Just like normal people, HVAC contractors, when doing some maintenance or repairs on customer’s Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, also make mistakes that lead to hurting their businesses or sometimes their customers. Let’s see what the common and the biggest mistakes are.
1. Lack of combustion safety knowledge. When your HVAC system releases carbon monoxide, your alarm would go off and you then start calling a contractor. When it comes to problems like this, contractors often go straight to the heat exchanger to determine if there are any cracks or damages that may cause the unit to release the gas. Although, there are times that they won’t find any yet, the carbon monoxide alarm would still go off. Contractors will then go to conclusions that the problem is not with the unit, rather the alarm. So it results to them changing the alarm’s batteries.
Most contractors don’t have enough knowledge about back drafting combustion appliances, resulting to them not even testing for it. Carbon monoxide is a gas that you can’t smell nor see and is very much fatal. If a contractor fails to check for flue gases or even do depressurization, the life of the customers are at risk.
2. Ignoring air flow and keeping attention on the box. Air flow is very important for HVAC systems to function properly. There are times that this specific part of the HVAC is being neglected. One important thing with this part is the size. If the size is too small, it would always affect the unit’s performance. Another thing is if it is too leaky. If ductworks have problems like these, even if it’s new, the ductwork would need to be entirely changed.
3. Forgetting to give information about how house conditions can improve the performance of the HVAC system. When contractors do the work on HVAC systems, they tend to ignore informing the customers how the space where they crawled into, walked at, are affecting the performance of the unit. They may be able to find the problem with the system and fix it but they forget how the external environment becomes a factor to the unit’s performance. It is best to let the customers know about the air-sealing work and the insulation especially that they do not include this in their line of work.
4. Not following ASHRAE 62.2. This is the code for following proper ventilation. Often times, contractors forget that HVAC has a letter V which stands for ventilation. They focus on heating and the cooling functions of the systems. This is because most complaints are regarding these two so contractors do not consider that tight homes also need ventilation in bathrooms and kitchens.
5. Things change. Homes change and HVAC system designs change. Most contractors would rely too much on their experience with previous systems or on how they have always done it, forgetting that the home that they’re currently working at and the system that they’re working on are totally different from what they fixed years ago. Any HVAC company relying on the same rule of thumb that it has been following for the last 50 or so years is certainly not giving any of their customers the service that they are paying for and the kind of service that they deserve.
6. Trying to get you hooked by low bidding. Contractors would always get low-bid work then it would end up with a poor quality work. When contractors do this, they would have to employ poorly trained technicians, and keep all their expenses as low as possible. This then results to that poor quality work and possibly more problems with your HVAC system in the future.
7. Not thinking of the house as a system. Sure, the HVAC is the problem and contractors should know all parts of it. But when they take the entire house as a system, they’d be able to understand how all things affect each one. If the failures in numbers 1, 2 and 4 are already checked, then number 3 would be a piece of cake. Not only that, you’d be able to resolve other problems that are caused by the house only because you look at it as a system.
In conclusion, if a contractor does one of the mistakes stated above then it would mean that business is hurt and so is the customer. If all of these are avoided though, there will be a guaranteed loyal customer, peace of mind, and of course greater profitability.