This is an update to one of our most popular and helpful blog posts. Here’s the original: 6 Ways to Build a Great HVAC Service Relationship From the Start
The consequences of a poor HVAC service agreement
Since you’re reading this, chances are you’ve had a bad experience with an HVAC service provider. You may have learned that getting an HVAC service agreement with the wrong service provider can have costly consequences for your business. For starters, when important steps are skipped or executed poorly, you can experience major breakdowns that could have been prevented. And long downtimes before your system is repaired.
If you’ve downloaded our white paper, Calculating the Hidden Costs of Poor HVAC Maintenance, you may even know that a poorly running HVAC system (as a result of a poor HVAC service agreement) has a significant effect on your customer retention rate and ultimately your bottom line.
By now you probably realize how essential it is to carefully research the provider that will be maintaining your equipment. Selecting an HVAC service agreement with the right level of coverage for your business is critically important.
IMPORTANT: While you may be tempted, it’s not advisable to undertake HVAC maintenance on your own (with the exception of a few tasks). The advances in the technology of heating and air conditioning systems mean it’s much more complex than you think. The last thing you want to do is damage the system or void your warranty.
It can be overwhelming to choose a service provider for an HVAC service agreement. There are many in the NYC metro area, and you’ll need to find one that has the expertise to properly maintain your equipment. While price is a consideration, you should certainly not sacrifice quality for cost. (If you have doubts about that, read this article: HVAC Service Contracts: Controlling Time, Quality & Cost)
Read on to learn some tips to help you weed out the poor performers and find the best fit for your company.
Choosing an HVAC service agreement: 7 tips for success
When it comes to selecting a commercial HVAC service agreement, don’t skip these steps:
- Ask for referrals from other business owners, especially those in your industry and immediate geographic area. You can rarely do better than word of mouth and reputation, and you’ll find that happy business owners are more than willing to provide details about their experience with their HVAC service agreement. Also, notice which trucks you see all the time in your neighborhood… chances are many of your neighbors are getting great service and turning to these vendors time and time again.
- Understand that a premises evaluation is necessary to the process of quoting an HVAC service agreement, and is always a good sign of quality and dedication in a service provider. The best companies will offer to do the inspection during hours that are convenient for you. If they are going to be servicing your HVAC system on an ongoing basis, they need to know what to expect.
- Always check the company’s licensing (if required by your state) and industry certifications to be sure they are qualified to work on commercial equipment. Also, it’s smart to look for vendors with liability insurance and workers comp. The experienced professionals must carry these to protect themselves as well as you in the event of an accident. Don’t get an HVAC service agreement for your business from an amateur that skips these essentials!
- Make sure you understand what the HVAC service agreement covers. There are different types and some include labor and/or parts for repairs within the contract period. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples when looking at different contract prices. Learn more: HVAC Service Contract Pricing Guide
- Be sure to let the companies that you’re negotiating with know that you are shopping around for the best HVAC service agreement for your specific needs at the right price. Beware of a company that won’t customize the agreement for your equipment and the level of coverage you want.
- When you’ve narrowed down the number of companies that you are considering hiring for your HVAC service agreement, ask for customer referrals and testimonials. These people have been through the process and can tell you firsthand about their experiences. They can also offer some insight regarding equipment service performance, and other details that might help you make a final decision.
- If you’re happy with the job your service provider has done with your commercial HVAC system, let others know. Being able to help other business owners make the right decisions in this complicated area is beneficial to the community as a whole.
When considering a commercial HVAC service agreement, the process is not to be taken lightly. Like any other significant business decision, you need to carefully weigh the pros and cons. Responsible vetting of providers is also essential to ensuring that your equipment will last for years to come. Take proper time to research companies, listen to other business owners, and get everything in writing before taking the plunge. And remember, investment time upfront ensures fewer headaches later.
For more information on how to choose an HVAC service agreement, download our free white paper on HVAC Preventive Maintenance Contracts: How to Find the Right One for Your HVAC Infrastructure.