You work hard for your money. So when you need any type of work done to your home, you want to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. Obviously, you don’t want to overpay for a service, but you also don’t necessarily want to go with the lowest estimate because it may be poor-quality work that will cost you more in the long run.
If you get quotes from different companies for heating and cooling service, it’s important to understand what’s included (and what’s not) in the contract. Here are the most common factors that affect the price of HVAC service.
- Preventative versus repair service – Inspecting and performing maintenance tasks on an HVAC system is simpler and cheaper then diagnosing and repairing a broken unit. Preventative appointments typically require less labor and fewer materials. They can also be scheduled well ahead of time and not be an “emergency” visit because a home or business is without heat in the winter. Any way you look at it, keeping your system tuned up is a good investment compared to waiting for a problem to pop up.
- Scope of maintenance – When comparing maintenance contracts, in particular, pay attention to what is included in the service. If you get a quote that is too good to be true, it probably is because the company is only performing a few, simple tasks like replacing the filter and checking the belts. A complete preventative program should cover all areas of the system, including coils, motor, valves, pilot light, electrical system, ducts or pipes, control unit, and more.
- Complexity and size of the system – Every building and HVAC system are unique, so it’s hard to assign a rate to any repair until the technician can see what he or she is working with. Some large businesses may have multiple units that need to be serviced. Residential units can be relatively simple while commercial systems can have multiple compressors and advanced electrical connections. In general, the larger or more complex the system, the more labor will be required, which will increase the service price.
- Age and condition of the equipment – Older units are usually more expensive to maintain or repair because they need more attention and need replacement parts more frequently. When you have an older unit, you should weigh the costs of extra service and higher energy use compared to investing in a new, more efficient system.
- Type of equipment – How a system is designed and installed in the building can affect the price. For example, is the unit self-contained and easy to access, or will the technician need to spend time getting to components that are tucked away in a crawl space or concealed behind walls?
- Distance and service area – If a company has to travel far to reach your home or business, that will usually increase the price, especially if it’s a large project that will require multiple days and trips. In this case, you may be better off finding a local company that has a wide service area.
When shopping around for HVAC service, getting a deal is nice – but not at the sacrifice of quality work. By understanding how service contracts are written, you can make sure you’re making the smartest choice and getting the best value for your hard-earned money.
HVAC service in Fredricksburg
At Robert B. Payne, Inc., we’ve been providing trusted service to the Fredricksburg area since 1930. We are here to help with all your heating and cooling needs. To schedule an appointment, call us at 540-373-5876.