A Letter from Paul:
Ask the Expert Q&A
PM Contracting is a commercial heating ventilation and air conditioning TEAM who has been designing and installing systems since 2004. PMC is comprised of sheet metal workers, pipefitters and service technicians. With the collaboration of our project managers, estimators and field personnel, PM can tackle large design-build and plan- spec projects and offer customers the highest value and energy efficiency at a competitive price. Even after the project is complete, the
PMC team is not. PMC’s service department can support construction projects, perform planned maintenance, and provide 24/7/365 emergency service. PMC analyzes your building and selects the best system for your application for both new construction and building retrofits.
Q. How have you seen commercial HVAC change over the past 20 years?
New technology continues to dominate every industry including HVAC. There are constant improvements in motors, refrigerants, and controls which provide better energy efficiency and comfort compared to older systems. Systems such as variable refrigerant flow (VRF) allow for individual room temperature control using variable speed fans to dial in to the exact temperature for the occupant. Building control systems allow the users to constantly monitor and control their space via their phone or laptop computer. Hydronic and steam systems (chillers and boilers) are slowly being replaced in medium size buildings with more efficient technology. Old pneumatic controls are being replaced with digital controls.
Q. How has Covid-19 affected your business and specifically the HVAC
When Covid-19 first caused the country wide shutdown, segments of the construction industry were deemed essential and work never stopped. When the country opened back up, it was full steam ahead to finish old projects and start new ones. However, the supply chain shortages have caused major backups on projects and hurt profit margins due to material increases. It is very difficult to ask the owners for additional funding after a contract is signed for a fixed price. Industrial and institutional customers are keeping us busy. The jury is still out to see if the office sector will ever recover to pre-Covid days considering the “work from home” boom.
Q. Do you struggle to find young men or women who want to make HVAC their career?
Of course! However, we see the shift occurring. Whereas it was generally accepted that young men and women would go to college for their “education”, we see more high school graduates heading straight into the building trades. I think they see the money that can be made right away as opposed to paying for 4-5 years of college and not knowing if their degree will truly pay off. A good pipefitter or sheet metal worker can easily make 6 figures a year and have a very satisfying career. That is the point we make when we talk about our industry to high school students.
Q. What changes do you see taking place in the future for the HVAC industry?
Advances in technology continue to drive our industry. Our service technicians all carry laptop computers to “plug” into the buildings’ HVAC systems. We have to become experts in building controls AND the equipment. But, the end goal is always the same which is to provide a comfortable working environment 365 days a year no
matter what the outdoor temperature.