Don’t hire an ordinary HVAC service company for NYC luxury residential properties
There’s a lot on the line when you have to decide on an HVAC service company for a luxury residential building in NYC, or in any large city for that matter. You are giving the HVAC service company’s technicians access to your residents’ homes. That means you need to be able to count on them to:
- Perform regular maintenance to prevent breakdowns, so you avoid those emergency calls when the AC dies the day a homeowner is having a dinner party
- Avoid making a mess or damaging expensive furnishings
- Diagnose problems accurately and fix them fast to avoid repeat service calls
- Recommend equipment that won’t be an eyesore or take up valuable apartment space
- Make you a priority and get to you in a hurry when you need them
Luxury residential spaces, especially in NYC, can be challenging to heat and cool for a number of reasons:
- They require complex systems that are uniquely designed and zoned for the client’s specific situation.
- Air quality is a major concern due to the museum-quality finishes and furnishings, so humidity control and air purification are as important as temperature control.
- Clients won’t tolerate being disturbed by noisy systems that rattle and vibrate.
- Property owners want to preserve high ceilings that enhance the character of their spaces and don’t want to give up any space for equipment, so systems must be designed to minimize use of space in walls and between floors.
You need to make sure any HVAC service company you approve to work in your building has the capabilities and experience to handle these challenges.
How to evaluate an HVAC service company for a luxury residential space
Check for an HVAC service company with technical expertise
Since New York does not require HVAC technicians to have a license, you have to look deeper to evaluate their technical expertise. Ask about industry certifications that help you identify people who are properly trained and reliable, such as:
- MSCA (Mechanical Service Contractors of America) STAR Certification
- NATE (North American Technical Excellence) Certification
- EPA 608 Certification
Even better, ask whether the HVAC service company has experience with VRF systems, the latest and greatest in heating and cooling technology that provides the ability to create custom heating and cooling zones, and even both simultaneously. If an HVAC service company is experienced with this technology, you know you’re getting quality expertise.
Related article: Residential Air Conditioning: What is a VRF System?
Also make sure the HVAC service company is experienced in advanced humidity control to protect wood floors, moldings, furniture and paintings in luxury residences.
Related article: Must-Have HVAC Features That Enhance Air Quality & Comfort
Get the right references
When you are evaluating an HVAC service company, obviously you want to talk to their customers, but make sure the references they give you are appropriate to give you the information you need. You’ll want to speak to other property companies or luxury homeowners with similar spaces and who have commercial-grade residential HVAC systems.
Location, location, location
You don’t want to base your decision solely on something like this, but one thing to consider is accessibility to your building location. Do you see the company’s trucks in your neighborhood regularly? If your building is in an area with other luxury residential buildings, that’s a good sign that the HVAC service company is experienced working with high-end spaces. It also means you are more likely to get a fast response time in an emergency if the company is frequently in your area.
Appearances do count
There are more reasons than you might think for insisting upon an HVAC service company with a professional appearance including neat uniforms, ID badges, a recognizable logo and well-kept trucks. You want your homeowners to have confidence in the HVAC service company you choose. You also don’t want unsightly characters running around your building. And after all, you can be sure that a company that cares about its public face is committed to hiring only trustworthy staff members who do reliable, quality work you can count on.
You’ll also want to know if they provide white glove service and can be counted on to use the utmost care around your homeowners’ expensive furnishings and finishes. Dirty shoes and white carpets don’t mix! To give you peace of mind about who is in your building and what could happen in the event of an accident, be sure to ask about insurance coverage and whether the HVAC service company performs employee background checks as well.
Related article: Looking for Reliable HVAC Service? Appearances DO Matter
Judging reliability BEFORE you hire an HVAC service company
Will the technician show up on time for appointments or keep you waiting? Delays do happen in a big city with gridlock traffic conditions, but delays can be a problem when you have an irate homeowner on your hands. To predict their reliability, look for an HVAC service company that has business practices to minimize delay, such as:
- Service zones. Does the HVAC service company station their trucks throughout the city to minimize distance and travel time to their clients’ locations?
- Trucks with on-board GPS help techs avoid traffic congestion and get to you faster.
- Computerized fleet management systems allow the HVAC service company to assign work according to which truck is nearby, and improve planning to help techs stay on schedule.
- Plan for building access. Do they know to arrive early and leave time for parking, being cleared by security and getting up a shared service elevator?
If you manage elite residences in NYC, here’s a must-have resource to help you understand the many challenges and equipment options for different types of residential spaces. Get your free copy of The Ultimate Guide to Air Conditioning for NYC Luxury Residential Spaces.