Providing heating, ventilation and air conditioning is an integral part of any facilities managers role.
A buildings efficacy as a work space relies heavily on provision of proper heating and cooling for its human and often mechanical occupants. That’s why it’s so important that, as an FM, you have a knowledgeable and professional HVAC company ready to assist you should disaster strike.
Why then would you settle for a sub-par HVAC contractor? If your contractor is late to respond to emergency calls, provides an inadequate service or doesn’t understand your needs it’s probably time to make a switch. Although it can be daunting to make ‘the move’ it could be the best decision you’ve ever made. Of course, you do run the risk of signing on a contractor that’s just as incompetent or, god forbid, worse!
That’s where we come in. As an emergency HVAC contractor ourselves we know what is important to our FM clients and therefore what should be important to you. So read on and discover what questions to ask to ensure you’re next HVAC contractor is as good as us.
Do you have public liability insurance?
If the answer to this question is a no, end the conversation there. It’s a really, really bad idea to hire a contractor that isn’t properly insured. Public liability insurance protects yours or your clients’ property should your HVAC contractor cause any damage to it. Without it, should your contractor drop a chiller through your ceiling, you may have to foot the bill. Find out more about public liability insurance here.
Are your engineers certified?
Like many mechanical systems HVAC equipment is intricate and complicated. That’s why it is so important to make sure your HVAC contractor and their staff are properly certified. There are many certifications and accreditations out there that a UK HVAC contractor can acquire. A few that are worth a mention are the Gas Safe Register, Safe Contractor, Hire Association Europe, Construction Skills Certification Scheme, Eurovent and ISO accreditations. You can take a look at our accreditations page and click on the logos to find out more about them.
Can you provide references/case studies?
As with any service based company you deal with it’s important to have a look at some references or case studies. This allows you to cut through the sales guff and really find out how the contractor in question goes about their work. Ideally you should be able to talk to, or see case studies for, both recent work and long term customers. This means you will be able to get an idea for what their current work and long term service is like. We keep all our case studies on our blog, it may be a good idea to look somewhere similar if you want to do some research before contacting the company in question.
How are you going to solve my clients HVAC issues?
If the potential HVAC contractor is serious about doing work for you they should be answering this question without you asking it. There are a few particular questions they should be asking. What are the building occupancy numbers? What hours is the building in use? Do your clients have any current issues with their HVAC system? They should also want to do a site survey and load analysis on your building before talking about solid pricing.
Do you guarantee your work?
This one may seem obvious but it is still a question worth asking. All reputable and professional companies will guarantee their work for a minimum of one year. If they don’t, show them the door.
Does your equipment have a warranty?
Another obvious one but again, a question you can’t afford not to ask. If you are having new HVAC equipment installed ask about warranties before doing anything else. You don’t want to be stuck with a broken system that you have to fork out to repair or replace.
Can you help reduce my energy bill?
If you’re HVAC contractor isn’t sure about how to answer this question it should raise warning signs. Energy efficiency and money saving considerations show that a contractor has thought past just installing equipment. They can recommend installing new, more energy efficient equipment that’s perfectly calibrated for yours or your clients’ buildings. They could also suggest regular servicing and maintenance of an existing system to keep it running as efficiently as possible.
What is your emergency response like?
Disruption to business is a nightmare for you and your clients and will almost always mean loss of profit. If a HVAC contractor leaves you waiting around for hours on end with no sign of support or maintenance it can make you look unprofessional. Of course, sometimes a contractor can’t get a boiler or air conditioning system turned around quick enough to prevent impact on your business.
This is where All Seasons Hire come in. As a HVAC hire and rental company we specialise in providing temporary equipment as quickly and efficiently as possible. We have a nationwide depot network and huge team of fully qualified engineers that can be anywhere in the country within hours. We also pride ourselves on the speed of our quote to installation timelines.
Back that up with 24/7 maintenance cover and you can be sure that our temporary solution can ensure business as usual for your clients. We also provide HVAC contingency planning services to ensure disruption is as minimal as possible. For more information on our emergency hire solutions give us a call on 0800 082 8001 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In summary then we hope this checklist helps you find your perfect HVAC contractor. Whether it has convinced you to make a move or has helped you in your current search why not let us know? And of course, remember to keep us in mind next time you need some emergency assistance.
Written by Ryan Hill