Two of the most common reasons a homeowner calls a HVAC technician is for preventative maintenance, or a service call. The difference between these two is as follows:
This is typically done on an annual or a bi-annual basis and the technician will clean and service the equipment to make sure it is operating per the manufacturer’s specifications. During the process, the technician will look at the condition of each component and leave a copy of the measurements and results for the homeowner.
An HVAC service call is made when a specific repair is needed when the system is broken and not working, running, cooling, or it’s making a loud/unusual noise.
One of the biggest challenges for homeowners today is to know what company to call. This is often confusing as there are misleading advertisements and proposed deals that all impact the ultimate decision that is made.
Today, there are companies that advertise that they offer a preventative maintenance check for a low fee, but usually, that’s just the cost of getting the technician to the house so they can look at the system and then tell the homeowner that if they want an in-depth analysis, it’s going to cost more. In fact, some of the most common charges a technician may add on to the preventative maintenance fee include a cleaning charge, combustion analysis charge, gas pressure adjustment charge, electrical components check charge, and an environmental disposal fee for the dirty rags.
Before scheduling this service, make sure you ask the company what services are included for the “discounted” or “special deal” cost. If it isn’t the comprehensive service you are looking for, it’s a good idea to seek this service elsewhere.
Also, always remember, a quality HVAC company is going to work with customers to help them get the repairs they need without having to spend too much.
Consider this Example
Sometimes, a customer calls for preventative maintenance. The HVAC Company will try to schedule the maintenance out a few days to maximize the utilization of their schedule but when the customer insist that the service has to be done “right away.” the HVAC company than assumes this is a system not working properly or at all.
The customer knows their system is broken down, but they also think if they call for preventative maintenance, they won’t have to pay the company for a diagnostic or trip charge. If a customer is honest about the situation and what they need, most quality HVAC service providers are going to work with them to ensure their needs are met and avoid unnecessary charges.
If you need service for your HVAC system, let the HVAC company know what is needed and why. Make sure to be upfront about the issues the system has and what needs to be repaired. Also, ask the service provider about the prices they charge and what services they offer for that price. Doing so is going to ensure you can find an honest service provider and that you aren’t paying more than necessary for the work that needs to be done.
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