If you’re new to homeownership or have never had to hire a professional for home repairs or maintenance—it can feel a bit intimidating. You may not be sure what to expect, and you could be quoted a price but don’t know what you are getting for your money. When it comes to heating and cooling systems, we’re here to teach you the five things you need to know when hiring an HVAC pro.
Make Sure You’ve Checked For Simple Solutions First
Besides hiring an HVAC technician for maintenance, you may need to occasionally hire one to make repairs too. Before you make the call, check to make sure it’s not something that can be fixed with a little do-it-yourself work. It would not only be a little embarrassing, but a waste of your hard-earned money if you discovered the reason your AC wasn’t turning on was because you had it set to heat, not cool. (Believe us, it’s happened before.) We have a list of some of the more common problems and the simple solutions here—and also when to call a pro for help.
Choose An Expert Company That Knows Your System
Just like with any service work you get done, you want to hire someone who knows what they are doing—more specifically, knows your HVAC model and how it works.
This Old House recommends looking for a company that “designs, installs and services the type of system you have.” They say that full-service companies tend to be the most up to date on the latest advances in the field and can help you also decide if it’s better to repair or upgrade.
A reputable company will always have liability insurance and workers' compensation policies in force, something that should come standard with any service company you hire.
Schedule Appointments During Low Seasons
If you are calling an HVAC pro to get a tune-up, call during the off-season. Technicians are busiest in the hottest days of summer and the coldest days of winter—when most breakdowns happen and issues occur. Yes, believe it or not, there are many procrastinators out there that will call only after an issue arises, but if you want to ensure comfort, don’t be one of them. Schedule your appointments before the start of the heating and cooling season, and you’ll get more attention and better flexibility with the timing of your service call.
Don’t base your HVAC hire on who has the best deal in this week’s penny saver—ask for recommendations from family, friends and neighbors to find the best company. According to Today’s Homeowner, find out:
- How well did the system run under the company’s care?
- Did the technicians leave the working area clean?
- How quickly did the contractor respond to emergencies?
- Were the service people punctual when you called with a problem?
Do they have an emergency number that’s staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions
Once you make the hire, don’t be afraid to ask questions about your HVAC system. A pro should be happy to help you learn more about maintenance needs, areas of concern, suggestions for maximizing energy efficiency and comfort, and show you some DIY tips to help keep your system running optimally between service appointments.