Your last air conditioner broke down on the hottest day of the year, and now you’ve got a brand new system installed. You’re probably breathing a sigh of relief and thinking you’re good to go. But there is one more thing you need to take care of, and it may be the reason your old system failed in the first place. You need to set up a service contract for your new system that covers regular preventative maintenance with a qualified HVAC service provider.
Many business owners make the mistake of thinking that they don’t need a service contract because their equipment’s warranty covers them in case anything goes wrong. The truth is, warranties typically only cover product defects. If you want to keep your system running smoothly and efficiently for many years to come, you need the regular maintenance that is covered under a service contract.
The difference between a warranty and a service contract
A warranty typically protects you only from design and manufacturing defects. You get a warranty from the manufacturer when you purchase new equipment, and it is usually good for one year. If a part fails due to a defect within that timeframe, the manufacturer must replace it.
A service contract, also called a maintenance agreement, covers regularly scheduled physical inspections and maintenance procedures that greatly improve equipment performance and increase the lifespan of the system. A service contract takes into account the age and condition of your equipment, and can include a range of services. A contract can cover inspection only, preventative maintenance, full labor and even up to full coverage for all labor and parts. Your agreement will be good for one year, after which you can renew with different terms if needed. With the help of a qualified HVAC service expert, you can create an agreement that’s tailored to the needs of your system, your budget, and your business.
Why you need preventative maintenance
When you buy a new car, you wouldn’t drive it off the lot without knowing that you will need to plan for regular maintenance: changing the oil, rotating the tires, replacing plugs and replenishing fluids. If you failed to do those things, your car wouldn’t last very long. HVAC systems are no different. They are complex systems that need regular care. Maintenance is the key to getting the most from your investment.
To keep your HVAC system running well, you should schedule inspections at least twice a year, including a seasonal start up and tune-up. These are just a few of the items that may need attention:
- Lubricate pumps
- Inspect couplings and check for leaks
- Inspect the cooling tower fill, support structure, nozzles, valves, fan blades, wiring
- Clean starter and cabinet
- Test the motor and check log readings
- Clean or replace air filters at least quarterly
A service contract offers the best protection
Some business owners are reluctant to sign an agreement because they think it’s too expensive, hard to understand, or they have experienced bad service from a less-than-honest contractor. Some decide to let their own maintenance staff do HVAC maintenance or just call in someone periodically without a service contract. Maintaining your system this way will only cost you time and money.
- A contract ensures regularly scheduled visits so you don’t have to remember to call in someone to take care of your system. If you realize on the first hot day that you haven’t done your system maintenance, you may have to wait for an appointment.
- Having an established relationship with an expert service provider means the technicians get to know your system. They will keep detailed records of maintenance performed and any ongoing issues. They can solve problems before they become big and expensive headaches.
- Without a contract, you’re paying a la carte pricing for everything. When you agree to the work you know you’ll need, you actually save money. Without a contract, any major repairs and even minor ones can cost you a great deal more money.
Who should you trust to maintain your system?
You may assume that the general contractor or mechanical contractor that installed your system is the best one to maintain it. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, many installers don’t even want to get involved in maintenance. Why do you think your installer failed to mention the maintenance of your system? Their business focuses on the big job of installation, and once that’s done they just want to get on to the next customer without worrying about the hassles of small maintenance tasks. They may not even be qualified to maintain your system.
When choosing a provider, it’s important to consider a company’s reputation and the details of the offer rather than deciding based on cost alone. Companies that underbid to win your business will likely skimp on service and only do the minimum needed to keep the system running until the end of the contract.
To keep your system in top condition and save money for the long term, turn to an expert HVAC service contractor. As service specialists, their goal is to partner with you to keep your equipment performing at its best for years to come. You’ll get fair pricing, and have trained and certified professionals to care for your equipment, diagnose problems, and perform reliable repairs.
In the end, a service contract is only as good as the company that stands behind it. When you choose a company like Arista with a long history of excellent service and the resources to give you the attention you need, you can be sure your service contract will be well worth the investment.
To learn more information about what to look for when purchasing a service contract, download our white paper, HVAC Preventative Maintenance Contracts: How to Find the Right One for Your HVAC Infrastructure.