Even though your average furnace may last between 15 and 18 years, trouble can pop up anytime. The issues may rear their ugly head closer to the unit’s end date, but without proper maintenance, the likelihood of problems increases exponentially. The concept of “better safe than sorry” should guide your thinking when deciding how and when to do furnace maintenance. Choosing the best professional for the job could be a challenge, however. There are so many people out there claiming to have the skills necessary to perform good furnace maintenance that it’s easy to pick the wrong person. However, if you follow some basic guidelines, getting the right pro for the job can be easy. Here are some things to keep in mind when vetting your next furnace maintenance pro.
It’s never safe to assume anything when dealing with something as critical as furnace maintenance. There are many different tools, some simple and others more complex, that are used for servicing a furnace. It’s important to ensure that the company you choose to do the work has the right tools.
The best way to do this is to describe what kind of maintenance you want to be done. It could be very simple or it could be more in depth. Be detailed when you talk to the expert you’re interviewing. Then ask if they have the proper equipment to get it done. If you feel uncomfortable asking a question like this, you can preface it by saying something to the effect of, “I’m not trying to pry, and forgive me if this seems out of line, but I was wondering if…” Explain that this is important to you. If the answer is a confident “yes” then you should move forward. However, if you get anything else, it would be wise to move on to the next option. For instance, if someone says, “We can get that, no problem,” that should be a flag. It’s not that the company is not capable of performing the work. The problem is the acquisition of new equipment costs money. They would be financially obligated to try to offset some of that expense by charging you at least a little more for their services.
There is also a learning curve when it comes to using any type of equipment. This involves time, and, as we all know, time is money. You want the operation to go smoothly. This way, there are going to be fewer problems and things will finish on schedule, all of which saves you money and stress.
There’s nothing wrong with giving dedicated professionals their first shot at a job. Everyone has to start somewhere, right? However, when it comes to furnace maintenance, you may not want to put things to chance. Maintaining a furnace properly can prevent a bevy of issues that could be expensive and affect the safety of your home. Hence, experience is crucial. Even if the company is relatively new or up and coming, they should have professionals who have several years under their belts of providing quality HVAC services. You have every right to request that your job be performed with at least one experienced pro on the scene. Those with experience have been exposed to more situations, problems and obstacles and they know how to navigate them. This is not something you should be flexible about. If the company does not have experienced experts, politely move on to the next option.
Checking references is a great way to vet furnace maintenance experts. Reviews online are good, but they can be faked or written by the pro’s friends or family members. Making a quick call to a reference can help you get the info you need to make a more confident decision. And once you have the person on the line, ask questions. They should be written down beforehand. Ask about more than the overall experience. Inquire about how they were with timeliness, cleanliness, attitude, respect. Most importantly, ask about how they handled unexpected issues.
Using these tips will help you get the right person for a very important job. Maintaining your furnace saves time, money, and peace of mind.