Many people are clueless when it comes to choosing the perfect HVAC contractor. HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. As you can see, it is a pretty broad subject. In fact, it encompasses three important areas vital to living in your home.
So naturally, if any part or parts of your HVAC are unwell or sick, you call in the contractor who is kind of the doctor to take care of any temperature or breathing problems that you may have. With the following tips for hiring the best HVAC contractor, you can be proactive. In other words, you can prevent some HVAC problems from happening.
Nip the Problem in the Bud By Avoiding the Lone HVAC Contractor
The one-man HVAC contractor is kind of like the Lone Ranger. He may be dependable or an expert. However, because he runs a one-man show, there are many disadvantages to doing business with this HVAC contractor.
First of all, you cannot depend on him or her in case of an emergency. Let us say, for example, that your air conditioning died in the middle of the night. You just cannot expect the contractor to show up to fix the problem. This HVAC contractor is like a hospital without an emergency ward or facility for handling 911 issues.
Granted, the one-employee business setup may bring down the costs of HVAC services which get passed on to you. However, you cannot really call them savings due to the possible complications that are likely to erupt sooner than later.
Uninsured HVAC Contractor? Don’t Even Go There
Aside from hiring a one-man or one-woman HVAC show, working with an uninsured air conditioning MI contractor is a big no-no. It is simply never done by any responsible property owner. If you are masochistic or love pain, maybe. Otherwise, you would not even want to go there. Why?
Because things are highly likely to get ugly or cause a nightmare, for instance, if the uninsured HVAC contractor gets injured whatsoever while working on your premises, you will be on the hook for personal damage. Also, the work performed by the said Michigan HVAC contractor will not cover you for repairs in case of any HVAC failure or breakdown.
Enough said, and yet many households still fall for the trap year after year. Hence, it cannot be overemphasized just how important it is to take your money and run when you are approached by an uninsured, unbonded, or uncertified HVAC contractor. It is just not worth it.
In fact, if your property or your neighbors sustain any HVAC damage while working on the uninsured or uncertified HVAC project, you instead of the contractor that you chose will be responsible for any injury or defacement. And to think that you are the one paying for the HVAC job! So the moral of the story is that no matter how much the uninsured HVAC contractor dangles the discount or rebate carrot stick, never, never bite the hook. For if you do, you are just setting yourself up for catastrophic failure.
The Trouble with the HVAC Contractor Big Business
I knew you were trouble when you walked in or so the hit Taylor Swift song goes. Although it does not necessarily apply to all the HVAC biggies that are out there, most of the big time contractors are well-oiled machinery bent solely on boosting the number of their clientele through the power of advertising. And because you are treated like a number rather than an individual, it is next to impossible to get personalized service even though it says so in the advertising.
The solution to avoiding trouble when you walk in? Go with a small or medium-sized HVAC contractor. In other words, pick your own size. By focusing on working with this size of HVAC company or outfit, your project will be more likely to be prioritized instead of sacrificed due to sales volume concerns.
Online Reviews of HVAC Contractors: Why So Important?
Although there are a plethora of online reviews out there, you must avoid the temptation of taking these reviews as gospel. In the first place, the review may have been planted by the HVAC company itself. So even if not all review sites are equal when it comes to disclosing any compensation, it is far safer to go with the ones that voluntarily disclose these matters.
Another thing going when it comes to reading online reviews of HVAC contractors is that you must learn to take everything with a grain of salt. This skill might take some time. But there is never a better time than now to get started. For if not now, when?
An HVAC contractor that is being hotly criticized online is not necessarily a bad apple. For every HVAC project has its own degree of difficulty. Maybe it just so happens that the contractor had to deal with an extremely difficult customer who is impossible to please. The real smoking gun is how that HVAC firm is dealing with the bad review.
Finally, the Uniform Is Everything
How well do you like an HVAC contractor who reports for duty in a uniform and a service truck with the company name on it? Like Raymond, everybody loves the HVAC contractor who comes in a crisp and clean uniform. Also, a company that cannot afford to provide the necessary brand identity for its HVAC employees are probably not worthy of your respect, anyway.
In summary, never trust a one-person HVAC contractor. Along with an uninsured, unbonded contractor, you can save yourself and your family a lot of trouble. Also, going with a medium-sized to small HVAC service provider is the way to go as far as efficiency of service goes. Don’t forget, those online HVAC contractor reviews matter–but you need to find the best way to process them to your advantage. Lastly, the professional demeanor and attire of the repair person is one of the best clues of who you should trust in the business. Armed with all this new knowledge, you should be able to now separate the bad HVAC contractor from the good.
Finding a reliable technician to repair it is a must if your air conditioner isn’t working as it should, especially as your unit probably represents a large investment. When hiring a technician, consider these 12 points:
1) Do Your Homework
It can help if you take the time to become familiar with your air conditioner; its maintenance history as well as the type and model of the unit. And you’ll be better informed and more confident identifying and diagnosing problems if you spend some time learning about your unit. You may even be able to fix basic problems yourself in the future, and not have to pay a technician.
But of course, you will almost certainly need a qualified technician for those more complex or serious issues, even though it costs you money. But knowing the repairs are done the first time properly can save you money and eliminate some of the stress.
2) Find the Right Air Conditioning Company
Looking online for a company or browsing consumer review sites is a good method of finding a reputable A/C company, although before even doing that, ask around your neighbors, friends, and family to see if they can recommend someone. If you end up using a review site, you know the information will be accurate as those sites rely on the unbiased opinions and real-life experiences of customers just like you.
If you are considering hiring a particular technician, your BBB (Better Business Bureau) can tell you if there are any complaints filed against that person. It’s a good idea to make a decision based on cost, qualifications, and availability, once you have at least three possible technicians that you are looking at.
3) Look For Experience
Checking the contractor’s website or contacting them directly is a good way to determine how much experience they have. Experience with your specific make and model of an air conditioner is a plus; try to find a contractor who is familiar with your system if it’s either a very old model or it’s a brand new cutting edge air conditioner.
You should ask a potential air conditioning technician about their specific experience, how long they have been in business, whether they work part time or full time, and how they have kept up with constantly changing technology by extra training, education or certification.
4) Legal Compliance and Licensing
Depending on where you live you may be able to look up a contractor’s past jobs or check that they have a current business license. If in doubt, ask them. And any reputable contractor should have coverage for worker’s compensation and liability and be able to show you a one-page insurance certificate.
5) Check Their References
Ask for a list of past customers and contact them to see what they think of the service. Try to talk to at least several previous customers about how long the work took, whether it came in on budget and whether the work has held up since then. To make sure you aren’t being given their few satisfied customers, ask for a random sample of customers whose names begin with a specific letter.
6) Be Specific
Any questions related to the actual job should be put to your contractors, such as the timeframe, equipment used and the exact method used to repair your air conditioner.
7) Ask About Brands
Verifying the brands that the company carries is another good question to ask, especially if you are looking for a specific make, model or specifications. And any company should stock parts that are compatible with your make and model of the air conditioner if you simply need a few replacement parts rather than an entirely new unit.
8) Going Green
Asking your technician about their efforts to go green should be on your list too if you are one of the many people concerned about the environment. A company that stocks Energy Star qualified products may be one that you want to do business with, and you should also find out their approach to conserving water and energy. If the environmental effects and the overall efficiency of an air conditioner are important to you, a knowledgeable technician should be able to address those questions.
9) Figure Out the Cost
Each potential air conditioning company you are considering should be able to provide you with a clear and detailed cost estimate. Tax rebates, the warranty, potential for saving energy and the cost of the materials and labor should all be included.
Long term costs and your costs due upfront are not the same things; make sure you understand the difference. Take into account any one of a kind discounts or special offers, and remember that in the long run, going with the cheapest technician may not be the best financial decision if your costs for energy will go up after the unit has been installed.
10) Financing Options
Payments along with a deposit can complicate matters and mean you end up paying more for the work or the air condition unit, although it can often be the most affordable way to pay. Make sure you understand any financing contract; ask questions, read the small print and know what you can afford in terms of payments.
11) Evaluating Your Home
A good technician will take the time to determine the air conditioning needs of your home, by carrying out a full evaluation which covers your home’s size, as well as its layout, how well insulated it is and whether you have any leaks in your ducts. Be wary of working with an air conditioning technician who doesn’t take the time and trouble to evaluate your home and your needs.
12) Get It In Writing
Before making any final commitment, be sure to get a proposal in writing. Any promise made verbally should be included in this as well as all the conditions and terms concerning the job, labor, charges, and warranty. Of course, you should always keep a copy of this and only sign it if you understand and agree to everything.
It doesn’t have to be a chore to find someone reliable to repair or replace your air conditioning unit, and you can get the job done right and protect your investment with the tips above courtesy of affordablecomfortmi.com/.
If you have ever wondered how frequently your air conditioner should be serviced, you should do that at least once every year, to keep it working as it should and for it to last as long as possible. You can have it serviced any time of the year, although many people choose to do it in the spring just before it starts to get hot. It can be difficult making yourself spend the money on air conditioning servicing, although it is money well spent and of course, it can save you money in the long run. It will cost you more to buy a new unit or pay for a significant repair. For more information on why scheduled maintenance is essential, talk to your local HVAC contractor.
The Importance Of Air Conditioning Maintenance
Less stress and worry about the system possibly breaking down is one good reason to have your air conditioner serviced regularly. It’s important to address any faults with your air conditioning system before they turn into more significant and more expensive problems, and of course, regular servicing will ensure your home remains at the desirable year-round temperature. Being too hot in the summer because the a/c isn’t working isn’t fun.
You will also benefit from lower energy costs if you have your air conditioner serviced regularly, as that will ensure it is operating as efficiently as possible. It’s possible to lower those high energy bills throughout the year just by having your air conditioning unit serviced and getting any issues taken care of. Rates are higher if you have to call out an HVAC technician at the weekend or during the evening, and regular maintenance can help to minimize the chances of that happening, along with the higher call out bill. There is also a higher demand for maintenance and repairs in the summer, so schedule your maintenance during the spring if possible. You probably don’t want to have to buy a new air conditioning unit, and following these tips can help your existing unit last as long as possible.
If You Don’t Maintain Your Air Conditioner
Behind the scenes, your air conditioner is keeping the air in your home clean by collecting dirt and dust and spewing it out and taking in fresh, clean air. If you don’t maintain and service your air conditioning unit regularly, over time the filters in your unit become clogged with dirt, meaning that it just won’t do the job as efficiently as it should. Once this happens, to have your air conditioning unit cool at the same level as it was doing before, you will need to decrease the temperature. And you may have guessed it – that means that your energy bills start to go up again. And when all that dust and dirt is released back into the air, it can be extremely unhealthy, especially if you or someone in your home has asthma, eczema or other allergies. Once the unwanted dust starts to settle in your home because of a clogged air conditioner, it can be noticeable and unpleasant even if you don’t have any allergies.
Regular maintenance of your air conditioning unit is also necessary to keep all the parts moving as they should, including the coils and fan. If these essential components aren’t getting lubricated properly, you can expect higher energy bills as your unit won’t function at its most efficient. Replacing an expensive part can be avoided if you keep your air conditioner running efficiently, and adding more lubricant is sometimes all it takes to do that.
It’s possible to change the air filters on your air conditioning unit yourself, although if the unit still isn’t functioning as it should, it may be something else other than clogged filters causing the problem. It will take an HVAC technician to come to your home and discover that you have a low level of refrigeration in the system, perhaps caused by a leak. If the leak isn’t identified and fixed quickly, you may well find yourself having to replace other parts, and that can be costly. It’s much more sensible to have an expert come and take a look at your air conditioning unit at least once a year to make sure everything is as it should be.
An Experienced HVAC Contractor For Your Maintenance
If you have ever had an air conditioner not cool your home enough, you know just how annoying and uncomfortable that can be. Having an experienced and reliable HVAC technician service your unit regularly can ensure you and your family are comfortable even on the hottest of days and can potentially save you a lot in the long term. Regular service includes checking the lubricant levels and that the parts are lubricated as they should be. Call your contractor for assistance before your unit makes a funny noise, blows hot air or doesn’t work at all.
Never wait for the last minute to have your HVAC system inspected if it is not running efficiently. With winter around the corner, it is the ideal time to clean your system and determine if it needs any repairs or perhaps a replacement. In case you have doubts about whether your HVAC system is running at optimal capacity, hire a professional to assess it. It may be time to consider an HVAC replacement in case your system shows signs of consistently poor performance or excessive wear.
Signs That You Need A New HVAC System
Purchasing and installing a new HVAC system is a huge task, but it is vital if you want to conserve money on energy bills this fall. The typical lifespan of cooling and heating systems lie between 15 to 20 years. It is normal to see signs of deterioration in your system when it gets close to or surpasses these numbers. If you notice one or more of these signs, you might have to opt for an HVAC repair or replacement:
Inadequate Air Temperature
Is your air conditioner not providing chilled air during the summer, even when on full blast? Now that it is nearly winter, your furnace might not be blowing out enough air to heat your home correctly.
One or additional parts may be failing if little or no air is flowing through the vents. You might also observe that certain rooms get warm while others remain cold. In this scenario, you may require replacing or cleaning the ductwork.
In some instances, a faulty thermostat might be the culprit. Replacing it might solve the problem.
Loud or Odd Sounds
The HVAC system emits a humming sound while working, but never emits unusual or loud sounds. Listen for odd noises like grinding, squealing, or grating emanating from your units. It could occur if the belt slips out of place something that you can fix or a more complex problem, which needs HVAC replacement.
Abnormal Odors From Vents
A slight musty odor is typical during the start of the summer season. This happens due to the accumulation of dust in the vents during the summer. However, pungent and acrid smells indicate mold growth in the ductwork or that the wire insulation has burned out.
It is cost effective to upgrade your HVAC system rather than getting it repaired regularly. Installing a new HVAC eliminates the need for costly repairs plus the accompanying stress.
Rising Energy Bills
Increasing energy bills are a positive sign that you need to replace your HVAC system. Over the years your furnace becomes less efficient leading to inflated energy bills during the winter. Your HVAC system is responsible if you consistently receive inflated power bills.
HVAC Systems: Repair or Replace?
Are you experiencing HVAC problems and are unsure whether you should repair or replace it? It is essential to consider different issues such as the:
Age of Your System
Air conditioners and heat pumps typically last for 10 to 12 years and furnaces for 15 to 20 years. Expect frequent repairs if your HVAC system has reached this period. It is time to replace your HVAC.
While your HVAC system might be working correctly, it might not be entirely energy efficient. Considering HVAC systems account for roughly of your residential energy use, slash power bills by using energy efficient equipment. Modern units are more energy efficient than older ones.
Cost of Repairs
Whereas small issues can be fixed by repairing, more significant problems can lead to financial strain. Replace your old system with a new one if the repairing costs of your old HVAC unit exceeds 50% of the cost of installing a new and energy efficient unit.
Aged Heating & Cooling Technology
Modern generation HVAC equipment has new and innovative features that make cooling and heating your home easy and efficient. They contain smart features such as the ability to an app on your smartphone to control their thermostat. You can save money with a programmable thermostat as you can turn down the heat when not at home, and have it automatically turn up the heat before you return home.
Equipment Under Warranty
To check if your unit is still covered by warranty, contact the manufacturer and provide them the serial and model number of the unit to determine if it is still covered by warranty. You are likely to find these numbers on a tag attached to the unit, directly inside the service panel, or on the outside of the unit.
Air Quality & Comfort
If the air quality in your home is deteriorating or if someone in your family is suffering from respiratory problems, it is best to upgrade your HVAC. Modern systems efficiently control temperature and humidity, improving the air quality of your home and reducing mildew and mold growth too.