Building owners manage the enormous job of maintaining complex HVAC systems to keep them running efficiently for equipment lifetime. However, even with a professional, trained mechanical team, it can be necessary to hire outside service technicians. How can building owners ensure they ask the right questions to hire the best technician or company for the job?
References. It seems like a no-brainer to ask for professional contacts, but you’d be surprised how many people hire outside service technicians without asking for even one name from the contractor. If you have specific equipment problems, like a malfunctioning chiller or condensing boiler, be sure to ask for references for those equipment types. Additionally, it’s essential to dig a little deeper. Ask mechanical contractors for a list of the last five projects and contact information for each. You’ll surely get a sample of the favored references and regular customers like you. Does your company require background checks for employees? Ask prospective contractors if they do as well. Thorough reference checks can help ensure that you work with a dependable mechanical contractor.
Experience level. How long has the company been in business? How experienced are the technicians? If the contractor sends a less-experienced technician to work on your project, will their work be checked, or do they have quick access to a more seasoned colleague? Commercial HVAC systems can be complicated. Does your prospective contractor have techs with some factory training or contacts at the manufacturer to assist with troubleshooting if necessary?
Problem-solving. How will the contractor assess your current HVAC system needs? Do they have a proven method of troubleshooting problems? Do they recommend ongoing system maintenance and have service agreement contracts to support that?
Owner training. Find out if the commercial HVAC contractor has classes and/or on-site training available for your staff technicians. If not, do they have access to manufacturer training so that your team can get the training they need to troubleshoot and service your HVAC equipment?
Access to replacement equipment. All mechanical equipment has a lifespan no matter how well you service and maintain your equipment. Ask HVAC contractors if they have any recommendations to upgrade and/or replace worn-out equipment. At some point in your building’s lifecycle, it becomes more costly to operate old equipment than to invest in newer, potentially more energy-efficient equipment. Ask about manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedules if you use the HVAC contractor to find and replace aging equipment.
Today’s labor shortages and complex commercial HVAC equipment systems may mean that you really need to invest in a long-term partnership with a local mechanical contractor. Finding a contractor partner you can trust will help ensure that your equipment operates effectively and efficiently for many years to come. If you need to find a local contractor who can help, please visit the Hoffman Mechanical Solutions website for a list of our locations.