When you’ve got a problem with your oil furnace or air conditioning unit, finding a reputable company to do the job can be overwhelming. It is challenging to pick given the number of companies available near you. But asking a few questions of your HVAC company before scheduling an appointment or hiring them to install a new system can make the process simpler. Plus asking these questions ahead of time makes our jobs easier as well.
When should I schedule my HVAC appointment?
You should plan to schedule at least two maintenance appointments per year. Usually we service the AC in the spring before you need it. Fall maintenance for your furnace before the heating season is ideal. If you have an older system, you might want the expert’s advice on whether you should check it a little more often than a newer unit.
Can you provide references?
References and referrals are valuable, both to the homeowner and to the HVAC company. Certainly check their online reviews before you contact them. But also getting someone to provide their feedback on your service directly is important. A reputable company will always be willing to provide references from previous customers. They can offer reliable reviews of their work.
Is your company licensed and insured?
It might be tempting to hire someone independent to do the service. They might be a bit less expensive. However, you may be taking a risk if they are not licensed and insured. When you hire an HVAC contractor who is licensed and insured, you’re protecting yourself against scammers and poor workmanship. If something goes wrong using someone who isn’t licensed and insured, you may not be able to make any warranty claims. And you may not even be able to find that person to right the wrong again.
Do you have any specific warranties for HVAC services?
Whether you’re purchasing an entirely new system or just a new part, knowing about the warranties and guarantees a company offers is important. Some companies have you go through the product manufacturer to use a warranty. Others will guarantee the product themselves. Ask how long the warranty lasts and what the terms of it are.
If you do need to replace your system, ask about extended warranties and what kind of options are available. Make sure you understand everything that is included and not included in the warranty. You can often pay a bit more to get a few more years on your warranty, which is something worth considering.
Check to see if the company also offers a guarantee on their technicians’ work. Before hiring an HVAC company, make sure you have a clear understanding about what you get. What does the warranty cover if for some reason your new equipment is defective and you need to replace it again?
Does my HVAC unit need to be repaired or replaced?
Keep in mind that your HVAC system can last about 10-12 years, but that number can vary depending on use and proper care.
Sometimes it’s obvious your furnace needs help like when the heat just doesn’t come on. But problems with your unit could be more subtle such as a home that doesn’t get warm or cool enough or strange noises when the system turns on. These warning signs tell you it’s time to call to have it checked.
It’s important to schedule an appointment before a small problem turns into something much bigger. Noticing when there are issues with your system early on could save you money in repairs later down the line.
But if your unit is nearing the 10 year mark, you may want to consider a new system before it becomes an emergency. New units are more energy efficient and use up to 50% less energy to cool your home than those built in the 1990s. This could actually save you hundreds of dollars in energy costs each year. Ask your service provider to provide you with the state of your AC unit and what your options are for replacement.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Your heating and air conditioning system is a complicated piece of equipment. Find an expert you can trust and get the answers to your questions before you invest in a new system. Let us know if you have other questions you need help with.