Problems with your HVAC service provider?
With so many other pressing problems on your mind as a business owner or manager, at times it may seem easier just to ignore nagging concerns with your HVAC service provider. But over time, those things that were merely annoying start to become critical issues that cost you money and even threaten your business.
Unless you are in a very remote location, chances are you have many options when choosing an HVAC service company. So why settle for less than you deserve, or worse, less than you’re paying for?
Here are some of the common ways your HVAC service provider may be letting you down, and why you should repair or rethink the relationship.
9 HVAC service provider problems you should not ignore
1. Not showing up when they promise
There are always going to be unavoidable reasons for service providers arriving late: traffic problems, unexpected issues at a prior job, etc. But the best service companies know how to minimize those issues. For example: putting GPS in every truck so technicians are able to avoid traffic jams, and protocols to alert office staff about delays so customers can be alerted or another tech sent to the next customer. Also keep this in mind: if your HVAC company is consistently unreliable about response time, you have to wonder if the work they are doing will prove to be unreliable as well.
2. Slacking on maintenance tasks
If you’ve got a preventative maintenance agreement, are you sure your HVAC service provider is taking care of all the tasks you’re paying for? There can be some variation in what vendors consider “preventive” tasks. Some might just change your filters and belts and call it done. A quality HVAC maintenance visit will also include checking refrigerant levels, inspecting electrical connections and condition of parts, cleaning the coils and checking drain lines and pans.
Related article: Q&A about HVAC Preventive Maintenance Contracts.
3. Taking too long to get parts
Some smaller HVAC service companies may not have a large enough parts inventory to keep what you need in stock, especially if you have older or off-brand equipment. So whenever you need a repair, you’ll have to wait for them to order the part. You’re better off using an HVAC service provider with a large parts warehouse, as well as relationships with several parts suppliers in the area so your repairs can get completed faster.
4. Repeated visits to fix the same problem
If you keep experiencing the same problem again and again, either you need a new service provider or you need new equipment (and maybe both). Equipment that keeps failing may be past its useful life, but an HVAC service company that doesn’t do new installs might be milking you for all those repairs rather than recommending replacement. Or, you might be dealing with a technician who is not adequately qualified to properly diagnose and fix your problem.
This may seem nit-picky, but it’s a sign of worse problems that can be serious. Does your HVAC service technician look disheveled, scatter his tools about while he’s working, and leave a mess behind when he’s done? That mess can cause a safety issue in your workplace. And think about it, don’t you find it easier to trust a technician wearing a neat uniform, name tag and tool belt? After all, the way a technician takes care of his clothing and tools can tell you a lot about how he’ll take care of your equipment.
Related article: Looking for Reliable HVAC Service? Appearances DO Matter.
6. Inadequate explanations of repair issues
Is your maintenance agreement written in legalese that makes it hard to understand what’s covered and what’s not? Do you get scribbled work orders with little or no explanation of the work that needs to be done and why? Or worse, your tech may tell you what’s wrong using technical jargon that he knows perfectly well is Greek to you. Don’t put up with this unprofessional conduct from an HVAC service provider! It’s your right to have all repair and maintenance issues explained clearly in language that makes sense to you.
7. Nagging comfort issues
If your space has hot and cold spots, odor problems or uncontrolled humidity issues even after your regular maintenance visit, there is a problem that is being overlooked by your HVAC service company. You may have system design or configuration issues that need to be addressed. Be sure to tell your provider about any ongoing issues you are experiencing, and ask for a more thorough inspection to get to the root of the problem.
8. Not preparing you for equipment obsolescence
If your business has numerous pieces of HVAC equipment throughout your facility, they probably vary in age and condition. There will be times when AC or heating equipment failures happen without warning, but in many cases you can avoid downtime with proper planning. Your HVAC service provider should be willing to work with you to let you know in advance which equipment items are aging and should be replaced within a specified time period. Buying proactively also allows you to shop for the best price.
9. Not understanding the needs of your business
This is a common area where your HVAC service company may fail you: by following a one-size-fits-all approach to service, rather than operating based on the unique needs of your business. For example, if you own a restaurant and you can’t have a service tech doing maintenance during dining hours, the company should be able to accommodate your schedule. Understanding your business is also important for making sure your system design and configuration is appropriate for the usage and occupancy of the space.
Related article: 10 Questions to Help You Find the Perfect NYC HVAC Service Provider.
Looking for a better HVAC service provider in NYC?
If you’re not getting what you want, need and expect, it may be time to consider switching to a new HVAC service provider. Learn more about how to be sure you’re making the right choice with our free guide, Contract Confidence: Transitioning to a New HVAC Service Provider.
If you’re in the NYC metro area, get a no-obligation service contract quote from Arista.