What is a contractor, anyway? Some of you may think of remodeling or roofing professionals when you hear the word mentioned. Some dictionaries define a contractor as “one that agrees to furnish materials or perform services at a specified price, especially for construction work.” In the HVAC arena, a contractor can be anyone from an installer to a service technician. Regardless, there are some basic attributes that you should naturally expect from your chosen HVAC Contractor. Here are some of the attributes you should expect from HVAC Contractors:
Your contractor should answer your calls quickly and efficiently. You may be in charge of buildings that are occupied and in operation 24/7, and you need your legitimate calls for service on evenings and weekends to be taken seriously and responded to in a timely manner. HVAC contractors that only are available 9-5, Monday through Friday, are not the answer.
If you have a problem, HVAC contractors need to give you an honest and good-faith estimate of the repair cost. If your unit needs to be replaced, so be it, but you should be able to trust your contractor to tell you if there is a cheaper solution that will solve the problem. Contractors need to have your best interests in mind when they quote prices for necessary work.
Skills, Training and Experience
There are specific difficulties that apply to all systems. Older units may need to be nursed and babied in order to prolong their lives. New state-of-the-art systems many times require far-reaching technical skills. Your HVAC tech needs to be aware of the needs of both kinds of systems and ready to tackle any problem. Friday afternoon is no time to be watching your tech frantically call the manufacturer’s customer service department in order to attempt to diagnose what’s wrong with your units.
You should be able to negotiate a reasonable service contract with HVAC contractors. Preventative maintenance should definitely be part of the package, and your tech should be as dedicated as you are to quality system maintenance and individual unit longevity.
When your car is involved in an accident, most insurance policies allow you to demand genuine factory replacement parts. While some HVAC contractors will be able to find substitute parts at possibly cheaper prices, you need to have an understanding that spells out where parts will originate.
You need to develop a long-standing and mutually beneficial relationship with your HVAC contractors. Their focus should be on maintaining your systems and doing everything possible to repair them quickly and efficiently. Then, you will be more inclined to reward them with a great business relationship.