Q: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FREE ESTIMATE AND A SERVICE CALL CHARGE?
There is typically a good rule of thumb to understand if you are wondering if there will be a charge for a service call versus not being charged for a free estimate. Some companies will offer a “free” second opinion on service calls. However, one must be vigilant in making sure that parts are not recommended and replaced when unnecessary, so that company can recoup their costs in coming to your home. Usually the rule of thumb is if the service technician must take out his tools to diagnose your problem then a fee will apply. If a company comes to your home to offer a “free” estimate, most of the time this applies to the replacing of an old system or an upgrade to your current system, no actual tools are involved. 99% of the companies will offer a free estimate for installations, if they don’t then move on to the next one!
Q: WHY IS MAINTENANCE IMPORTANT?
Here are the top 10 reasons why:
10.) Helps units run at peak performance
9.) Helps reduce electricity bills
8.) Helps to find needed repairs before they actually cause trouble
7.) Extends unit life
6.) Reduces repair costs
5.) Your peace of mind
4.) Keeps units operating in a safe manner
3.) Fewer service calls<
2.) Less down time on those hot/cold days
And the #1 reason to have your units maintained…
1.) To help protect your manufacturer’s WARRANTY.
Q: WHY WAS I CHARGED SO MUCH FOR SERVICE, WHEN THE CALL ONLY REQUIRED 15 MINUTES?
This and similar questions about the cost of service are asked every day by concerned customers. What the customer may not realize is that the technician must earn nearly all of his income during the brief time he is in the home. By and large, the rest of his time is unproductive as far as income is concerned. That unproductive time can be traveling to and from the service calls, standing at parts warehouses waiting for parts, or showing up to a service call when no one was there to meet him. Actually the technician’s salary is a small part of the expense in making the call. His charge or the profit on the repair parts used must cover the cost of his training, service vehicle and its maintenance, his tools and test equipment, cost of the parts themselves, cost of maintaining an office with office personnel, lights, heating/cooling, telephone, advertising, rent, insurance, taxes and employee benefits. Some of these are what we call “hidden” costs. This accounts for the many varied rates that are seen from company to company. Some have more overhead than others therefore must charge more for their service. A good rule of thumb is to compare service call costs between 3 different companies before choosing one. Good service just “doesn’t” happen and good technicians aren’t just born! It takes a substantial capital investment and a host of other expenses. Also – cheaper isn’t always better, if you find a service company that you can TRUST, then it is worth the cost to have them as your servicing company.
Q: WHY DO I NEED TO CHANGE/CLEAN MY FILTERS?
The filter is one of the most important yet overlooked parts or your heating and cooling system. A filter needs to be changed MONTHLY. Dirt that builds up on a filter will eventually cause that filter to become less efficient, therefore allowing dirt and dust particles through to the evaporator coil. This will most always cut your cooling capacity, cut down on airflow, causes your system to run longer, increases the electric bill, and causes various odors. When this happens a call to your servicing company can lead to very expensive coil cleanings. The next major question is, “which filter do I buy, there are so many on the market?”. Take this test. Take a filter and some ordinary table salt. If you pour the salt on the filter and the salt seeps right through, then THROW THAT FILTER OUT! If salt goes through the filter, just imagine what dirt does! A pleated filter works much more efficient and can be purchased as “throw-away” or “washable”. Remember to change/clean filters MONTHLY!