Signing an HVAC Contract? What You Need to Know Before Agreeing to Services
Once you have found the best HVAC company in Roseville, MI, that can service your equipment, it is time to sign a contract. A service contract offers several benefits, but before you put pen to paper, you should understand the terms first. At C & C Heating & Air Conditioning, we pride ourselves on being transparent, so our customers are on the same page as us. Here are some things you should know before signing a contract and agreeing to services.
What Is Going to be Serviced?
Double-checking your understanding of terms of any contract is good business sense. When you double-check what is going to be serviced, this is your opportunity to ensure that the parts you expect to be serviced will be. Maybe something is included that you would prefer to take out. That would be something to discuss with the technician. An HVAC company has its reasons for including some parts to be serviced and not others. Before you sign, have the business clear that up for you. It is important to be on the same page before committing to any contract.
Number of Visits
There are HVAC professionals who recommend an annual maintenance visit. There are others who recommend a maintenance visit twice a year. Some would like to service a unit once every three months. For your contract, be sure to understand how many visits you are entitled to during its duration. Maybe you want the unit to be serviced twice a year. A technician can explain to you the number of visits written into the contact and why that is.
What Tasks Will Be Completed?
A typical HVAC maintenance appointment includes:
- Air filter change
- Thermostat assessment
- Fan assessment
- Electric connection check
- Leak checks
- Outdoor inspection
- Refrigerant top off
Depending on your model, there could be additional tasks that will be completed. Generally, a technician replaces the air filter first because it picks up the majority of the particles floating in the air it cools and heats. Then, he does a visual inspection. He wants to make sure that there is nothing acting as an obstruction like debris or furnishings. If there anything sitting in front of the unit, it obstructs the airflow’s path. This means that even though it is producing at 100%, your home is not receiving 100% of the output.
The visual inspection also includes looking for any obvious wear and tear on the parts. If anything seems like it could tear or is corroded, a recommendation for replacement could be made. The refrigerant levels are topped off, and other parts are lubricated. Before the technician is done, he tests the unit. With everything cleaned up and topped off, there should be no leaks or odd smells. The exact sequence of steps varies. Newer models are more tech-driven, so their parts and needs are different from a traditional HVAC unit. To be sure, ask the technician before you sign on the dotted line.
A contract may give a general overview of what is included. It may also be very specific on what is not. As you look over your new HVAC contract, read the fine print, too. You want to find out if there are any exclusions and why. There may be things that you want to be included, but sometimes and in certain situations, it cannot be executed. Sometimes, it has to do with skill level or equipment. Maybe you can negotiate a compromise. There are cases where an exclusion can be removed, but there will be an extra fee. If you run into an issue, be sure to go over it with the technician before you sign. You want to make sure that your unit will be serviced fully and to your satisfaction.
Your HVAC contract is going to entitle you to a certain number of visits. Before you sign, you need to find out how the appointments will be scheduled. Thanks to technology, many companies utilize software that helps them schedule appointments months in advance. You want to find out if they will automatically schedule the visits, or if it is your responsibility to call them when you are ready. This is important because there should be no miscommunication on when the service will actually be completed.
Many HVAC service contracts are an agreement that lasts one year. A shop wants to hang on to their customers, so at the end of the term, will the contract renew automatically or do you have to renew it manually. The assumption is that you will be happy with the service and will want to continue it after the expiration date. Before you sign, it is a good idea to understand the renewal terms.
For the shop, receiving payment for services is of the utmost importance. As you are double-checking the contract terms, find out how and when payment has to be made. Is this a contract that is being financed, or are you going to be required to make full payment within 30 days? Based on the payment terms, you want to also double-check how to make the payment. Is your bank account going to be charged directly through an electronic check, or can you make your payment with your credit card? There are several other ways to make a payment today. If you prefer to pay through other means, such as digital, you need to be sure that the shop accepts it.
It is important to understand how the costs are calculated. Will you be charged per hour for labor plus parts, or will you be charged a flat fee? One of the worst things that can happen is entering a contract that ends up costing more than you initially thought. Maybe there is a two-hour flat fee, but if the technician goes over, you are charged per hour of additional labor. The costs are usually the most sensitive portion of a business agreement, but it must be hammered out. An HVAC contract is a binding agreement. Once the paperwork is processed, you may not be able to cancel it.
While you are double-checking the terms, find out if you can end it before the term is over. If you break the contract, are there any fees? HVAC companies depend on the number of signed contracts to determine future income and for scheduling your service. If one falls through after its term has started, it has an impact on the business.
Some HVAC companies offer a maintenance contract for a unit. A contract is treated like a loyalty program in some cases. That means that even though the focus is going to be maintenance for the unit, if there is an emergency, you receive priority scheduling as a perk. Other add-ons could include weekday rates if you ever require service on the weekend. As you go through the details of the contract, find out if there are any add-ons that offer discounts or perks.
At C & C Heating & Air Conditioning in Roseville, MI, we offer our customers HVAC contracts. Our goal is to be transparent. Other services we offer are duct cleaning, installation, or replacements for your cooling and heating systems, repair, and maintenance. We also offer indoor air quality assessments and services.