From 2001 to 2010, about 28,000 hospitalizations in 20 US states occurred due to heat illnesses. Many of these took the form of minor heat cramps and moderate heat exhaustion. Unfortunately, many others led to deadly heat strokes.
By contrast, between 39 to 56 million flu illnesses occurred in the US from October 2019 to April 2020 alone. As you can imagine, many of these are a result of exposure to low temperatures.
That’s why if your cooling and heating system breaks down, you need to get it fixed right away. This way, you can reduce your risks of developing weather-related health conditions.
To that end, we’ve come up with this guide on how to find a reliable HVAC company to come to your rescue ASAP. Read on to know what exactly to do if your heating and cooling systems stop working in the middle of the night.
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Safety First: Turn Off Your HVAC System’s Power Supply
According to Arundel Cooling and Heating, faulty HVAC systems can cause water damage. This can happen if the air conditioner “freezes” up and forms ice on its evaporator coils. The more ice that thaws, the more water that can collect in and overflow from the drain pan.
A frozen AC can shut down without warning, as the ice build-up can lead to an overheating motor. Also, keep in mind that electricity and water never mix, and this could happen in an iced-up AC. So, if your air conditioner suddenly stops working, it’s best to turn off its power supply first.
You should do the same if your boiler or furnace also stops blowing warm air into your home. A faulty heater may not cause water damage, but it can fill your house with dangerous gases. If you use a gas heater, there should be a red switch there that lets you completely turn off the system.
These steps are for your safety, so be sure to do them prior to calling an HVAC repair company.
Availability of Emergency or 24/7 Services
The US EPA says that the use of ACs can greatly reduce the risks of heat illnesses. The agency even goes as far as to say that ACs are among the best protections against heat-related deaths.
Home heating devices, by contrast, can help prevent illnesses caused by low temperatures. The most minor of these include colds and chills.
Note, however, that the longer the exposure to cold is, the higher the risk of hypothermia. This is a deadly condition, with thousands of Americans succumbing to it every year.
As you can see, it’s not a good idea to put off repairing a non-working home heating and cooling system. Especially not if you live in an area where the temperatures rise or drop to dangerous levels. Excessively high temperatures often occur at the peak of the day, while low temps happen at night.
So, if your HVAC system suddenly breaks down, the first thing to look for is an HVAC company that operates 24/7. At the very least, they should provide emergency heating and cooling repair. This way, you can have your heater or AC fixed whatever time of the day it may be.
No Additional Cost for Emergency Service Calls
Many emergency services are quite infamous for their higher-than-normal rates. After all, most of these appointments warrant work outside of normal business hours.
Fortunately, reputable HVAC companies now offer the same rates for their emergency services. Meaning, you don’t have to worry about paying extra fees for having a tech work on your heater or AC in the dead of night. You also won’t get charged higher rates for service calls during weekends or holidays.
Not all HVAC companies offer these, though, so be sure to ask first. This way, you won’t end up in shock when you see your repair bill.
Licensed and Registered in Your State and City
Not all states require HVAC professionals to carry an industry license. However, most states require service providers to carry a business license and registration. These are documents indicating that a business can legally operate in your state.
Moreover, these legal requirements ensure that consumers are dealing with a legit entity.
So before you allow an HVAC repair technician into your home, be sure to check for these documents first. They should provide you a copy of all these without asking any questions.
One more thing: when the repair tech arrives at your property, ask for an ID. Law enforcers in the US say that there’s been a rise in criminals posing as professionals. Some even claimed to be CDC experts but were actually burglars.
Most states that require business licenses also mandate such businesses to carry insurance. These include various types of liability coverage, and in most cases, workers’ compensation.
Liability insurance protects you, the customer, against damages to your property. Let’s say that an accident occurs during the HVAC repair job, and it ends up damaging your carpets. In this case, the insured HVAC company will then pay to repair or replace your carpets.
Workers’ compensation, on the other hand, protects the HVAC company’s employees. However, it also benefits you as the client. If a tech has workers’ comp, you won’t end up paying the costs to treat any injury that a technician sustains on the job.
Go Local When Choosing a Cooling and Heating Repair Company
It’s best to hire a local HVAC service provider that operates within your city. This helps you make sure that they can deliver the prompt or urgent services you require. Plus, if you go local, you can easily verify if they are a licensed and registered entity in your area.
In addition, going local makes it easier to get in touch with the company if you have a complaint. It’ll take them less time to pay your home another visit if there’s an issue with the initial repair job.
It’s also easier to confirm if a local HVAC repair company is reliable and reputable. Seeing as they operate within your neighborhood, people you trust may be able to vouch for them. At the same time, it’s also easier to verify if a local service provider has a not-so-stellar reputation.
Backs Work With Customer Satisfaction and Service Guarantees
A work guarantee is a written document that protects consumers against inferior service. It’s an official document that assures consumers they will receive exceptional service. It’s a vital proof that a company is confident of the high-quality services they deliver.
Suppose that your heater or AC breaks down again a few days after a technician fixed it. If the company gave you a work guarantee, then you’re free to call them and tell them about the issue. The guarantee you received ensures that another tech will fix your HVAC unit at no extra cost to you.
Prompt Response to Service Inquiries
Just because an HVAC company offers 24/7 services doesn’t mean they can take your call right away. If they don’t respond immediately to your calls, take that as a sign they can’t get to your home as soon as you need them.
If a representative does answer your phone call, listen closely to how they speak with you. Take note of how courteous and polite they are, or if they talk in an abrupt, almost disrespectful manner. Keep in mind that a person’s soft skills can indicate how they’ll treat you and your HVAC system.
Health and Safety Protocols
With the ongoing health crisis, disinfection measures have become even more vital. As such, the most reliable HVAC companies now have more stringent safety protocols. Be sure to ask each service provider you contact about these measures they take.
At the very least, the technicians should disinfect themselves before entering your house. They should also do the same on all tools, equipment, and supplies they’ll bring inside your home. They should wear facial masks, face guards, gloves, and medical shoe covers.
Once inside your home, the technicians should disinfect the entire work area first. You can also expect them to ask you to maintain proper social distancing. If feasible, they may ask you to stay in another room while they work on your HVAC system.
After the job, the techs will then disinfect your heating and cooling system. They will clean up and also sanitize the work site as well as everything they used while working. Once outside your home, they will disinfect themselves once more.
Keep Safe and Sane by Choosing the Right HVAC Company
There you have it, your ultimate guide on how to find and choose a cooling and heating company you can rely on. So long as you follow the tips in this guide, you’re likely to locate a reputable HVAC service near you.
The most important thing is not to delay having your heater or AC fixed. This is especially true if you expect extreme heat or cold in the following days.
Ready for more home improvement and repair guides like this? Feel free to check out our site’s many other useful and informative blog posts then!