Premier HVAC companies like Summit Heating & AC train their technicians to keep their clients informed about the inspection, diagnosis, and repair of their heating systems. Ensuring that a customer is educated about the problems and the repairs builds trust and gives them confidence in their decisions. But homeowners do not need to wait to be informed. In fact, we recommend being proactive and asking whatever questions come to mind. Below, we explore 10 questions that you should ask your HVAC repair technician after the job has been completed and before he or she leaves your house.
1. What Were the Specific Problems?
Your technician should explain the issues that require repair, explore your options, and help you make choices prior to moving beyond the diagnostics phase. That said, your technician will have a much more accurate and complete picture of the problems after the unit has been cleaned and repaired. Ask the technician about where the issues originated. The answers will be quite different if, for instance, you have a heat pump or hydronic heating system as opposed to a furnace. In addition, although you needed a heating repair, the problem may not have been specific to the heat exchanger, for example. It may have originated in the blower or in some other aspect of the air handler.
2. May I See the Photographs of the Damage and Repairs?
It is common practice these days for a repair technician to photograph before-and-after images of the repair. Every technician has a cellphone with a camera, so this is quite easy to do and just another way to provide customers with peace of mind. This step is particularly important if you have hired a new company and not yet built trust and rapport with them. But even if you have dealt with a company for years and trust them completely, it is a good idea to visualize the problem and the correction.
3. Why Did These Problems Occur?
Understanding why this issue arose may help you avoid it in the future. Sometimes, the answer is as simple as wear and tear. There are moving parts in every heating system. Wear and tear is expected and unavoidable. Nevertheless, you can deal with that deterioration before it manifests into a problem that requires a repair. If the issues were more significant, it helps to understand how the system got to that point. Another reason seasonal maintenance is highly recommended is that technicians can identify minor issues before they result in major problems. But it is worth noting that maintenance is not a guarantee. Equipment failures happen, and perhaps there was nothing that you could do to avoid it.
4. Which Solutions Solved the Problems?
It also helps to understand how the technician solved the problem. Our technicians are quite skilled at taking what can be a complex HVAC fix and explaining it in a way that is useful for homeowners. Was a part just worn-out or did it break prematurely? Was the part defective? Is this problem covered by my warranty or could it have been if I opted for an extended warranty or other coverage?
5. What Could I Have Done to Avoid These Problems?
This is arguably the most important question that you can ask your technician after a repair has been completed. As mentioned earlier, sometimes heating failures happen at no fault to you. However, many heating repairs are avoidable, and if that is the case, it is important to understand the steps you can take to avoid this expense again in the future. If you do not schedule seasonal maintenance of your heating system, then that will be the answer more often than not. Heating maintenance seems like just an additional expense, but many homeowners undervalue the difference it can make in lowering month-to-month costs and helping to stave off expensive repairs.
6. Is the Repair a Long-Term Fix?
This is one of those questions that you will want to ask twice: once while making decisions on how to proceed, and then again after the repair has been completed. Generally, short-term fixes should be avoided. A worthwhile repair is a solution that you can count on and helps to extend the lifespan of your equipment. But that is not always possible. Perhaps you lacked the budget for the ideal solution, and having an idea of how long this fix will last should help in saving for the next step.
7. When Should I Have the System Serviced Again?
The general rule is to have your heating system serviced in the fall prior to heating your home. Ideally, a trusted heating technician is the first person to turn on your furnace or other heating system each year. In many cases, your technician will recommend that seasonal tune-up for your next appointment. For some repairs, it may be necessary for your technician to perform a follow-up in order to ensure that everything is running well. This can be particularly true if your system is on its last leg but you are months away from saving the budget you need. Quick checkups can help you reach that finish line.
8. Are There Any Precautions You Recommend Moving Forward?
This question is about understanding the steps that you can take as a homeowner to avoid heating problems and help your system be as efficient as possible. A common problem is a homeowner swapping out their air filters every three months because that is the general rule. But in many homes, including those with dogs and cats, a much more frequent schedule is required. We generally recommend checking them each month and swapping them out when there is visual dust accumulation.
9. How Much Longer Will the System Last?
Modern furnaces are expected to last at least 15 years. Many furnaces can last 20 years or even longer with routine maintenance. Ask your technician to estimate how long your unit will last, but be mindful that this is just an estimate. Beyond the 10-year mark, it is difficult to estimate with precision. It at least provides you with a general idea so that you can begin budgeting for a new unit if necessary.
10. Would I Save Money by Replacing My System Now?
It is understandable that homeowners have the natural inclination to get as much out of their current heating system as possible, but this is not usually the best financial approach in the long run. If a system is already 12 years old or older and no longer efficient, then it is very likely that you could save money over the next 12 years by investing in a newer and more efficient solution.
Your Local Heating Repair Specialists in Denver
Summit Heating & AC has locations in Littleton and Parker and provides services throughout the Denver metro area. Homeowners in this region have been counting on us for professional heating repairs for more than 20 years. Our company installs, maintains, and repairs all types of heating and cooling equipment and has NATE-certified technicians. Our team also includes certified plumbers who install and repair water heaters, and our indoor air quality experts can help you assess and improve air quality in your home and install air purifiers and other IAQ equipment. Call us today to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment!