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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC

HVAC Repair in NYC: Does Your Tech Get Enough Training?

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It’s not rocket science, getting competent HVAC repair in NYC, right? At least you might not think so. So then why are you experiencing so many problems?

Customer service and scheduling issues are bad enough: making you wait days or longer for an appointment, showing up late, then taking even longer to get HVAC repair parts needed to complete the job.

But when the problems go deeper and involve the ability to correctly diagnose and fix problems, that’s another matter entirely. The fact is, HVAC repair (in NYC especially) is becoming more and more complex all the time, as vendors move toward proprietary technology. The issues you’re seeing may very well be due to inadequate training.

Read on to learn what you must look for in a service provider of HVAC repair in NYC, specifically related to proof of expertise and ongoing training.

Related article: The Unique Challenges of Delivering Great HVAC Service in NYC

HVAC repair in NYC: the cost of getting it wrong

How much is it costing your business every time you need to schedule a repeat visit for an ongoing HVAC repair problem?

  • HVAC repair costs are adding up: are you frequently shelling out more cash for repairs that weren’t fixed right the first time?
  • If repairs are not being handled correctly, chances are your preventive maintenance is suffering as well. That means your equipment is not running efficiently, which drives up your energy costs and contributes to even more breakdowns. It can also take years off the life expectancy of your equipment.
  • Temperature fluctuations and other comfort issues can significantly impact employee productivity.
  • If you’re running a restaurant or retail business, slow or unreliable HVAC repair in NYC can cost you customers if your space is too hot or cold.
  • In the worst case, you may even need to close your doors in extreme weather if you have no heat or air conditioning.

Read more:
Your Uncomfortable Office Temperature Is Hurting Your Business
Dangers of Choosing the Wrong Heating Repair Company

Getting quality HVAC repair in NYC may be harder than you thought

There are a great many general contractors, mechanical contractors, HVAC equipment manufacturers and service companies vying for your HVAC repair in NYC. It can be a challenge to figure out who is really qualified to care for your heating and air conditioning systems.

The fact is, not everyone is equally qualified. The issue is complicated by the fact that no specific license is required by law to perform HVAC repair in New York state. Other states require licensed technicians who have passed certification exams, as well as other verification of the business such as proof of insurance, net worth and operating capital. Some require only mechanical or general contractor licenses, even though contractors are often unqualified to service equipment despite having installed it.

But when you need HVAC repair in NYC, the burden is on you to figure out who is qualified.

As a result, many homeowners and business owners have had problems with unqualified and even fraudulent providers of HVAC repair in NYC. Each year, the Better Business Bureau gets millions of inquiries and thousands of complaints against HVAC service providers. In fact, HVAC companies are in the top 10 for number of inquiries underscoring the level of mistrust among consumers.

That’s not surprising given what’s at stake. For business owners in particular, these companies are servicing equipment worth tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Are you faced with finding an HVAC service company with the expertise to maintain and repair systems that are so important to your bottom line? Here’s that to look for.

Industry certifications serve as proof of expertise

Unfortunately, state licensing won’t help you sort out quality vendors for HVAC repair in NYC from the rest. The good news is, you can look for these HVAC industry certifications that set the true professionals apart:

  • EPA 608 Certification. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires this certification for HVAC technicians who handle refrigerant chemicals in the process of performing maintenance and repairs on cooling equipment. The certification requires 6 months to 2 years of training plus passing an exam, and technicians cannot legally purchase refrigerants without it.
  • MSCA (Mechanical Service Contractors of America) STAR, NATE, and/or Excellence Certifications. These certifications are offered by nationally-recognized HVAC industry professional organizations. They provide evidence of a technician’s expertise in the form of educational requirements, rigorous exams and hands-on field experience requirements.

Here at Arista, our technicians are MSCA STAR certified. This is one of the most respected HVAC technician certification programs in the industry and the only one that’s ANSI-approved and ISO 9000 certified. MSCA STAR-certified techs must complete 5 years of training including 1200 hours of classroom and hands-on apprenticeship training. They also must pass a rigorous exam every 5 years, as well as pledging to abide by a code of conduct.

At the organizational level, MSCA STAR is awarded to companies that demonstrate industry-leading safety, training, and customer service practices.

Look for a commitment to ongoing training

As a business owner or facilities manager, you’re probably not an HVAC expert yourself. So when you need HVAC repair in NYC, you need to be able to trust your service provider to provide highly skilled workers as well as top-notch customer service.

Looking at a company’s commitment to training can tell you a great deal about both. It’s a sign of a company that truly cares about doing things right. And it’s increasingly necessary as systems become more complex and manufacturers continue to move toward proprietary technology. HVAC troubleshooting is more difficult. HVAC repair in NYC is changing rapidly and technicians must be constantly updating their knowledge.

Here’s how we stay on top of that here at Arista.

The right way to train HVAC technicians

It starts with recruiting the right people. In our experience, that’s all about choosing people with a positive, can-do attitude. We actively build relationships with the best technical schools so they refer their best candidates to us.

Every one of our 110 technicians takes a written and practical assessment to measure their knowledge and skills. Each person gets an individual education plan based on their results as well as feedback from supervision.

Our techs participate in a 3 month curriculum program each year. For 2-3 hours every week, they attend classes in our training center on topics ranging from electrical skills to piping to new technology and even customer service skills. Classes are taught by our supervisors and some by vendors who come in to teach the latest technical know-how needed to repair and maintain their products.

In addition to mandatory training, we also provide ongoing workshops techs can choose to attend based on their interests. We assess their progress using smartboards and interactive software to track how they perform week by week.

That’s how we can be sure the people we send out into the field are fully capable of performing high quality HVAC repair in NYC.

Are you sure you’re getting that level of technical expertise? If you’re not, start by inquiring about your vendor’s training program. What you learn may make it clear that it’s time for a change.

Find out more about getting better HVAC repair in NYC with this helpful guide: The NYC Facilities Manager’s Guide to Choosing an HVAC Company.

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