Your home’s central heating and air conditioning unit, or HVAC, is a key element in your home’s energy consumption and comfort level. For these reasons, it is important to have your home’s system routinely serviced by a professional technician. It is recommended that your it should be serviced by a qualified technician once every one or two years, depending upon your region’s climate and your home’s size, age, etc.
It is important to choose a qualified, dependable heating and air specialist to perform any required maintenance of your HVAC system. Having an experienced service technician evaluate its performance is the only way to ensure that your central heating and air conditioning is running efficiently and safely. Keeping your home’s system properly maintained will extend your equipment’s life and improve the capacity the system can handle. Here are a few things to be sure that your hired service technician should perform.
Any qualified service technician should thoroughly inspect your complete HVAC system. A comprehensive inspection should be made of all elements including cooling coils, primary and secondary drains, blower components, condenser coils, electrical connections, heat exchanger and burners, all safety controls, heat anticipator settings, as well as your system’s thermostat and all its included components. After inspection of all these elements, the technician should replace, repair, tighten, adjust, and/or clean any of these components as needed.
A standard scheduled professional maintenance should also include the cleaning or replacement of any air filters found in your home. The technician should lubricate all moving parts incorporated in your home’s HVAC system, as well. Freon should also be added by the technician when deemed necessary. If needed, your unit’s airflow should be adjusted to ensure efficient temperature rise or decrease. All debris should also be removed from your outdoor condenser unit.
While the heating and air service professional is at your home, he or she should monitor the amperage and voltage draw on all motors, air conditioning and heating cycles, flue draft, and air conditioning operating pressures to ensure proper refrigerant charge.
It is important to have a professional service technician perform scheduled maintenance on your home’s system. Qualified A/C techs require the necessary tools, skills, and experience to keep your home’s A/C running efficiently, avoiding costly repairs in the future.
How To Find A Good HVAC Company
The most important furnace preparation for fall is a safety inspection. If you missed doing an inspection this past fall, it is never too late to get one now.
Furnace inspections can only be properly performed by a qualified Heating contractor. The important word in the previous phase is Qualified. Unfortunately all heating contractors are not qualified; they may be licensed and they may even be insured but that does not make them qualified.
Finding the right contractor is not easy. For example, I am a licensed HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) Contractor in Michigan. Ten years ago I was one of the best but then my wife was diagnosed and passed away from cancer. Today I could do a great job doing a safety inspection but I would not be the guy to call for a repair because I have been out of the industry for 10 years. I am no longer familiar with the electronics built into furnaces over the past ten years. I am confident I could fix any problem you may have, but the question is how long will it take for me to fix it?
The best way to find a quality service person is by getting a referral from someone you trust. Here are some clues to distinguish good contractors from bad.
Watch out for an extremely low inspection cost. For example, a 20 point inspection for 50 dollars when everyone else is charging 89 dollars. It is highly likely that cheaper service will find something wrong that will cost a few hundred dollars to repair. They may try to sell you a new furnace for a few thousand dollars. It will all be an emergency and you will be scared into acting on their word without getting a second opinion. Get a second opinion before you purchase.
Another warning sign is when the contractor has little or no truck stock. Understand that no contractor can carry every part for every furnace. However, a good contractor carries the parts necessary to do 75 percent of the repairs that they come across.
Find out which line of furnace they carry. Are they a dealer for one of the top lines such as Lennox, Carrier or Trane? These manufacturers are not going put their reputation on the line with fly by night companies.
Be careful of warranties in the heating and cooling industry, warranties are only as good as the contractor. If the contractor is no longer in business any labor warranty is gone. You may be able to get a contractor to honor a part warranty but if they did not sell you the part, you will probably have to pay a surcharge to get the parted warranted.
Furnaces are one of those things that break at the worst times so look for a contractor that you can reach 24 hours a day. Your can test this by making a call on a Sunday afternoon. If you get an answering machine look for another contractor. Many contractors have started using answering services which is fine because at least you can talk to a living person. It will be best if the person answering the phone is an actual employee of the company. Ask them if someone is available to come out that day. Their response will give you an indication of the quality of service.
Quality company employees will always be in uniform and drive lettered vehicles. That is not to say that bad companies will not have lettered trucks and uniforms. However, these things are expensive and chances are a bad company is not worried about their appearance