Top Questions New Homeowners Should Ask a Potential HVAC Contractor
Did you just buy your home? Do you need a new HVAC contractor? If this is the first time you’ve had to hire a heating technician, take a look at the questions to ask right now.
What Services Do You Offer?
As a first-time homeowner, you may not know what heating services you’ll need or when you’ll need them. If your home isn’t new or the furnace isn’t new, common services for existing or older heating units include:
- Annual maintenance. The service technician will inspect, clean, and repair (if necessary) your furnace before the cold-weather season starts. If you don’t know whether the heater has already had a pre-winter check-up, schedule one to stay safe.
- Wear and tear–related issues. Over time use can cause parts to wear out. Unlike damage caused by a sudden problem, wear and tear issues may appear gradually.
- Damage. A flood, impact, or another issue can cause damage that a professional needs to repair.
- Energy audit. How efficient is your heater? If your new home has high utility bills, an HVAC technician can explore efficiency-related issues and make recommendations for repairs, replacements, or upgrades.
Now only do you need an HVAC provider who offers these services, you may also need a technician who can work on your schedule. Read on for more information on what else to ask before you hire a new contractor.
When Do You Provide Services?
Don’t assume every contractor runs on a Monday through Friday, daylight schedule. As you move through the selection process consider:
- Evening hours. Do you work during the days? If you can’t take off work to wait for a technician, you need a contractor who has regular (and regularly priced) evening hours.
- Weekend hours. If you need services outside regular Monday through Friday hours, you need a company that also provides Saturday and Sunday service.
- Emergency hours. Whether you work during the day, work on weekends, or don’t work at all, heater problems can happen anytime—24-7. This means you need a company willing to provide emergency service any time on any day.
Keep in mind, some contractors charge an extra fee for emergency service. Even though this isn’t desirable, it’s better to have a professional repair your furnace as soon as possible. Never attempt a do-it-yourself repair or choose a wait-and-see approach. These strategies can cause additional damage and cost you more in the long-term.
What Types of Products Do You Install?
An aging furnace may require a replacement sooner rather than later. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, a furnace’s expected lifespan ranges from 15 to 25 years. If your new home’s old furnace is old or inefficient, or if it has clear signs of wear or damage, it’s likely you’ll need to replace it.
If you’ve never worked with an HVAC contractor, ask potential companies:
- What types of products do you carry? There isn’t just one type of heater. If you need a natural gas furnace, electric heater, heat pump, or a specialized system, make sure the contractor regularly carries the product you need.
- What type of systems do you install? Along with this question, ask what systems the company has experience installing. If you need a gas-burning furnace, you need to make sure the technician knows how to install this type of unit.
Even if you don’t need a new furnace right now, it’s possible you might need one in the near future. If you already know the company carries the right products you need and has specialized installation expertise, you won’t have to find a new contractor down the road.
Do you need a new home furnace check-up? Contact L&L Heating and Air Conditioning for more information.
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