If you’ve been putting off HVAC maintenance for years, you might be asking yourself about what to expect. No matter what you’re hiring an HVAC contractor for, there are a few things you should expect during their initial visit to your home.
A consultation can bring up a lot of information, but whether you trust that information or not is up to you. If you’re feeling nervous about what you might hear, having a clear understanding of the entire process beforehand can help.
You should keep reading to learn more about what you should expect from an HVAC contractor during their first visit.
1. Explanation of the Process
Some HVAC contractors are only able to give you a roundabout explanation of their work process. Whether it’s, “We’ll just come inside, replace the old system, and be done in an afternoon,” or “Don’t worry, we give everyone the same kind of maintenance. Your unit won’t be any different.”
If someone actually says this to you, they’re not the ones you should be hiring. Your home isn’t the same as everyone else’s, and neither is your HVAC unit. Though the contractor might offer the same services to everyone (cleaning, flushing out systems necessary, etc.), that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to look the same every time.
What you’d like to know about is what they’re going to do for your home, not everyone else’s. This goes for routine maintenance visits or installing an entirely new unit.
2. Plenty of Questions
Besides careful observation and an understanding of different HVAC systems, the only way an HVAC contractor is going to understand your home and its needs is by asking you questions.
Here are a few you can expect:
- Do you have any troubles during specific times of the year?
- How loud is your HVAC system?
- Have you been hearing any odd noises lately?
- How do you feel about the air you’re breathing while inside?
- Are there certain areas of the home that are more comfortable than others?
- Do you ever experience high humidity in your home?
- Have anyone’s allergies gotten worse over time or since moving in (especially if you just moved)?
These questions can help the contractor gain a better understanding of your HVAC unit and any potential problems it might be facing. It also helps to form a game plan for repairs or replacement. If they don’t have the answers to these questions, they’re guessing at best.
3. Pointing Out Any Code Deficiencies
With as much as building codes change, it’s completely possible for newer homes to have code deficiencies. The contractor visiting your home should be able to perform a visual analysis of every component of your HVAC unit, down to the vent pipe, electrical connections, and gas line fittings. After, you should be able to have a conversation about what is up to code and what isn’t.
4. Ductwork Observation
For your initial consultation, there’s no reason to expect a contractor to know the exact dimensions of all your air vents and ductwork, but there should be a general idea of the condition they’re in. This can include things like:
- Are your ducts the right size?
- Are any of them bent, broken, blocked, or sagging?
- How much airflow does your system need to work properly?
- The state of sealant or tape at any junctions in the ductwork
This analysis is crucial to diagnosing the reason for any discomfort or efficiency problems your HVAC unit is facing, and it’s important to have any and all issues resolved. More details will likely be revealed during the following appointments, but those few questions are enough to be answered with a simple visual analysis.
5. Problem-Solving Mindset
Once all of these observations have been made, it’s time to figure out the solution to the problem. Not all HVAC units are going to require the same approach, and it’s up to your HVAC contractor to figure out how to solve any problems you’re facing. In short, they have a problem-solving mindset that allows them to design the best HVAC system for your home.
6. Knowing the Available Options
With as many options that are available on the market today, your HVAC contractor should be able to present you with a range of options that come in at different price ranges.
It’s important to be upfront about your budget here. The repairs or installation your HVAC system needs might be more than you were planning to spend, but it might also be possible for you and your HVAC contractor to figure out a plan that still fits within your budget.
If a contractor only provides you with two options from the beginning and says that’s all that’s available on the market, it’s probably best to find someone else to work with.
Do You Have the Right HVAC Contractor?
Now that you know a bit more about what to expect from an HVAC contractor, you can have the confidence of knowing you’ve found someone you’re willing to work with and trust to complete work on your home.
Having doubts or reservations about any person you hire to work on your home can spell trouble — especially if your doubts were correct and they end up making a mistake. Repairing that can cost more time and money than it’s really worth. Know what you expect from an HVAC contractor before getting started and you’ll know if someone is worth hiring.