Although your commercial HVAC needs are not directly comparable to, say, the air conditioning system in your home, a heating or cooling failure can be nightmarish regardless. Just like at home, where loved ones and pets are susceptible to adverse temperature conditions, you and your employees face the same issues in the event of a sudden breakdown at your business.
If you wouldn't expect your family members to sit in a sweltering or freezing house, you shouldn't ask your employees to do the same. Moreover, if you're in a customer-based business, extreme temperatures could cost you customers.
Your first step in prolonging the life of your business's HVAC system is to choose a knowledgeable, qualified local HVAC professional to install, service and maintain your commercial or residential unit. That said, how do you choose a company who can quickly and reliably meet your needs?
Finding an Honest HVAC Technician
When you're shopping around for an HVAC company, you'll want to look for a local business who has proven that they are reliable and knowledgeable. Failure to do your research upfront can cost your company time, money and hassle.
One indication that an HVAC company is trustworthy is if they are part of a professional and industry organization. You can generally trust these companies' reputations because membership is only granted if the company exceeds certain qualifications. The most well-known organizations in the HVAC industry are:
- American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers
- Better Business Bureau
- American Society of Mechanical Engineers
- Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute
In addition to researching the company's qualifications and certifications, there are several ways to better ensure that the HVAC contractors you choose are reliable and trustworthy. Keep reading for a list of tips.
Employ Social Media
Social media isn't just good for keeping up with old friends, it's also a great tool for finding referrals. Sites like Facebook and Twitter can be great springboards because people are quick to post when they have received poor service. In addition, you can also do a quick survey of your social media contacts on whom they would recommend.
Note: Consider paying this service forward upon completion of good work. Your positive word of mouth can help the company you choose get more work in the future.
Organize Your Thoughts
Once all the suggestions and research comes together, formulate a candidate list. You should check these businesses against the Better Business Bureau, as well as the board of contractors and/or builders' association. These organizations will give you an idea of the HVAC company's professional reputation. No company will be perfect, but try to avoid companies with numerous or consistent complaints.
After compiling your list and researching each company's qualifications, take some time to contact these companies to inquire about pricing and any other concerns you have regarding guarantees and warranties. Other good questions to ask include estimates on job duration and manufacturers they use.
For brand new installs, you will need to inquire whether a service contractor is needed or if your purchase includes routine maintenance and repairs. You should also ask about their emergency service protocols.
Finally, ask whether the company is fully licensed, bonded and insured. If not, move on.
Before the Job Starts
Once you've decided on a company, there are a few things to do before the job starts:
- Make sure you have all of your building permits before beginning your installation. Luckily, most companies will do this for you; however, you shouldn't assume so. Failing to do so could result in a fine and/or a delay.
- Commercial HVAC units are heavy; therefore, you should make sure a professional load calculation is performed before an install happens. This is important because buildings settle and crack overtime which could prevent the HVAC unit from performing properly.
- Make sure the company you choose does not use your old HVAC unit to determine a new one's size. Your old unit may be wrong for your business.
- Set up annual checkups with your HVAC contractor.
If your business is in metro Atlanta, Alpharetta or nearby and you are in the market for a commercial HVAC unit installation or repair service, contact Gagne Heating & Air Conditioning at (678) 221-4328 to schedule an appointment. Our NATE-certified, Georgia-licensed contractors are highly trained and ready to respond to any HVAC situation – 100% satisfaction guaranteed!
Learn more about commercial heating and A/C care, maintenance and news courtesy of our HVAC blog and knowledge center.