Recently, I read a series of customer reviews of heating and cooling companies from across the country. Granted, some customer concerns seemed legitimate. On the other hand, some criticisms came from a lack of understanding of how the heating and cooling industry serves its customers. Let’s set the record straight.
“The tech was only in the house 15 minutes. It shouldn’t have cost so much.”
For decades, repair companies charged for services using a Time and Materials standard. Customers paid for materials and an hourly rate for the time it took the technician for the repair. Homeowners came to expect a short visit should cost less than a longer one.
Time and Material pricing was risky for the homeowner—you didn’t know what a repair was going to cost before you authorized it. And, as a homeowner, you were paying training costs for the less skilled technician who was learning on the job while you paid for it.
Today, an increasing number of heating/cooling companies use a national standard based upon the amount of time a trained technician working with the correct tools should finish a repair.
Time to retrain your thinking. A properly trained technician, working with the right tools, should complete a repair, and be on his/her way, faster than a less competent technician.
The cost of a service includes more than just technician time. You benefit from the technician’s knowledge and experience. Companies with integrity provide wage and benefit packages which attract the kind of people you feel safe letting into your home. These companies have insurance to protect you should an accident occur on your property. Companies should invest in training and tools.
No matter the length of time spent in your home, think VALUE, not cost!
“They tried to sell me new equipment.”
It’s understandable to feel a bit panicky when your heating/cooling equipment breaks down. A heating/cooling system is a major investment. It’s only natural to wish to spare your budget as much as you can.
While being a work horse —the unsung hero among home appliances—heating/cooling systems don’t last forever. There comes a point when money spent on major repair is better invested in new equipment.
An honest company will tell you when your equipment is signaling you that it’s living on borrowed time.
It’s the responsibility of a legitimate company to lay out the advantages of repair vs. replacement.
Think of it this way: Recommending replacement over repair is OK. Not accepting your final decision, and pushing you after you’ve made up your mind, isn’t.
“They fixed it not too long ago. Now it’s not working again.”
Your heating/cooling system is a system of interrelated parts. When maintained properly, the system should serve you from 10-15 years on average. Often, when a major component fails in a newer system, repair is the best solution.
However, when a major component fails in an aging system, consider it a yellow flag that more trouble may be on the way.
Furthermore, repairing one failing component doesn’t guarantee that another component won’t fail—and soon.
Occasionally, a system may require a repair just to get the unit up and running to diagnose other unforeseen problems.
Lifestyle Comfort Solutions appreciates you, our clients, and we pledge to be your trusted partner in creating a home or workplace which is comfortable, safe, health, and energy efficient.
Lisa E. Crosley is President, Lifestyle Comfort Solutions. Lisa frequently puts heating and cooling products to work in her own home before she recommends them to her clients.