You never know when old man winter will come knocking on your furnace’s door and your furnace decides not to answer him (in the form of a non-working HVAC unit). No one wants to feel the cold inside their home on a blustery day and that’s why regular HVAC maintenance is so important in keeping your home comfortable and working. Here are some tips to find the best heating service if you do need it this season.
Find A Reputable Company
Do your homework! This isn’t an area where you can skimp and just pick the first company that pops up in the phonebook or a Google search. Do your research, and find an HVAC company that’s above the rest. Do you have friends and neighbors who have had good experiences with a heating service? Was it an established company that you know has been around for a while? Will it be around next year when you need them?
“These companies are invested in their business and cannot afford to tarnish their reputation by hiring ‘parts changers,’” says Keith Hill, technical support manager for Minnesota Air. “Hiring the tech that has the lowest hourly rate is rarely a good idea. Do your homework and it will pay off both in dollars and in the knowledge that your system is in good working order – reliable, safe, and efficient.”
If you need a first step in the right direction, contact your HVAC experts at StayComfy. We’ll answer your questions and show you why we’re one of the best.
Are They Experts On Your HVAC Model/Type?
Similar to how a doctor specializes in a type of medicine, disease, or body part – HVAC professionals have different specialties, too. Not to mention, varying degrees of skills, expertise, and education.
“The brand of product may have nuances that make it difficult for a tech who is not familiar with that particular product,” he says. “Some (techs) are great on gas furnaces and air conditioners, but not so good on heat pumps or hydronic heat (boiler systems),” he says.
If you want to make sure you are getting the right company for the job, look for a full-service company that “designs, installs, and services the type of system you have,” according to the This Old House website.
Keith’s advice is to hire a certified tech who is familiar with the brand and specific type of product you have in your home.
“That makes it more likely that they have the product knowledge needed, ready access to parts, and experience working with the idiosyncrasies of that product,” he explains.
Make Sure They Are Certified To Do The Work
It’s so important that the company you choose has liability insurance and workers' compensation policies in place, not only to protect its workers, but also to protect you – the homeowner – if something should happen while on the job at your home.
According to Keith, all techs should have the EPA Refrigerant Recovery and Recycling Equipment Certification in order to handle refrigerants or work on a system containing it. That’s for safety reasons.
If you really want to know you are getting the best service company, make sure their technicians have received a third-party certification to work on HVACs, too.
Those optional certifications are NATE (North American Technician Excellence) and HVAC Excellence. These certifications verify that the tech has learned the “best trade practices” in troubleshooting and repair of HVAC systems.
Keith says that because of the extra time and expense in achieving the certification, hiring a professional with the certification costs a bit more. It can be worth it, however, because they may save you money by diagnosing the problem faster and performing the repair right the first time.
Keith says he highly recommends getting a tech with one of these certificates, but notes that they are both optional, while the EPA certification is not.