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Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

HVAC System Maintenance: Why Your Mechanical Contractor Can’t Get the Job Done

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Last Updated on April 30, 2019


It’s 92 degrees in the shade, and the temperature hovers at a tropical 85 in your building. Your employees are calling in sick and your customers are walking out the door. You’ve put in three calls to your air conditioning service provider, with no response.

This frustrating situation is probably all too familiar if the mechanical contractor that installed your HVAC system is still servicing it. If this is the case, chances are you have experienced these warning signs that your mechanical contractor is providing sub-par service:

  • Temperature fluctuations are making your employees and customers uncomfortable.
  • You leave multiple messages before your service provider gets back to you.
  • You wait too long for service calls.
  • It takes forever for the vendor to obtain parts to make a repair.
  • Multiple service calls are needed before a problem is finally fixed.
  • The same equipment breaks down repeatedly and the provider fails to suggest a long-term fix for the problem.

As much as you may hate the thought of having to go through the arduous process of finding a new service provider, it’s time to take action.

Where do you begin to find a more reliable and capable service provider? Start by understanding the types of companies that maintain HVAC equipment, and which are most likely to provide the efficient, high-quality service your business needs.

Mechanical Contractors

A mechanical contractor can be responsible for installing the ventilation, air conditioning, heating, refrigeration systems and plumbing in buildings. Some, but not all, mechanical contractors also service and maintain the systems they install. For those that do, service is typically a small aspect of their business, and is offered mostly out of obligation to perform warranty service on the equipment they install. Mechanical contractors who install equipment may not be invested in designing a system with an eye towards servicing and may be even less likely to inform you about what kinds of service needs you should expect moving forward.

Building owners may assume that since a mechanical contractor installed their HVAC equipment, they know how to service it properly. The surprising truth is that troubleshooting and servicing these complex systems requires a different and often more intensive level of training and expertise.

Since service is not the main focus of their business, mechanical contractors’ service departments tend to be small, under-equipped and understaffed. Technicians are often not certified, so they often lack specific training in HVAC repair and preventative maintenance. They are less likely to have the expertise to diagnose problems, or sufficient knowledge about how to prevent them.

Licensed Plumbers

Plumbers often do work on residential HVAC systems and may be perfectly capable of installing a water heater in your home, but you don’t want them maintaining a complex HVAC system for your business. Like mechanical contractors, plumbers may have experience installing HVAC equipment, but much less expertise is diagnosing problems. They probably have little, if any, formal training in HVAC repair. Even large plumbing contractors with many trucks on the road may lack industry-standard tools used to properly diagnose HVAC problems.

HVAC Contractors and Service Companies

HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, service and repair of HVAC systems. Everyday, they service and repair complex heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration equipment like yours. This means that HVAC technicians are the most experienced and knowledgeable providers you will find, and better qualified to troubleshoot problems and come up with reliable, cost-effective solutions.

The leading HVAC contractors hire only technicians who earn respected industry certifications, like MSCA Star Certification. This means that they have completed 1200 hours of education and hands-on training in HVAC service, and have passed a rigorous exam. All Arista technicians are MSCA Star Certified.

Service is an integral component of the leading HVAC contractor’s business, and their service departments are typically better managed and equipped. Trucks are mobile warehouses with HVAC industry-standard tools and supplies. Office staff and technicians in the field use the latest management software and mobile devices for information and communication. For you, this means better access, better response time and faster fixes, and most importantly, less downtime for your business.

The Clear Choice

What you probably want most from your HVAC system is not to have to think about it. When you trust your system to a dedicated HVAC service company, you save yourself time and aggravation, not to mention money. You can be confident that your HVAC system will be kept in tip-top shape by industry experts, minimizing business interruptions. Your employees won’t need to wear swimsuits to work. Everybody wins!

If you’re currently using your mechanical contractor to service your HVAC equipment and temperature extremes are still plaguing your building, download our guide to Improving an Imperfect World: Mitigating Office Temperature Extremes and check out a preventative maintenance agreement while you’re at it.


Find out how to win the battle for optimal office temperature