Hey there, Facilities Managers! So, you’ve got a lot on your plate, dealing with countless service providers for your company. But let me tell you, finding the right HVAC company can be a real headache, especially if you’re not an HVAC expert yourself.
Now, obviously, you want an HVAC company that knows their stuff when it comes to solving your heating and cooling issues. But that’s not all. You also need a company that offers top-notch customer service and makes your life easier. So, how can you find all these qualities in one place? Well, my friend, here are eight things you should definitely check when evaluating a prospective HVAC provider for service, installation, and repair work.
8 Things to Check Before Hiring an HVAC Company
1. Certified and Screened Employees: The Real Pros
Let’s start with the basics. You want to make sure the HVAC company you choose has a team of skilled technicians who know what they’re doing. One way to ensure this is by checking their credentials. In states where HVAC technicians are required to be licensed, that’s an easy box to tick. But even in places like Las Vegas where there’s no licensing requirement, look for industry-standard certifications and screenings. These will give you peace of mind, knowing that the technicians are properly trained and trustworthy. Keep an eye out for certifications like EPA 608 Certification, which is a must for anyone handling refrigerants. You can also look for the MSCA (Mechanical Service Contractors of America) STAR Certification, which verifies that technicians have completed an intensive education program, passed a certification exam, and have gained valuable on-the-job experience.
2. Insurance Coverage: Protect Yourself
Here’s a golden rule: never hire an HVAC company that doesn’t have adequate general liability insurance and worker’s compensation coverage. Why? Because accidents happen, my friend. And if a technician does something (or fails to do something) that causes damage to your property or results in an injury, you want to make sure you’re protected. General liability insurance has got your back in case of property damage, while worker’s compensation coverage ensures that you won’t be held responsible for any claims if a technician gets injured on your property.
3. Understanding of Local Building Codes: Playing by the Rules
If you’re hiring an HVAC company for an installation job, pay close attention to this one. It’s crucial that they understand the building codes and legal requirements in your city. You want them to do the job right and by the book. Even better, find a company that takes care of the paperwork and permits for you. When the HVAC company handles the permits, you can be confident that they’ll do the work to code. This not only saves you time but also helps you avoid failed inspections, delays, and the cost of fixing sub-par work.
4. Access to Parts & Equipment: Quick and Efficient
Time is of the essence, my friend. You want the HVAC company to get the job done fast and done right. That means you should choose a company that uses the latest time-saving tools and has access to parts. Imagine this: the technician shows up the same day you call about a problem, but it takes them three days to get a replacement part. Not cool, right? Look for a company that carries common parts on their truck and has good connections with local warehouses. That way, they can get the parts they need quickly, and you can get back to business without unnecessary delays.
5. Embracing Technology: Working Smarter, Not Harder
In today’s digital age, technology can make all the difference. So, when you’re evaluating an HVAC company, pay attention to their use of technology. It’s a sign that they’re committed to providing faster response times and better service for you. Look for companies that use mobile devices like tablets or smartphones to access work orders, parts information, and your customer file and service history. GPS and automated fleet management systems are also a plus. These allow the company to track the location and estimated time of arrival of each vehicle, ensuring they can respond to your needs promptly. And hey, if your company uses Service Channel, an enterprise facilities management system, you’ll save even more time and paperwork by choosing an HVAC company that can work with this system for work orders, equipment service history, and invoicing.
6. Energy-Consciousness: Saving the Planet and Your Wallet
Let’s talk about energy, my friend. As a Facilities Manager, you know that reducing operating costs is a top priority. And energy expenditures often make up a significant chunk of those costs. But fear not, the right HVAC company can help you out. They can recommend energy-efficient equipment that not only cuts down on your utility bills but also increases comfort. They can suggest retrofits for older systems to reduce costs, and show you how regular maintenance can save you even more. It’s a win-win situation for both your wallet and the planet.
7. Strategic Thinking: Planning for the Future
Being proactive pays off, my friend. Keep track of the age and expected lifespan of all your HVAC equipment. This way, you can plan for equipment obsolescence in your yearly budgeting process. But here’s the key: choose an HVAC company that will take the time to help you budget for new capital expenditures in advance. That means no more scrambling when things break down. And trust me, when you prevent downtime and keep everything running smoothly, you’ll look like a superstar to your superiors.
8. Commitment to Safety: Putting People First
Safety should always be a priority, and that applies to your HVAC service provider too. When a technician works at your site for the first time, pay attention to their safety practices. Do they take precautions to minimize hazards when working with electricity and refrigerants? Do they handle tools safely? Don’t be afraid to ask the HVAC company about their practices for preventing carbon monoxide leaks, refrigerant leaks, and accidents. After all, the safety of your employees and customers should never be compromised.
Transitioning to a New HVAC Service Provider
Now, I know you might be thinking about changing your HVAC company. But let me tell you, the transition doesn’t have to be a nightmare. It’s actually easier than you might imagine if you know how to do it right. If you want to learn more about making the switch smoothly and confidently, I’ve got something for you. Check out this free guide called “Contract Confidence: Transitioning to a New HVAC Service Provider.” It’s a treasure trove of information that will help you navigate the process with ease.