The Perfect HVAC Storm

Written by Coburn's Ruud Product Manager: Tom LeBlanc

In HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, & air conditioning) the weather is always a major contributing factor in sales. In fact along with inventory availability it may be the single most important factor. If you are not in the air conditioning business you may not be aware that our federal government has stepped into our industry and created standards for efficiency and refrigerant chemical make-up. These standards require manufacturers, distributors and contractors to distribute equipment that meet these standards in a particular region. 

The north now has a different standard than does the south creating a situation where some distributors actually have territory in both regions. As you might imagine this gets a bit confusing as to who can buy what. 

Back to the storm…we in the south cannot sell 13 SEER units or units that use the outlawed R-22 refrigerant if they were manufactured after Jan 1, 2015, however if we have inventory that we purchased before 2015 it is legal to sell until July 1, 2016. So this creates a scenario where the distributors like Coburn’s that plan ahead and protect their dealer’s interest have equipment that some of our competitors’ do not. 

This is what happened in July. The weather was conducive to air conditioning system failures and we had the inventory in the old R-22 compatible machines as well as the 13 SEER in the new refrigerant and a brand new platform introduced for the consumers that want the latest and the greatest. It all came together in the second hottest July in south Louisiana since they have been keeping track and the result was a record month for Ruud at Coburn’s Supply. 

Without disclosing figures we eclipsed the old record set in June of 2010 by 12.5%. The circumstances just came together and the inventory was available and the contractors made the sales. That’s really all there is to it. Not to diminish the accomplishment but we work our whole lives and only see this type of scenario that plays out like this maybe once in a lifetime. 

As one who keeps track of sales, the best months in HVAC distribution usually occur in May or June. To have one in July is actually the first time it has happened in my 13 years at Coburn’s. 

The hottest month of the year is usually August but the economy usually dictates a slowdown in spending for various reasons not the least of which is people are coming back from summer vacations and back to school is a time when home improvement takes second fiddle. 

So for us to have this record month in July is truly an unusual event but one welcomed by all the HVAC staff at Coburn’s. It could not have been accomplished without the dedicated HVAC department at Coburn Supply or our valued customers who make it possible for us to be here in the first place. So a special thanks to our contractor partners that buy the products that make it possible for us to have such a milestone month. Here’s hoping we have another real soon.

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