It’s always good to understand what’s happening when something unusual occurs that involves your HVAC system, and asking specific questions to your technician is often the best way to get information.
While there are as many questions as there can be problems, we will focus on the 5 most important questions to ask your heating and cooling expert.
Why You Need to Ask Your Technician Questions
Before diving into the questions, it’s important to point out that helping to guide you through a proper repair and maintenance process is part of the technician’s job, and they should communicate with you throughout.
In addition, it’s always prudent to ensure that the technicians are worth your time by asking about their certifications.
Ask them to clarify if you don’t understand something they’ve said. Also, if your heating and air expert isn’t volunteering any information, don’t be afraid to ask them about the repairs they are making.
What Certifications Do You Have?
Before hiring a technician to do a job for you, assessing their qualifications to work on HVAC systems is essential.
If not, then your entire system can be put at risk by someone who doesn’t have the technical experience to help you.
Certified HVAC technicians will always be willing to show you their certifications just to put your mind at ease. A certificate from the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) program is a good sign that the technician has the expertise to fix your problem.
Any company with HVAC technicians should be insured, and asking your technicians for proof of insurance protects you and them from any fallout should the repair prove unsuccessful.
Having adequate insurance is vital for HVAC professionals and establishes trust and security with clients.
What Caused the Problem?
Once you’ve hired a trusted technician to make repairs or do maintenance for you, it’s worth asking some questions about the source of the problem. Don’t limit your understanding by not asking any questions; instead, ask your technician to explain what happened with your HVAC system.
Understanding what caused an issue in your system can help you prevent future problems and assess what maintenance you need to do to avoid similar issues.
Taking a proactive approach to repairing and maintaining your HVAC system is always ideal, so don’t be afraid to approach your technician once they’ve diagnosed the problem and ask them what caused it.
Is a part defective, and was it replaced? Were components just in need of cleaning? Was the issue preventable? These questions can help you get to the root of the problem and implement the proper maintenance so that it doesn’t happen again.
What Repair Options Do I Have?
It’s all too easy to let the technician make repairs as they see fit, and while you can undoubtedly trust most technicians, it’s always good to ask what repair options are available.
In particular, ask your HVAC specialist whether more regular maintenance is needed to prevent similar problems in the future. It’s always cheaper to maintain your HVAC system well than to undergo expensive repairs and replacements.
Asking your technician what your long-term options are for the viability of your HVAC system can also help you make educated decisions about your repair costs going forward.
One question you want to address in this vein is whether the technician believes it’s best to repair or replace the unit. Knowing how much longer your unit will last and whether it’s more cost-effective to replace it is an excellent conversation to have with your technician.
Open a dialogue about replacement if you’ve needed a lot of repairs recently, and see your specialist’s recommendations.
In general, consider asking about your replacement options if:
- You are paying out for regular repairs
- Your repair costs more than a replacement
- The unit is using R22 refrigerant
- The HVAC is over 10 years old
What Are My Next Steps?
It’s easy to thank the technician for their help and watch them drive away without asking relevant questions about what to do next.
Always have a conversation with your specialist about your next steps.
Does your unit need any further repairs in the future? How long before the unit needs more repairs? How can maintenance help keep the unit in good condition?
Having a plan of action for how often your unit needs servicing and addressing any potential repair concerns sooner rather than later is always a good practice and will cost you less money in the long run.
A good question in the “Next Steps” category is, “How will I know if you need to come back?”
Asking what warning signs you should be on the lookout for in your HVAC system is helpful so you can preempt necessary repairs before the malfunction causes further damage.
Is the Solution Short or Long-Term?
Another good question to ask when your technician is wrapping up is whether the solution they’ve implemented will make the problem disappear or is just a holdover for more repairs.
Is there a broken part that needs replacing? Is the primary source of the problem going to return eventually? Asking questions about what the technician has done to repair the system will help you understand what maintenance you need to do to keep the system in tip-top shape.
Alternatively, it can help you prepare for the expense of a future repair rather than having it come up on you unexpectedly.
The Bottom Line
Asking questions is the best way to get answers, and when it comes to something as complex as your HVAC system, you’ll want to ensure you’re asking all the right questions.
Remember, you are the customer and you have a right to know and understand how and why the specialist is working to restore your unit. Asking for advice can help you reduce the chances that you will face additional expensive repair work in the future.
These 5 questions are great starting points to help you assess the validity of the heating and air experts you’re working with, evaluate what repairs fixed the problem, and establish what you need to do for the longevity of your cooling or heating system.