Don’t Be Misled – How to Be a Smart HVAC Customer

Professionals who repair and install air conditioning and heating equipment are licensed by the state of Texas or they are working under a licensed contractor who is charged with overseeing their work. While regulating the temperature in your home is often as easy as adjusting a thermostat, the equipment that makes that possible is complicated and highly technical. Special tools are required, knowledge of how to safely work with electricity, flammable materials, and refrigerant. Yes, it also requires a lot of math skills. But sometimes, there are contractors who are banking on a consumer’s inexperience to try to sell more equipment than is needed or who are simply not skilled or experienced enough to diagnose or explain the nuances of how the equipment should safely operate. Here’s tips to be a savvy customer when you’re working with an HVAC contractor for an installation or repair.

Beware of System Replacement Advice

If a part needs replacement, an air conditioning and heating contractor should be able to show you the part and explain what has gone wrong. They should be able to give you the broken part because it belongs to you. Don’t simply rely on pictures because those could be from anywhere. There are many parts within air conditioners and heaters that wear out, but it does not always mean that the entire system needs to be replaced. Replacing a motor or capacitor is a common maintenance task, especially when you consider how hard the equipment works over the warm spring, summer and fall. Most HVAC systems of any make or model should last about 12-20 years if properly maintained. News stories abound with contractors who have been caught not giving good advice, so it pays to be mindful of scams or deals that are to good to be true.

Ask for a Second Opinion

If you’re getting a second opinion, keep your technician honest and let them do the diagnosis without your suggesting a specific part was diagnosed as “bad” by another company. That just gives disreputable companies a short-cut, and they may not spend the time to look over your system the way they should.

Is the Part Under Warranty?

An honest HVAC company will always check the warranty to see if a part is covered. If the part has been registered, any HVAC company can make a quick phone call or search online to verify if any brand part is under warranty. Ask your contractor if you’re not sure they have completed this step. Most companies don’t make much money from fulfilling a factory warranty, but companies who take the long view and want to keep a customer for life will.

Do They Guarantee Their Work?

Another clue that an HVAC company may not be completely above board is if they won’t guarantee their workmanship. Many companies WILL guarantee their workmanship. If you’re not sure, ask. There are times when equipment is fixed and then something goes wrong later. If your contractor is willing to come out at no charge to make sure it’s right, you’re probably dealing with a good company. On the other hand, if your system was working before they arrived, and then it goes out and they want to charge more money to come back, something might not be right. (Read More: Questions to ask before hiring an HVAC contractor)

We Can Help

We hear stories from new customers all the time who had a feeling something wasn’t right. It’s bad business in our opinion to be dishonest, which is why we welcome second opinions and as many questions as you’d like to ask. Call Rob and Kenny at Terry’s A/C and Heating at 281-495-7830. We are a licensed HVAC contractor and Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer, serving West Houston, Katy, Richmond, Fulshear and the surrounding area. We want to be your home comfort concierge and welcome the chance to earn your business.