RED FLAG #4 – MISLEADING MAINTENANCE PLANS
Have you ever seen these ads?
“$39 Heating Inspection!”
“$59 Cooling Tune-up!”
“$49.99 AC Service!”
“$69.99 Winter Heating Safety Check!”
“$129 Annual Maintenance Plan!”
Pretty confusing if you ask me. I mean, my profession is heating and cooling and I’m confused by all the different jargon out there. What’s the difference between the $59 cooling tune-up and the $49.99 AC service? I know I couldn’t even begin to guess the differences, but unfortunately consumers fall into the trap of thinking all these are the same and the only difference is the price. WRONG!!! Not all maintenance, tune-ups, service, inspections, and/or checks are created equally.
Let me be very clear on this point: regular-annual maintenance is CRITICAL for your A/C system. Failure to have maintenance is like never changing the oil in your car or never rotating the tires. Your system will fail sooner, run less efficiently every year and keep your home less comfortable due to neglect. Beyond that, 70-80% of all repairs could have been prevented with proper maintenance. Beyond that, failure to have proper annual maintenance may lead to voids in manufacturers warranties. Do not skimp on maintenance, but also don’t waste your money on insufficient and vague tune-ups, services or checks.
Follow these guidelines when selecting a heating and cooling contractor and a proper maintenance program:
- Get in writing what tasks and cleanings the company is going to perform as part of their maintenance program. Never allow someone to come out and do whatever they feel like that day. A quality company will have a detailed list of tasks they will provide you up front to make your decision. A good company will also provide you, after the service, with a fully filled out document stating every task they completed.
- Ask if the company has built there maintenance program based on any industry standards. Most will probably say they have based their program on “experience” and “our XYZ years in business.” This is unacceptable. A quality maintenance program will be based on set industry standards such as ACCA Standard 4, not whatever each heating and cooling feels like doing. At Hamstra, our Choice Service Club Gold Package meets all ACCA Standard 4 guidelines, which are very detailed and extensive.
- Proper record keeping is crucial. Is your maintenance company going to keep detailed and accurate records of all your service visits? If they care about your interests, they should. Manufacturers are beginning to require us to provide them with maintenance records before they will honor parts warranties. They are even beginning to ask for copies of all maintenance task sheets for each maintenance visit we have made. They want to see that the proper maintenance tasks were completed and were completed annually. Without proper records of maintenance, you may get stuck coming out of pocket for repairs that should have been under warranty.
Don’t get fooled into thinking all maintenance and /or service plans are created equal. They are not. Do some research and make sure you follow the guidelines above. You will not regret the extra time spent, as it will save you money over the long run.
Need ac repair or a new air conditioner installed? For prompt, professional help with all of your air conditioning, heating or ventilation needs, please contact Hamstra Heating & Cooling today at 520-629-9833.