started in the HVAC industry: 

  • A truck or van large enough for all your necessary equipment on a job site
  • All required licensure, including liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance 
  • General tools needed for the HVAC process, including battery-powered drills and extra power packs, so you are always able to work
  • Heating specific tools
  • HVAC sheet metal supplies and tools
  • Safety equipment 
  • Marketing materials including a great website 
  • Uniforms or branded clothing items to wear while working

These costs will depend on your path of purchasing a business and if you are full service or not. If you’re buying an established business or entering a franchise, they will already include many of these things. Franchises also offer the benefit of not planning for which equipment will be best since the company will have a set plan in place already. 

However, if you’re hoping to create your own business, you will need to budget for all these items. You’ll also need to acquire them before you can get to work as an HVAC professional. It is always better to overestimate your expenses than to be surprised by small businesses’ hidden costs. 


Getting ready to sell your well-established HVAC company?

If you’re looking to sell your established business, get estimates in writing regarding the worth of your equipment and supplies. Written estimates provide a starting point for how much you should set as a selling point. Knowing the value of your company is helpful when selling but also come tax season. Having your financial records in order is crucial to a good sale. 

An interested buyer may ask to see your last five years of tax returns. This can give them a more accurate picture of the industry and help establish the business’s worth. Offering to show your financials can also be seen as a sign of goodwill. This can go a long way in getting you a better offer from interested buyers. 

It can be fair to assume that a potential buyer has little knowledge of the HVAC industry as a whole; if you want to help your buyer be successful, offer them some suggestions and a general five-year plan. This can keep the reputation you’ve built positive and your current customer’s left in the care of someone who won’t fail them. 

There’s no downside to keeping your financial paperwork in order and developing a five-year plan. If you opt not to sell for whatever reason, you will have already done the leg work necessary to keep your business going strong. You’ll be ready when the right buyer comes along. 

Having a plan in place can also help facilitate a fast sale should something unexpected happen. Sometimes life events prevent you from running your business. Just selling to the highest bidder may not be in your company’s best interest, especially if you have professionals working for you that you’d like to see remain with the brand. Taking your time and laying the groundwork is important. 

It can be bittersweet to move on from the world of small business ownership. But leaving your business in good hands can ease the sting and help you get ready to move on. Finding the right buyer is essential, mainly if you include current service contracts with your business. 

The best thing you can do to prepare to sell is to get all of your ducks in a row and be ready for the process. It’s not going to happen overnight. On average, selling a small business takes 8-10 months from start to finish. But once complete, leaving your business in good hands can be a source of pride. 


How much can an hvac contractor make.

Like any business venture, revenue will vary depending on business practices and the need for service. The good news is that HVAC is a needed service that many people rely on regularly. This makes it a business worth pursuing. Especially since smart HVAC products are continually evolving, encouraging people to upgrade their home systems. 

When you buy a business from someone or open a franchise, it’s quite likely they will have a general idea of how many potential customers are available in your area already. By their estimates, you can get a relatively accurate picture of how much you could make with your own HVAC business. 

It’s important not to get squeamish when talking about money. After all, your services are worth something, and you shouldn’t be afraid to charge accordingly. Setting prices too low could affect your overall ability to make ends meet. Conversely, setting your process too high could drive away prospective customers. 

Figure out your break-even point before you open your new business. Include all of your monthly costs for running your business, including supplies you’ll need. Figuring out precisely what you would need to charge to regain your expenses is necessary. Then, you can begin to see how much you should charge to start turning a profit. 

Remember that the more educated you are and the more experience you have, the more you can charge. There’s a nice salary boost that happens when you earn different degrees and certifications. So if you’re interested in HVAC but don’t yet have the education to feed your passion for the business, consider getting a degree before purchasing if possible. 

Graph from

Education and experience drive the price point for your services once the HVAC business is yours. HVAC business owners have a much more comprehensive income range than their employees. It’s possible to make considerably more than your technicians, but that is not a given. 

There is no guarantee you’ll ever be able to know exactly how much money you could make when you start an HVAC business. But there’s no reason to believe you can’t be successful, especially when you use tools that can help your business grow and thrive. With a growth rate of 4% annually, HVAC as a career path sets you up for a strong future. 


A full journey to heating and air conditioning success.

There are indeed many considerations to keep in mind as you’re looking to either buy or sell your HVAC business. No matter where your journey is taking you, you can find success in this stable and growing industry. 

If you’re going to be buying an HVAC business to become a small business owner, staying in contact with your customer base is of the utmost importance. Staying on top of your communications and getting great reviews from those who have used your outstanding HVAC services can boost your reputation. 

Luckily many options are going forward that can help you stay connected. Finding interesting ways to stand out from a crowd in a competitive market can only help your HVAC business grow. So don’t be afraid to think outside the box and find new ways to reach your target audiences. 

If you’re committed to hard work, you can make your HVAC dreams come true by purchasing or selling an HVAC business. While the process is different for both buyers and sellers, your success is ultimately determined by your willingness and drive to succeed. 

Jennifer Wilson
Jennifer Wilson Strategic Home Services Account Executive

Jennifer Wilson is a home services professional at Podium, the premiere messaging platform that connects local businesses with their customers.

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