How to Make HVAC Service Calls a Complete Success
Ever wondered how to make HVAC service calls a win-win proposition? When your air conditioner or heater needs service or maintenance, it’s time to place a call to your favorite air conditioning and heating technician.
If there is a repair involved, there will be time to diagnose what is going on before you’re presented an estimate of what may be needed for an effective repair. If a part has worn out before it should, you may be able to take advantage of a manufacturer’s warranty. Here’s what you need to know to make that service call a complete success.
Be Specific About Your Problem
When you contact an HVAC service provider, be sure to describe the problem you’re having and how long it has been going on. You might answer these questions:
- When did the problem start?
- Are you too warm or too cold in your home?
- Is your system running at all?
- Is your system blowing warm or cold air?
- Does the system run for a while, then turn off?
- Are you observing any unusual smells or noises?
- Do you think the repair might be covered under warranty?
- Do you have a contract with a home warranty company?
Maintenance is generally scheduled in the spring for air conditioners and the fall for heaters and furnaces. It is a great way to prevent problems. If we are coming out for a repair, it is helpful to know that maintenance is a separate service.
Share Your Schedule Concerns Ahead of Time
Be sure to tell us your name, phone number and your address. You’d be surprised how many times we receive incomplete information, which requires extra time for us to search for the missing puzzle pieces.
We also need to know of any scheduling concerns you might have. Do you need service around the lunch hour or only on Thursdays? If so, mention any scheduling concerns when you set up your service call.
If we are delayed because another job took longer than expected, many companies will let you know so you have the option to reschedule if that won’t work. Knowing your schedule constraints ahead of time saves everyone time and helps us schedule our day.
If you have family members with medical needs or extenuating circumstances, please share that information with us, too. We triage calls in the summer because the heat can be so extreme. During these conditions, we prioritize HVAC service for households or businesses if it would be especially dangerous for them to be without air conditioning. Young children, the elderly and those with medical conditions can be especially susceptible to heat-related illnesses.
Learn the Best Time to Call for HVAC Service
Most air conditioning and heating companies have a 24-hour answering service even if they don’t operate 24-7/365. Leave a message or send a text message, so the dispatcher can call you back in the morning and get your HVAC service call set up.
For companies that do come out in the middle of the night, keep in mind that if your air conditioner or heat pump requires a part they don’t have on their truck, you may still be out of luck until the morning. Why? Air conditioning and heating parts companies are not open 24-hours like 24-hour pharmacies.
Generally, we schedule our day in the morning, so it is the best time to call.
Calling at 5 pm or at the end of the day with an emergency that is across town is not ideal.
Pro Tip: if you learn of a breakdown at the end of the day, call anyway. Just don’t mention the problem started four days ago and you are just getting around to calling.
No one likes when an air conditioner breaks down, but would you be surprised that more than 85% of our customers who regularly service their HVAC system have many fewer surprises? We encourage HVAC maintenance because we find customers are happier when their AC breaks less often.
Politeness and Courtesy Grease the Wheels
It goes without saying that polite and friendly customers are a joy to work with and technicians often go out of their way to help them as much as possible. Technicians enjoy customers who
- let them do their job without looking over their shoulder,
- ask questions about the service or repair,
- are curious what they can do to maintain their equipment, and
- are thankful for their help when the visit is over.
Technicians understand that it is frustrating when equipment breaks down unexpectedly. They have arrived because you asked them to come to your home to fix your air conditioner or heater. And, they will diagnose the problem as efficiently as possible, so try not to shoot the messenger if you’re anxious to be cool again and it’s just not going as fast as you want.
If you have questions or want to understand how the system broke down or how the system works, your technician should be able to give you as much detail as you would like.
Many times a repair can be made in one visit. When that isn’t possible it is often because a specific part must be ordered, picked up and installed at a second visit. While technicians carry the most common parts on their truck, it is impossible to carry them all.
Keep in mind that AC technicians are incentivized to be efficient with their time and with yours. Be sure to extend them the professional courtesy you’d give any other professional, so they can do their job efficiently and effectively.
Learn What to Expect With a Warranty Repair
AC service can involve a great many types of repairs. Some are not very expensive and can be done very quickly, and others may take some time. If a repair is made and you learn it may be under warranty, here’s how that works.
Most manufacturer’s provide a warranty after you install an HVAC system. If you or your HVAC technician registers the equipment, the warranty time doubles! That is good news for homeowners.
For the vast majority of warranty repairs, though, it is a common misconception that the cost of labor is included in the repair. The manufacturer’s warranty does not generally include the cost of labor for these repairs. It includes the cost of the part only.
Also, the faulty part must be returned to the dealer for inspection. We can’t just dump it in the trash or recycle bin. Only after the part has been inspected can the warranty be processed and the AC technician is compensated for cost of the part.
By now, you probably see that there are lot of steps to a warranty repair that customers don’t always see. It’s a service HVAC companies provide when they take on a warranty repair, and it involves multiple steps that take time.
This is why most warranty repairs still end up costing a homeowner something. The manufacturer may cover the cost of the part, but homeowners still need to pick up the cost of the service call and the labor to diagnose, retrieve, install, and return the faulty part.
Invest in Maintenance
If you learn one thing, it’s that HVAC systems require regular maintenance to perform their best. Just like your car, computer and fitness routine. It has been our experience that customers who service their HVAC equipment in the spring and the fall rarely have equipment that breaks down in the summer and winter.
Signing up for a scheduled maintenance plan like the Peace of Mind Protection Plan can make it easy to remember to service your air conditioner or heater. Best of all, it comes with priority service if you system does breakdown in a pinch. The reason we can offer that is because serviced equipment doesn’t breakdown very often.
If you’ve ever spent a chilly night huddled into one room with a space heater or the day working from a coffee shop to escape a burning hot home office, you have to decide how important indoor climate control is for you personally.
If breakdowns are on the “never again list,” we recommend regular maintenance. Mechanical equipment is better and better each day, but even it has limitations.
If your AC is showing its age and it is breaking down more often, it might be time to replace your central AC or heat pump.
Let Us Help You With Awesome HVAC Service
We want to be your AC and heating partner for life. If you like the idea of building a relationship with a company that is committed to regular maintenance, prompt and friendly service, the use of quality parts and expert repairs and installations, contact us at Terry’s A/C and Heating to set up your service call today.
We are located in Richmond, Texas and service Southwest Houston, Fulshear, Katy, Sugar Land, Bellaire and points nearby. Find out what customers have to say and how we have been providing the highest quality service since 1982.