If you don’t have a background in Heating, Cooling and Ventilation, (often referred to as HVAC), it can be difficult to know if the service technician who comes out to help you is actually giving you value for money. This article gives you a general idea of what you can expect from a technician when you enquire about a service for your cooling system. It also points out a few tell-tale signs you should look out for before you decide to lock in a job.
Let’s say you have a feeling that your air-conditioner just doesn’t seem to be performing as well as it should be. It’s hard to be absolutely certain, but you’re pretty sure it used to blow out colder air and generally keep the house a bit cooler on those really hot days. So, you google “air conditioning repair service” and click on one of the first links.
No Experienced Technician Will Give You a Quote Over the Phone
Most technicians will probably ask you the same questions to start with when you call up enquiring about a service. What type of system do you have? How old is the air conditioner? Has there been a gradual decline in performance or was there a sudden drop. By the end of the phone call, you may well decide that you’re better off taking the time and effort to look up another air conditioning service company. The difference between an experienced technician and someone who doesn’t know very much (and may or may not pretend to) often comes towards the end of the phone call.
The pretend expert just wants to lock in a deal, so he will quote you over the phone.
The technician who actually knows what he is doing understands that there is no way of knowing how complex the service or repair will be until he has seen it with his own eyes, so he will suggest that he comes out to inspect the system (and will most likely charge a call out fee.)
What Happens when the Service Technician Comes out to Inspect your Unit?
Even though the technician appears to be the real deal because he’s coming out to give you a quote, doesn’t necessarily mean he is. Observe what he does when he arrives. A thorough inspection of the entire system is necessary to ascertain exactly what the problem is (and if there is more than one problem).
Some technicians will only spend a few minutes superficially glancing over the system, which probably means they don’t know what they are looking for, or simply don’t care. Don’t give them the job! (Even though you might feel like locking in the job, since you’ve already paid for the call out fee.)
The genuine technician will probably run the system for a while and measure changes in temperature. He may need to get down on his hands and knees, crawl into tight spaces and generally get his hands dirty. Only then will he be confident enough to give you a quote.