Change Has Been Necessary for Our Small Business to Adapt During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Home maintenance emergencies don’t wait for anyone or anything, including pandemics. Water heaters will break, and furnaces, heat pumps and air conditioners will go out.

With most everyone home for the foreseeable future, it’s hard to delay those repairs until the current social distancing guidelines change. That’s why states, including Oregon, have allowed service technicians like ours to continue working.

But our crew, like so many other businesses, has had to figure out how to adapt to efficiently meet our customers’ needs, while also protecting their health and the health of our employees.

With over 50 years serving HVAC and energy assessment needs for the Central Oregon community, rethinking our service and strategy was a challenge. But, an easy first step was following all guidelines from the CDC for businesses. For us, that means all service employees are now required to stay in their work vans while receiving service orders from their manager. All employees wear masks and all equipment is sanitized. If an employee must enter a customers’ home, they remain at least six feet away and often further at all times. All paperwork is now also done by mail or online so nothing exchanges hands.  All of our office staff is also working remotely if they’re able. These changes have prepared us for new conversations we’re having with customers. Conversations we expect to be having for quite a while and include them asking some of the following questions:

  •  Are your employees staying home if they feel sick?
  • Are you following the social distancing guidelines and remaining six feet apart?
  •  What are your sanitation and cleaning practices like?
  • Do you ask your customers if they’ve had any symptoms or have been exposed to those who do?

During the pandemic, we’ve also found success offering estimates through quicker phone and text conversations. Rather than a home visit, we gather information during a short phone call and then ask customers to text us a few quick photos. With those photos along with data pulled from local property records, we’re able to provide fast quotes to repair or replace furnaces, water heaters, air conditioners and other products or services. Because of its ability to save time for customers, we plan to continue offering ‘tele-estimating’ even after the stay at home orders are lifted.

With all of us at home for likely another several weeks, keeping our homes safe, comfortable and energy-efficient is important. Being home, we’re all likely using far more energy than normal. We’re also nearing summer when ACs could be running around the clock. There are products to help you cut your usage and therefore help save money.

That’s why service technicians that help Oregonians achieve those goals have been deemed essential.

We’re here to help.



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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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