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Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

4 Things You Better Be Getting With Your HVAC Maintenance Contract.

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Last Updated on June 25, 2015


Every smart business person is trying to cut costs. When it’s time to think about renewing your annual HVAC preventive maintenance contract, you may be tempted to go with the lowest priced option. It can seem expensive, and you may not fully understand what you’re getting for your money. Why should you pay more?

But consider yourself warned: going with the lowest bidder frequently costs much more in the long run! That’s especially true if you don’t think through what’s included in the HVAC maintenance contract and your relationship with the service provider. So how can you evaluate the value you’re getting for the HVAC maintenance cost? Consider the following:

1. Quality of work

Since you’re probably not an HVAC expert, you may wonder how you can tell if a provider is doing his job right. How do you know if you’re getting a thorough cleaning and inspection of your system each time a technician shows up? One easy way to tell is by keeping track of the amount of time it takes to do the work.

When you’re evaluating contract bids, make a point of asking how long it will take to do a complete service of all your equipment. If one contractor tells you 5 hours and another says 2 hours, there’s an obvious difference in the level of work you can expect. Ask for a detailed breakdown of the included tasks.

Related Article: 4 Ways to Make Sure Your NYC HVAC Vendor Isn’t Taking You For a Ride.

2. Turnaround time for repairs

You’ve probably got a response time clause in your contract, which typically means the amount of time between when you call with a problem and when a technician shows up at your door. What many fail to think about is how long it may take for the equipment to actually be fixed.

Cut rate service providers may keep costs low by not keeping many parts in stock. So when you have a problem, it may take days or even weeks to get a part and complete the service. Make sure to ask about parts availability and the typical time it takes for a return visit to complete repairs.

Related Article: 10 Questions to Help You Find the Perfect NYC HVAC Service Provider

3. Preventing downtime

If you’re like most people, you signed up for an HVAC maintenance contract in the first place in order to prevent unexpected problems and downtime that can hurt your business. How do you know if you are getting that? Is your technician doing a thorough enough inspection to spot failing parts and detect system performance problems?

A quality service company will come to you with these issues and let you know when you need to replace parts to keep your system running well and prevent a failure. Many times, he can show you worn parts or diagnostic readings that are concrete evidence of a necessary repair. When this happens, you’ll know that you dodged a bullet by avoiding a complete system breakdown and a much more expensive repair bill.

Related Article: 6 Ways to Build A Great HVAC Service Relationship From the Start.

4. Budget control

If it’s important to you to be able to plan for your operational expenses, an all-inclusive contract that covers everything from maintenance to 24 hour emergency service including parts and labor may be the best option for you. Obviously this type of contract costs more than one that just covers cleaning and tune ups, but many business owners prefer having a set budget for repairs instead of leaving it to chance. Especially if you have older equipment, this can be a wise investment. You often save money over the course of the contract, and you gain the peace of mind that comes from knowing you won’t have big unexpected repair bills.

Related Article: HVAC Preventive Maintenance: The Dollars and Sense

A good relationship can be priceless.

Does your current service company act like a business partner? Do they consistently have your best interest in mind? Here’s the level of service you should expect when you choose a quality service provider:

Streamlined communication that saves you time and effort. Contracts, work orders, and invoices should be consistent and easy to understand. You should get reminders about appointments and scheduling regular maintenance, using whatever form of communication works best for you.

Enabling you to plan ahead. Eventually, equipment needs to be replaced. When you establish a long-term working relationship with an expert service provider, they can help you plan for equipment obsolescence and budget for proactively replacing units. This can save considerable capital dollars over buying in an emergency situation due to a failure.

Helping you put your best foot forward. When things run like clockwork, it enhances the reputation of your business, and makes you look good as well. A good service provider does what it takes to keep your equipment running well so you can attend to all the other details involved in your business.

Preventative maintenance agreements, like HVAC service companies, are not one-size-fits all. If you want to get the most value for your money, and more control about what’s included, seek out a company that will customize the contract to the needs of your business. To learn more, download a copy of our helpful guide to Contract Confidence: Transitioning to a New HVAC Service Provider.
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