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According to Energy Saver, the US Department of Energy’s consumer resource on renewable technologies and energy-saving tips, approximately three-quarters of all US households have air conditioners. Installing a new air conditioning system or executing extensive air conditioning repairs can cost you thousands of dollars while also compromising the comfort of your Dallas, TX home.
While most air conditioners can be expected to serve for an average of 20 years, minor air conditioning repairs may be inevitable after a few years of service. However, the system’s lifespan depends on the frequency of significant repairs or retrofits, closeness to corrosive substances, the number of running hours daily, and how well-maintained the system is.
DIY or Hire a Professional for Routine Service?
Homeowners should consider various factors to ensure they’ve selected a professional and reliable air conditioning repair service provider, lest they suffer some devastating consequences. Firstly, choosing the wrong contractor guarantees a lack of timely services, especially when you need emergency AC repair.
Besides voiding factory warranties, working with an inexperienced AC technician could also result in poor initial installations, which could have a long-lasting negative impact on the efficiency of your home’s unit. Specifically, this could result in building code infractions and penalties as well as frequent system breakdowns, unsafe operation standards, and inflated energy bills.
To avoid such scenarios, you should consider the following factors to ensure that you’ve picked a knowledgeable and professional technician for the AC repair needs of your Dallas, TX household.
Understand Their Company’s Guarantee Policies
Before contracting a technician for your Dallas, TX, home’s air conditioning repair needs, you should ensure that you’ve inquired about and understood their company’s equipment and labor guarantees. It’s recommended that you request this information during the initial estimate visit before eventually choosing your preferred vendor.
Ideally, you should obtain adequate information regarding guarantees covering major and minor air conditioning repairs, AC upgrades or replacements, and ductwork repair and replacement.
Some homeowners in Dallas, TX, and beyond rarely expect errors on the part of an AC service provider, leaving them vulnerable to unexpected repair or replacement costs if these mistakes happen. Through guarantees and warranty programs, you may be rest assured that mistakes committed while on the job can neither hinder the project’s completion nor result in unprecedented out-of-pocket costs. Apart from technical errors, the policies also cover unexpected malfunctions in new air conditioning equipment.
As a homeowner, you should pay more attention to the company’s money-back guarantee and strive to understand the parameters surrounding the policy. Ensure that you’ve determined whether or not it expires and if you’ll get all or some of the money you spent on your project. With this knowledge in hand, you can easily modify or improve it through negotiations with your contractor.
Understand How Your AC Unit Works
The various types of air conditioning units available in the market can collectively be categorized under the broader spectrum of heating, cooling, and ventilation systems. As such, the average homeowner may lack a comprehensive understanding of their inner workings, but this shouldn’t deter them from seeking more knowledge on the unit’s essential components. By finding out the type of system in their Dallas, TX home and when it was last serviced, they stand a better chance of finding a reliable technician for their air conditioning repair needs.
In this context, homeowners should first determine if their Dallas, TX home utilizes an air conditioner or heat pump as its primary cooling system. Heat pumps comprise a single unit that can either cool or heat the air, while air conditioners include central, ductless, geothermal, split, and mini-split systems. In homes with split air conditioning systems, indoor temperatures get regulated with two units, one located inside and the other outside. The indoor component includes an evaporator coil strategically rested on top of a furnace.
On the other hand, the outdoor part features a myriad of electrical components and a compressor, condenser coil, and fan. However, other types of air conditioners feature the same details but with different packaging designs. Regardless of the make of your Dallas, TX home’s unit, ensure that you have enough knowledge of its type, manufacturer, model, model number, installation date, and last maintenance date before contracting an air conditioning repair service.
Moreover, since AC systems work collaboratively with ventilation units such as ductwork and air filters to improve air quality and circulation, you should keep abreast of the basic concepts surrounding ventilation equipment. In that case, strive to identify whether your system is mechanical or electrical. In mechanical systems, air filtration equipment catches pollutants and contains them while air filters in electrical ventilation units force pollutants to accumulate on an oppositely-charged collection surface.
Before deciding on your preferred air conditioning repair contractor, ensure that you’ve obtained significant insight on the type of filtration your home works with, when the filters were last changed, and when your home’s electrical system was serviced. Also, be sure to jot down when the ductwork was last cleaned and inspected for leaks.
Find Out More on Legal and Regulatory Compliance
As predetermined, an air conditioning system is arguably one of the notably costly investments on your property. Therefore, when choosing a technician to handle your air conditioning repair needs, ensure that you select one with the appropriate licensing credentials, which proves their competence and professionalism level.
The license allows a contracting company to obtain local or state permits, which authorize a particular heating and AC project. Nonetheless, state licensing acknowledges that the members of a specific air conditioning company have met all the training and experience requirements within that jurisdiction to obtain permits and deliver air conditioning services at a cost to consumers.
Permits are a prerequisite for any air conditioning repair, installation, or replacement job to proceed. The mandatory licenses ensure that your technician conducts their business per local codes, manufacturer specifications, and industry standards. Consequently, this guarantees quality solutions and safety code-compliance throughout the project. Additionally, the permits shield both you and your air conditioning repair company from incurring out-of-pocket expenses when something goes wrong.
In the State of Texas, you should select your preferred AC contractor from companies with licensing from the Texas Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors Advisory Board. For technicians to qualify for such a license, they must have at least four years of experience in the HVAC industry spanning over the last six years while under a licensed technician’s supervision. After that, they should pass an exam and display proof of insurance. The exam tests the artisan’s knowledge of all local and state building and mechanical codes, fuel codes, and manual J heat gain or loss calculations. To pass the exam, the technician should also demonstrate that they’re conversant with service and installation methods as well as safety compliance and electrical wiring and circuits.
With that in mind, you should always seek a licensed contractor’s services when undertaking air conditioning repair or installation projects.
Check for Certifications
Similar to licensing, the certification of an air conditioning service technician may vary from state to state. However, when looking for a competent service provider for all your air conditioning repair needs, you can check whether they have the North American Technical Excellence and HVAC Excellence Certifications as well as the EPA 608 Certification. Each of these credentials implies that the service technician has the knowledge and skills to meet HVAC service industry standards. Mainly, technicians with the HVAC Excellence Certification are specialists in various heating and air conditioning fields, including air conditioning repair and maintenance. On the other hand, the EPA 608 Certification is given to professionals who excel at servicing air conditioners or heating and cooling appliances that work with a refrigerant.
However, contractors receive the NATE accreditation after being fully-trained and assessed in HVAC systems, making it a pivotal certificate to focus on when looking for an AC service technician. It’s the only accepted certification for individual technicians and installers. The certificate comprises four categories under service and installation.
Aside from service and installation techniques, it also touches on core topics, namely customer etiquette, electrical circuits, and safety procedures, which the technicians learn about during the service and installation phase. The NATE certification program also requires participants to have at least 16 credit hours of continuing education every two years.
Given this information, you should prioritize checking if your air conditioning service technician has any of the above credentials, as they’re a symbol of professionalism and prowess in their fields.
Go for Full-Time Employees
While most factors you may encounter herein have much to do with your household, it’s equally important to pay attention to what may happen within the company of the technician you choose.
An air conditioning service company’s employees greatly influence the quality of the solutions provided. Many companies tend to subcontract the labor front based on shortcomings related to certification and training issues. Some companies subcontract their services mainly due to the cost. At times, the cost of training and certification and tools and health and workers’ compensation insurance may become too overwhelming for a company.
While the company may save some cash, the customer may end up tolerating substandard services. Technicians without the W2 employment form are generally not covered under the company’s license or liability and workers’ compensation insurance, which leaves the client inclined to incur unexpected financial setbacks if something goes amiss. This situation can be relatively easy to avoid once you know what to look for in a professional air conditioning repair service provider.
For instance, most AC service companies pay their employees using a piece-rate, otherwise known as a flat-rate system. In this payment module, the contractor receives a predetermined flat-rate based on the type of job to be conducted. Therefore, regardless of whether they work on your property within one hour or spend the entire day on your project, they still receive the same amount of pay. In that case, you should avoid technicians that rush through your project so they could get time to work on another.
Similarly, you should avoid technicians that subcontract their services. This is because they’re generally required to use their tools. As such, they may focus more on cost-cutting to ensure that the installer receives more than initially expected. In all scenarios, the quality of the work done on your expensive investment will always suffer. In that regard, it’d be advisable to find a technician who works for a reputable air conditioning service company on a full-time basis since they’ll be more inclined towards customer satisfaction and unit efficiency than artisans work with a piece-rate.
Work with References and Referrals
As aforementioned, air conditioning repair specialists are prone to making mistakes, so there are measures such as guarantees and warranties to help cushion the company and the homeowner against unexpected losses. It’s also the reason why you should verify the reliability of an air conditioning service technician before contracting them for a job. To do this, you can visit the company’s webpage, review its customers’ testimonials, and consider its technicians for selection if it’s evident that they’ve maintained a good relationship with their previous clients.
Suppose you’re skeptical about the credibility of the online testimonials. In that case, you can request the contractor to provide you with a list of its recent customers to ascertain that the company offered timely solutions with customer satisfaction in mind. If it’s still challenging to decide following that exercise, consult with fellow family members as well as your friends and neighbors to have a full picture of the reputation of the company’s services.
Apart from matters related to timeliness and professionalism, you can also inquire whether the company sticks to your budgetary stipulations. Additionally, when looking for a professional air conditioning repair company, ensure that you check out the negative reviews and how the customer support team responds to such remarks.
One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Dallas; A Professional Air Conditioning Repair Company near Dallas, TX
At One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Dallas, we pride ourselves on offering quality air conditioning repair and maintenance as well as installation around the Dallas, TX, community since 1988. With the help of our NATE-Certified technicians, we offer informed solutions to both emergency and non-emergency air conditioning problems. Feel free to contact us when you notice smoke coming from your unit or have systems that no longer turn on or produce cold air.