As a business owner or manager, you may find it easier to simply ignore nagging concerns about your HVAC service provider when you have so many other pressing issues on your mind. The problem is that over time, those things that were merely irritating begin to escalate into critical issues that cost you money and even threaten your company’s survival.
In most cases, unless you live in a very remote area, you will have many options when it comes to selecting an HVAC service company. You have to ask yourself why you should accept less than you deserve, or worse, less than you’re paying for when the market is competitive.
Here are some of the most common reasons why your HVAC service provider may be letting you down, as well as reasons why you should repair or rethink your relationship with him or her.
Putting off routine maintenance tasks
If you have a preventative maintenance agreement, are you confident that your HVAC service provider is performing all of the tasks for which you have paid them to do? Vendors’ definitions of “preventive” tasks can differ slightly from company to company. Some people may suggest that you simply change your filters and belts and call it a day. Another important part of a quality HVAC maintenance visit is checking the refrigerant levels as well as inspecting the electrical connections and condition of parts, cleaning the coils, and checking the drain lines and pans. Again, this depends on the contractor.
Not showing up when they say they will
Inevitably, there will be unavoidable reasons for service providers to arrive late, such as traffic congestion (an obvious to everyone in the Houston Texas area), unexpected issues at a previous job, or other unforeseen circumstances. However, the best service companies are well-versed in how to minimize these issues. Take note of the following: If the response time of your HVAC company is consistently poor, you must wonder if the work they perform will be equally unreliable in the long run.
Not preparing you for the eventuality of equipment obsolescence
If your company has a large number of different pieces of HVAC equipment scattered throughout your facility, the age and condition of each piece is likely to vary. There will be times when your air conditioning or heating equipment fails without warning, but you can minimize the amount of time your equipment is down by planning ahead of time. In order to inform you in advance of which equipment items are approaching the end of their useful life and should be replaced within a specified time period, your HVAC service provider should be willing to collaborate with you. Purchasing ahead of time also allows you to shop around for the best deal.
Several visits to the same location to resolve the same issue
It is possible that you require a new service provider or new equipment if you continue to have the same problem over and over again (and maybe both). While it is always possible that equipment that keeps failing is past its useful life, an HVAC service company that doesn’t do new installations may be taking advantage of you by charging you for all of the repairs rather than recommending replacement. Alternatively, you may be dealing with a technician who is insufficiently qualified to properly diagnose and fix your problem.
Complaints about nagging comfort issues
Your HVAC service company may be overlooking a problem in your space if you continue to experience hot and cold spots, odor problems, or uncontrolled humidity issues after your regular maintenance visit. It’s possible that you’re dealing with system design or configuration issues that need to be addressed. Make sure to inform your service provider of any ongoing issues you are experiencing and to request a more thorough inspection in order to determine the source of the problem.
It is taking an excessive amount of time to obtain parts.
Especially if you have older or off-brand equipment, some smaller HVAC service companies may not have a large enough parts inventory to keep what you need on hand at all times. Consequently, whenever you require a repair, you will have to wait for them to order the necessary parts. Use an HVAC service provider who has a large parts warehouse as well as relationships with several parts suppliers in the area, as this will allow your repairs to be completed more quickly.
The failure to provide adequate explanations for repair issues
If so, your maintenance agreement may be written in legalese, making it difficult to understand what is and is not covered by the agreement. You get scribbled work orders with little or no explanation as to what exactly needs to be done or why it needs to be done. In the worst case scenario, your tech may tell you what’s wrong by using technical jargon that he knows perfectly well is foreign to you. This unprofessional behavior on the part of an HVAC service provider must not be accepted! It is your right to have any and all repair and maintenance issues explained to you clearly and in a language that you understand.
The fact that this appears to be a minor detail indicates the presence of more serious issues that could be life-threatening. Have you ever noticed that your HVAC service technician appears disheveled, scatters his tools around the room while working, and leaves a mess behind when he’s finished? That shambles has the potential to create a safety hazard in your workplace. And think about it: don’t you find it easier to put your trust in a technician who is dressed professionally with a name tag and tool belt? Remember that the manner in which a technician treats his or her clothes and tools can reveal a great deal about how he or she will treat your equipment.
Not fully comprehending the requirements of your home or business
This is a common area in which your HVAC service company may fall short of your expectations: by taking a one-size-fits-all approach to service rather than operating in accordance with the specific needs of your home or company. A service company should be willing to work around your schedule, for example, if you own a restaurant and are unable to have a service technician performing maintenance during business hours. In order to ensure that your system design and configuration is appropriate for the usage and occupancy of the space, it is also necessary to understand your business.