Signing an HVAC Contract? What You Need to Know Before Agreeing to Services
HVAC contracts can be an excellent way of saving money and getting essential maintenance and repairs done on your system. However, there is a lot of variation among contracts, so you should carefully consider your options to find the best one for your needs. Here are some essential things you should think about before you sign any contract.
Types of Systems Covered By the Contract
Do not make the mistake of assuming that a contract will cover anything related to heating and cooling. Some companies may only be comfortable working on specific models or handling certain parts. To make sure that all of your equipment will be maintained or repaired by the contract, read it carefully to see which HVAC components are covered. Generally, you will want one that covers all of the major parts like your blower and condenser.
The Company’s Reputation
When you sign an HVAC contract, you are committing to working with the same company for quite a while. Therefore, it is very important to pay attention to the company’s reputation. Otherwise, you could end up paying for services you do not want to use because you dislike how the company operates.
To reliably pick a good HVAC company in Hudson, do more than just check out the company’s website. Look it up to make sure it is a state-licensed company and it is fully insured. Check online reviews or local business organizations to see what people who work with the company think. It is normal for a business to have a few complaints from disgruntled customers, but you want to pick one that has generally positive reviews.
Services Offered in the Contract
Read the contract carefully to figure out what sort of services are being offered. Typically, you should not assume anything is included in the contract unless it is explicitly stated. Most HVAC contracts are divided into maintenance-only or maintenance plus repairs. In our case, for a maintenance contract, you would get regular maintenance and then pay Mario's AC separately for our heating and cooling repairs. Our maintenance-only contract, for example, covers services like:
- Filter changes
- Removal of dust and buildup
- Checkups on thermostats
- Inspections of your system
- Lubrication of various moving parts
- Inspections of electrical connections
Meanwhile, a contract that also covers repairs will help you out if anything breaks down. If you select this type of contract, check to see whether just labor or labor and parts are covered. There are different benefits to all of these types of contracts. Ones with fewer services tend to be cheaper, but you might end up having to pay a lot if your machine breaks down. A good rule of thumb is that a maintenance-only contract is fine for the first five years or so of your system’s life, but older units will benefit from a contract that also covers repairs.
What Counts as a Repair?
Something you may want to think about when picking between a maintenance-only or a maintenance plus repair contract is what actually counts as a repair. This might not be quite as cut and dry as it seems. For example, what if the technician notices a small problem with a fitting during maintenance. Is replacing a few screws and adjusting the part a repair, or is it simply preventative maintenance that will keep your machine from breaking down eventually?
The contract should explain how these sorts of minor repairs are handled very clearly. Almost every maintenance visit can bring up small issues, so it is very useful to know how the company will handle them. This will keep you from having any unexpected expenses when you start scheduling maintenance visits.
Scheduling Your Visits
The contract should tell you all about how many visits you get a year and how they are scheduled. The standard number of maintenance visits is twice a year — once in spring and once in fall. However, you may want to consider contracts with additional visits if your system is older or under a lot of stress. If you have elected for coverage on repairs, consider whether or not you want a contract that offers you priority scheduling in emergencies.
Check the contract to see if the company will automatically contact you when it is time for your visit or if you will need to get in touch with them to schedule your visit. Either option is fine for most people. However, if you tend to forget things like HVAC maintenance schedules, it can be nice to find a company that takes over that responsibility for you.
Ideally, an HVAC contract should save you money in the long run, so it is important to consider costs carefully. Look at the total price of the contract and compare it to the cost of paying for individual maintenance services. An important factor to pay attention to when analyzing costs is the way the contract covers repairs. Taking time to read all of the fine print makes sure you are not surprised by any unexpected costs.
Learn whether there are any extra costs associated with emergency repairs during non-business hours, fees added on for travel time, or charges associated with fixing minor issues during maintenance. Some contracts may charge you if the cost of repairs goes over a certain rate, while others may require you to pay at least a certain minimum account each time you get a repair. Certain contracts may offer discounts for paying the full cost at once or other sorts of deals. Thus, you can often save money by paying close attention to the section detailing costs.
How a contract handles the end of your contract can greatly impact your HVAC system, so you also need to pay attention to this detail. Check the agreement to see if your contract expires on a certain date or if it renews automatically at a certain time. If you like working with the company and do not want to accidentally end up without coverage, getting a contract with automatic renewal can be helpful. However, if you are still unsure about whether you want to stick with the company in the long run, a contract with a defined end date might be helpful.
As long as you pick a contract that covers all of these basics, you can be confident that you are in good hands. At Mario's AC in Hudson, FL, we are happy to go over our contracts with you and help you to find the right option for your HVAC needs. We offer a variety of services, including repairing, maintaining, and installing all types of heating and cooling systems. As the back-to-back winners of a 100% customer satisfaction award, we are devoted to making sure our customers are happy. Find out more about our heating and cooling services by giving us a call today. We are ready to help.