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Don't throw another log on the fire

In the end, we had more than our recent quota of hot and warm days, and it went on as long as we are entitled to expect.

Initial indications are that, for the air conditioning sector, it was a good summer as well. Although it will take some time for all figures to come in, all our customers seemed very busy.

Now, we are moving into the dark, wet, cold days of winter, and while this is nowhere near as detrimental to the air conditioning industry as it was in the past, it would be a mistake to believe that the changing of the seasons has no effect. Yes, things have changed and there are more planned projects, but the summer effect is still undeniably there.

There are two main points I want to make about this time of year and the coming winter, which, if recent history repeats itself, could be another bitter one.

Firstly, as I have said before, while we, as air conditioning professionals, know that heat pump air conditioning – both air to air and air to water – is probably the most efficient form of heating there is, whereas most of the general population still think of cooling when you say the words “air conditioning”.

Secondly, all retailers know that the best time to sell umbrellas is when it’s raining. In other words, the best time to get anyone to buy something is when their need for it is the most evident; which is why air conditioning sales still increase when we have a hot summer.

The answer is simple, but delivering it is not.

Throwing another log onto an open fire on a winter’s day may be romantic, but most people keep warm at home and in their offices using boring old central heating. All we have to do is get people to think about air conditioning when they start getting cold.

We have a full armoury of arguments; efficiency, renewable energy, capital allowances, yet still traditional central heating systems continue to be installed in the vast majority of new-build and refurbishment projects. So, while we obviously have the best message, we are not getting it across.

The air conditioning front line comprises contractors and specifiers, and it is these who have the best chance of getting the message across.

The effectiveness of this obviously varies, so what I would like to know is, what ways have you found of getting the heating message across to end users? And what further help would you like us manufacturers to provide?

Tell me at: Julian.Brunnock@fgeurofred.co.uk and I will feature the best in a future column.

Julian Brunnock is sales and marketing director for FG Eurofred, the face of Fujitsu in the UK

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