Evaluating the work of commercial HVAC contractors is not always easy for business owners and facility managers. When you experience frequent and recurring HVAC issues, how do you know if the problem is faulty equipment or an unqualified or careless service provider? If you’re not an HVAC expert, how can you tell?
Since you’re reading this, chances are you suspect you’re not getting great service. If you’re repeatedly experiencing the following signs, it’s likely your equipment is not getting the right care. It may be time to consider a better solution.
7 signs of poor service from commercial HVAC contractors:
1. Problems not fixed on the first visit
This is the most frustrating problem you can have with commercial HVAC contractors. Your business depends on having reliable heating and cooling. When your HVAC service provider fails to fix your problem right the first time, that can be very disruptive to your business.
Certainly there are rare occasions where a tricky problem might require a return visit. But it should not happen repeatedly. That’s a sign of poorly trained or inexperienced technicians who don’t have the knowledge to make the correct diagnosis. Or careless technicians who don’t take the time to thoroughly inspect the system.
Here’s another red flag: your AC keeps losing cooling power, and the technician keeps adding more refrigerant to the system. Losing refrigerant is not normal! It means there is a leak that needs to be fixed. Repeatedly adding more refrigerant instead of fixing the leak is not only irresponsible, knowingly allowing refrigerant chemicals to leak into the atmosphere is a violation of the EPA’s Clean Air Act.
Learn more: 5 Signs of an AC Refrigerant Leak
2. Failing to spot and address problems proactively
What if you keep having HVAC problems, but it seems to be a different issue each time? Pay attention to the problem and its cause. Sometimes it will be obvious that the service provider should have noticed the problem sooner.
For example, you might be told that your system had an electrical short due to a frayed wire. Well, wires don’t get frayed overnight. If you recently had a maintenance or repair visit for a different problem, the technician should have conducted a thorough inspection and noticed the frayed wire. Replacing it proactively would have prevented the short and the return visit.
3. Not having the tools or parts on hand
When you call for a repair or maintenance visit, do you often hear that the technician has to go back to the shop for a part to complete the work? When this happens often, it’s a sign of a less-than-professional operation.
Commercial HVAC contractors should carry what they need for 99% of repairs on the truck.
4. Inexperienced technicians working alone
If your technician shows up alone and often has to call the office for help diagnosing or fixing your problem, that’s not a good sign. HVAC technicians do learn through on-the-job training, but someone who is not fully qualified should not be working alone.
In the future, it’s smart to ask commercial HVAC contractors about the experience level of technicians working in the field. Anyone who is not fully qualified should be working alongside a more experienced technician who checks their work.
5. Failing to address your questions and concerns
Does your HVAC technician ignore your questions – about spiking energy bills, hot or cold spots, or declining equipment performance – assuming they know what’s wrong?
Your HVAC service provider should always take your concerns seriously and investigate the problem. When they do, they have a chance to correctly diagnose and fix problems before they cause breakdowns.
6. Poor communication about work completed and needed
Chances are, you can’t always be present to supervise every HVAC maintenance or repair visit. So how do you find out what was done? And, sometimes more importantly, what was not done because you need to authorize additional work?
It’s frustrating when your technician leaves an illegible work order behind. Or gives an estimate for additional work with no information about why it’s needed. Or does expensive work without your approval.
You deserve better communication before, during, and after the service call.
You should always have an agreement in place before the visit about what requires authorization. Usually it will be a cost threshold: work costing over a certain amount must be approved in advance. And after the visit, you should receive a detailed work order explaining exactly what was done and why. And, additional work should be explained and estimated in detail.
At Arista, we go beyond what other commercial HVAC contractors do when it comes to communication. We provide videos that show what was done, so the customer can see exactly why the work was needed, or why additional work is needed.
7. Leaving a mess
Leaving debris around, leaving tools behind, and failing to treat your workplace with respect is a sign of laziness and carelessness. Ask yourself, is this person likely to be thorough and diligent in diagnosing and fixing your equipment?
Again, you deserve better!
How to find better commercial HVAC contractors in your area
Now that you know the signs of poor HVAC service, how do you go about finding someone better? Read this article to find out: Commercial HVAC Companies: How to Find One You Can Count On
If you’re in the NYC metro area, give us a call here at Arista. We’re happy to talk through all your questions and concerns about finding the right HVAC service company.
Ready for quality, reliable HVAC service for your business? Request a service agreement today to get started.