Home repairs are back on our weekly chore list as we move from winter into spring. One of the most important chores we can put on that list is fixing our air conditioning unit. Repairing an air conditioning unit can be a tricky and dangerous thing, so calling a professional is very important.
When looking for a reliable repairman, there are a few pitfalls you want to avoid, and certain qualifications the technician needs to have.
North American Technician Excellence (NATE)
All HVAC technicians should be certified through NATE. The process requires a passing grade on a core exam and at least one specialty exam. The specialty categories can be under either installation or service specialties, such as air conditioning, heating, or commercial.
The Environmental Protection Agency requires a certification to work with hazardous materials, such as refrigerants. All HVAC technicians should be EPA certified to ensure the proper care of those hazardous materials. There are three levels of certification, depending on the type of jobs the technician can do. For more information on these certifications visit www.hvacclasses.org/certification.
Things to Look Out For
When looking for a new HVAC company to repair or install a unit, there are a few things to look out for. Not every company has your best interest at the forefront of their minds. Many dishonest technicians find their way into homes because people don’t know what to look for with their HVAC systems. It is important to find a technician you can trust, and make sure you are getting the best service for what you need.
The service of charging the refrigerant is a common way dishonest technicians get more money. If your unit needs more refrigerant, that is usually a sign the unit has a leak. The unit will keep leaking until the issue is fixed, allowing the technician to keep charging for a recharge. Make sure the technician takes the appropriate steps to fix the leak itself. For more information on AC unit refrigerants check out this fact sheet.
Charging for More Refrigerant Than Used
The technician might try and shortchange you on your refrigerant when installing the unit. It is easy to catch this if you are paying attention when they are filling it. The refrigerant jug should be weighed before and after it is filled. The weight of what was used is what you should be charged for.
Replacing Parts Unnecessarily
Some technicians might tell you that a part needs to be replaced in your unit. In some cases, these parts can be pricey, and they might push you to just replace the whole unit instead. Make sure you get a second or even third opinion if you feel like your technician is trying to push a pricey part or unit replacement.
If the technician is offering a verbal contract, insist on getting it in writing. If the company goes back on what they said, written agreements are the only way to legally prove it. Don’t ever settle for a verbal agreement in any business setting.
No honest technician would ask for payment before any services were rendered. If the company is asking for a payment upfront, they are probably trying to get away with something, whether that is a lack of services performed, or just less efficient work. No reputable company will ask for payment upfront.
If you are looking for an HVAC company to do a repair, you most likely have time to shop around and get second opinions. Don’t let any technician convince you that a fix has to happen immediately. If they are pressuring you to get it fixed immediately, they are most likely trying to rip you off. Unless your unit is currently on fire, you have the time and space to find the right company for you.
Finding the right technician should be a stress-free, safe experience. You don’t want to feel pushed into hiring someone that you don’t feel comfortable with. Visit site to learn more on finding a reliable company which has certified technicians in the Illinois area. The company you hire should provide safe, reliable technicians that understand what your HVAC needs are, and be able to communicate effectively about your repair options.