March 24, 2015

Don’t Get Overcharged: 6 Questions To Ask Before A HVAC Repair

Your HVAC has broken down and you need repair services. Before you fully commit to an HVAC service provider, however, you should commit some time to research. It’s easy to choose the first HVAC service you find in the yellow pages. It’s not so easy to look into a company and explore possible hidden fees, warranty options and employee background— but it is worth doing.
You don’t want to be overcharged for your HVAC repair, do you? When you ask an HVAC company the right questions, you learn their procedures, policies and fees, and have the upper hand when it comes to arranging a fair price.
Here are six things you want to ask your HVAC service provider before they begin repairing.

Will There Be An Emergency Service Fee?

The unspoken rule of HVAC failure: it only occurs after normal business hours. Certain companies offer emergency HVAC service, but most charge a ridiculous amount for it. Before you call and arrange an after-hour appointment, be sure there are no extra fees involved. An honest, professional HVAC company won’t charge extra for emergency visits— they recognize that it’s still a standard repair. The time of day your HVAC breaks down shouldn’t affect the price of repair.

What’s My Repair Warranty?

You should be aiming for a two-year warranty when it comes to your heating and air conditioning. A 30, 60 or even 90-day warranty defeats the entire purpose of having a warranty in the first place. Think about it: You get a replacement part for your AC in August and your 90-day warranty covers it. For the warranty to be of any further use, you would need another repair done by November. You’ll most likely stop using your air conditioner around mid-September. So, really, what was the point of that warranty? If you’d like your warranty to provide an effective safety net for your HVAC, it should cover two years.

Will I Pay For Post-Repair Breakdowns?

You just got your HVAC repaired. Two days later, it’s malfunctioning again. Do you really have to pay another fee for another system diagnosis? You absolutely should NOT have to. If an HVAC technician didn’t correct the problem the first time, or they misdiagnosed the problem, it is still their responsibility to fix the problem. You paid the first time around. Technically, there shouldn’t even be a second-time around. If there is, you shouldn’t be held accountable for it.

Does The Technician Work Off Commission?

This is something to consider if you find yourself needing frequent repair. When a technician works off commission, they make a profit on every single repair job. If you continue seeing the same technician for inexplicable repair problems, you might want to start questioning their motives.

Subcontractor Or Employee?

Is the technician performing your repair an actual company employee, or are they a separate contractor hired by the company? This makes a big difference in overall customer service. An individual contractor won’t care if you threaten to complain to a manager, because they don’t have a manager. A company employee, on the other hand, is going to ensure 5-star service for their company. An employee is also going to have more in-depth job training, as well as fulfill all background requirements.

Am I Paying By The Job Or The Hour?

Only hire an HVAC company that charges a flat rate for the repair job itself. If you’re charged hourly, your technician is going to take their good old time. A two-hour repair task might turn into a six-hour job. The worst part? You won’t have any idea. You don’t know how simple or complex a specific part repair is, and some companies have a knack for exaggerating. Play it safe and secure a fixed price before the repair begins.
When you are a paying customer, you deserve to know all the facts behind your chosen service. You may not have a working knowledge of heating and air conditioning, but you probably have a working computer. Do some research and look into an HVAC company before officially hiring them. Don’t be afraid to speak up and demand additional information. You want to pay a fair price and receive honest service— you can’t have this without getting certain answers.

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