The Air Conditioning Repair Questions You Need To Ask Your Future Contractor

What should you ask your would-be future HVAC contractor? Whether you need to schedule routine maintenance, air conditioning repair, or an installation, take a look at the questions you might not have thought to ask a heating and cooling company pro before you schedule an appointment.

Does the Warranty Really Matter?

Newer mini split ductless systems, compressors, and central AC units may still have warranties. While a warranty can save you from paying unnecessary out-of-pocket expenses, it doesn't cover everything. The extent of the coverage can help you decide whether you should only choose a company that services your HVAC brand or not. 

If the warranty doesn't include the current problem or the term has expired, you won't need to hire a contractor who is authorized by the manufacturer for AC repair. Along with exclusions and terms of service, most appliance warranties won't include problems related to general wear or issues that happen due to a lack of maintenance. But if your HVAC system has a defect or similar fault, you should choose an authorized servicer. 

Do You Charge the Same Amount for All Services?

Prices vary between HVAC contractors—and so do the way different companies charge their customers. Before you schedule an appointment, ask the company if they charge by the job or by the hour. Along with the service or hourly rate, some companies may also require customers to pay a trip fee or have a gas surcharge.

If you need new HVAC equipment, such as a central AC unit or parts, you will also need to pay for these components. The contractor will need to inspect and diagnose your system before they can give you parts estimates. You may also need to pay extra for off-peak hours/days, such as weekday nights or weekends. Some companies consider these emergency hours.

What Types of Services Can You Provide?

Don't assume that every HVAC company provides every heating or air conditioning service. Most offer general maintenance check-ups and cleanings, diagnostics, repairs, and replacements. But this doesn't mean that all companies can or will work on every type of heating or AC appliance, have specialty services, or can provide the upgrades you want.

Specialty services that some customers may need to look for include solar-powered appliance repairs/installations and green or eco-friendly retrofits and additions. If the AC part of your home's HVAC system uses an older refrigerant, you will need to verify that the technicians are EPA Section 608 certified. Certification helps to ensure that technicians know how to service and handle air conditioning equipment that uses HCFC-22 refrigerant.