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HVAC: An Unshakeable Industry in Uncertain Times


There’s a good reason why people say HVAC companies are resistant to recessions. It’s been proven that the performance and profitability of HVAC companies remains consistent, even during times of financial turmoil. That’s because these companies provide services that are necessary all of the time, even when times are tough and other companies are tightening the belt.

Of course, running a good business in general helps a company maintain its level of revenue generation. Noland Mechanical, an Eastern-Maryland-based construction and HVAC company, has managed to hold down the fort during the past few years of ecological, social, and political upheaval.

Senior estimator and project manager Keith Clarke has a lot to do with that consistent profitability. During times when other companies were forced to close down job sites, lay off employees, or close their doors entirely, Keith kept the company afloat.

HVAC is inherently valuable lately, too, which doesn’t hurt. As the COVID-19 pandemic worsened across the globe, and started to seriously affect the United States, the CDC recommended the use of HEPA technology as part of a multi-layered approach to handling virus aerosols responsible for infecting people with COVID.

Even apart from the pandemic, the need for HVAC systems is only increasing. Ecological disasters like forest fires and air pollution greatly increase the need for quality air-filtration systems in more places that they weren’t necessarily needed before, like private homes. Excellent ventilation and refrigeration has always been a necessity in healthcare, and that need only grew during the pandemic. Demand for quality heating and air conditioning is also growing as a result of recent unprecedented high- and low-temperatures across the United States.

Keith Clarke notes that especially during times of economic hardship, people still prioritize getting or upgrading their HVAC systems because a more efficient system means decreased energy bills, ultimately saving customers money even if the cost of getting a new system is more than they’d prefer to pay at the moment.

Of course, no company is completely immune to the effects of a recession, or an economy that’s been negatively impacted by something like a pandemic. Supply chain issues are unavoidable lately for every industry, and HVAC companies are no exception. Keith Clarke describes how Noland Mechanical had to purchase PVC pipes in bulk, to stockpile them and ensure they wouldn’t run out in the event of future supply issues.

Construction companies in general have had to diversify their scope of work. Noland Mechanical has accomplished that by focusing on projects like government-subsidized housing that got accelerated, rather than shut down, during the pandemic. Construction of private residential homes slowed down drastically, but many commercial construction projects proceeded more or less on schedule. Clarke recounts Noland Mechanical’s work on hotels, resorts, and other commercial projects during the pandemic.

Noland Mechanical also offers Design-Build services, which are a great benefit to company and client alike. Design-Build means that the architect and contractors work together as a team, sharing responsibility amongst themselves. This system increases open communication between everyone involved in a project, and greatly decreases the amount of conflict and finger-pointing that sometimes occurs between owners, architects, engineers, and contractors during a construction project.

“Design-Build services offer much greater efficiency, which is a financial benefit to everybody involved”, explains Keith Clarke. During a standard construction project, architects can withhold money from contractors if they believe the contractors are underperforming, and people can even file lawsuits against one another regarding the work being done. When everyone works together, there’s a greatly decreased chance of lawsuits, withheld pay, or any of the typical problems in general.

In order to keep a company profitable, no matter what is happening in the world, it helps to be flexible and focus work in areas that will always be needed, like HVAC in healthcare. Keith Clarke and Noland Mechanical have developed a system that will keep things going smoothly, preparing them for anything that crosses their path.

Estonian-born, Tallinn-based entrepreneur, CEO, manager, marketing strategist and professional athlete. My work have been featured by Tech.com Engadget, Medium and other publication. In my free time, I love to get engage with people, and travel to explore the world.

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