What to Look for in a Top-Notch HVAC Technician
If you were to perform an internet search of “heating and air conditioning repair in Pittsburgh, PA,” you’d probably be floored by the number of results you would discover. There are literally dozens upon dozens of companies in the region ready and willing to help you with most HVAC issues you might be facing.
While there are many options to choose from, don’t be fooled into thinking that they’re all the same. The trick is to differentiate which of these heating and cooling experts are right for the job. To help you narrow down your search results, we’re going to describe nine qualities that would point to a top-notch technician.
Before proceeding, however, let’s all agree upon exactly what an HVAC technician does.
What does an HVAC technician do?
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems control the temperature, humidity, and air quality in residential and commercial buildings, ensuring their occupants’ comfort and a healthy environment. An HVAC technician installs, repairs, or maintains these systems. In some cases, an HVAC technician may specialize in either installation, repair, or maintenance.
So, just what qualities should you look for in an HVAC technician who comes into your home to install or repair cooling or heating equipment?
Licensing and certification
The underpinning of an outstanding HVAC technician is that they have a thorough understanding of how various HVAC systems work and what their controls are. Not only do they have a handle on how these systems work, but they’re also specialists in areas of disassembly, repair, assembly, and programming. This means they’ve been properly trained and have acquired formal credentials as a certificate, diploma, or degree.
If you employ someone who doesn’t have the necessary certifications or licenses, you can’t be sure that any installations, repairs, or inspections are achieved as they should be. In the long run, this will bring about headaches and loss of money. More importantly, your HVAC system needs to be maintained at all times by a skilled professional to guarantee it’s working safely and efficiently.
Pennsylvania does not have state requirements for HVAC licensing. However, HVAC technicians are required to apply for local certifications to perform specific jobs.
The scope of the HVAC job determines the type of certifications HVAC technicians are required to possess.
Applicants in Pennsylvania for the HVAC contractor certification must
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Possess at least four years of HVAC experience
- Possess general liability insurance
- Receive a passing grade on the International Code Council Certification exam
- Be at least 18 years old
On the other hand, HVAC technicians who have earned NATE certification come to the job with proof that they meet industry standards. NATE certification is among the most common and most notable of the available HVAC technician certifications. In fact, the NATE certification is the only nationwide certification program accepted by the entire heating, ventilation, and air conditioning industry.
Short for North American Technician Excellence, the NATE program, funded by the HVAC industry, furnishes wide-ranging testing to corroborate the technical knowledge and hands-on mechanical skills of HVAC techs. HVAC contractors who hire NATE-certified techs are investing in long-term employees with a high level of professionalism and competence.
Making sure our technicians achieve NATE certification is a top priority with J&A South Park. When our employees are fully comfortable in their knowledge and skills, we know they can perform at their best.
Knowledge and technical skills
HVAC equipment can be quite complex, tying into many parts of your home. An experienced technician needs to know more than just air conditioners and furnaces. A great HVAC technician should have vast know-how on the basics of hot water heating, steam heating, water cooling, and other appliances.
Moreover, HVAC technicians may have to troubleshoot mechanical parts, ductwork, plumbing, thermostats, sensors, or fuel sources. Bottom line: a good technician should be able to check an HVAC system and swiftly find the cause of the problem.
They should also understand technical data, including specifications, schematics, ladder logic, and common building blueprints.
If you notice, some technicians can easily figure out the main problem of your HVAC unit while others can’t. An expert can evaluate what the unit needs and recommend repairs for it.
If you want to test how knowledgeable the technician is, ask questions about your unit. Their ability to answer and explain such things are keys to determining how broad their HVAC knowledge is.
One more thing – while there is nothing wrong with letting someone who has only recently entered the industry work on your HVAC unit, they should be accompanied at all times by someone who has plenty of experience in the field. In this way, you can rest assured knowing that everything will be handled correctly the first time.
Yes, the technician in your home should definitely be knowledgeable, but what should really stand out is their ability to explain what is wrong with your system or what will need to be done to fix it in terms that are easy to understand. This leads us to our next quality: communication skills.
Good communication skills
Communication is key in any relationship, and the one between you and the HVAC technician is no different.
A professional HVAC technician needs to maintain a direct dialogue with customers to keep them up-to-date at every step.
This type of technician knows how to explain what needs to be fixed, minus the technical jargon. They’re always open to questions at any point and answer them in clear-cut language. And you certainly want someone who answers all the follow-up questions you might have. Of course, they’re also happy to instruct homeowners in simple DIY maintenance tasks such as air filter replacement.
After all, who doesn’t want to deal with an HVAC professional who can communicate effectively orally and in writing. Ask yourself, can they explain problems and maintenance issues in a way that makes clear sense to you? Do they take the time and effort to keep you informed about appointments and work in progress? Are their proposals, reports, and work orders clear, detailed, and accurate?
Any HVAC technician who deals directly with customers must have the patience, empathy, and simple good manners needed to work with people who may be irritated and frustrated.
This means that before the job begins, they need to collect information on the customer’s problems and understand what they want from their heating and cooling system. Once the job is underway, the HVAC technician should have the knowledge to explain possible solutions and the pros and cons of each in a non-technical manner that any homeowner can understand.
From the very first phone call to the collection of payment, your HVAC technician should be kind and respectful. With an emphasis on customer satisfaction, you’ll know that the tech stands by their work and that you’ll be happy with the services provided.
At J&A South Park, we are customer-focused first!
We offer discounts, honor our coupons, and make financing options available. We even provide a Premier Maintenance Program at a low rate to keep your HVAC, plumbing, and electric maintenance up to date and help you avoid potentially costly repairs and replacements in the future.
Without our focus on providing exceptional customer service, we wouldn’t be the same company we are today. You could make an argument that perhaps the most important customer-centered skill is patience!
The dictionary defines” patience” as the capacity to accept or tolerate delay or trouble without getting upset.
Let’s face it. Some problems can stump even the most experienced HVAC technicians. In addition, solving a difficult situation with a concerned homeowner or business owner looking over the shoulder can be stressful.
However, a professional HVAC technician doesn’t throw a tantrum when frustrated. When faced with a difficult problem, your technician should stay composed and patiently try various solutions to correct the problem.
Dependability and trustworthiness
The last thing you want is when a service tech comes to your house, and you feel like you are being sold a solution you’re not sure you even need. It’s important that your HVAC tech is honest with you about the problem as well as the solution.
Steer clear of anyone who won’t provide up-front pricing. No one likes to be hoodwinked. An honest technician will provide a written estimate before they begin work to ensure that you know exactly what their HVAC services will cost.
Moreover, if they tell you the replacement cost amount, the bill shouldn’t include any extras or hidden fees. You’ll be grateful that your HVAC tech is not just winging it – you’re spending your hard-earned money for high-quality installations or repairs. You can’t put a price on this.
A good HVAC tech is also dependable. They have good time management skills, showing up on time to an appointment. They are reliable and follow-through, spending an appropriate amount of time performing a service and talking you through the issue.
HVAC techs need this skill-set to help ensure that the appropriate tools and parts are available whenever the house call is made. Most importantly, the customer does not have to reschedule the appointment to another time.
Organizational skills will also help the technician to get a good idea of the system and the work they are about to perform even before making the house call.
Problem-solving and trouble-shooting skills
Sherlock Holmes enjoyed a successful career because he had an uncanny ability to solve a problem when others could not. The best HVAC technicians have that same sort of sixth sense – the ability to look at a situation and get to the root of the problem even when it might not be obvious.
A great technician also pays attention to detail. They go through the assigned procedure without skipping any steps to ensure the job is carefully completed with the absolute best possible solution. They will also be able to maintain accurate records of each visit, the work performed, and any equipment used.
Places importance on safety standards and procedures
It’s absolutely vital that HVAC technicians use preventative safety measures to ensure their own safety, as well as the safety of the people they serve. Techs must understand and apply safety procedures for working in various conditions such as heights and confined spaces.
A good technician takes all the necessary precautions against the safety hazards associated with HVAC equipment, including the safe handling of refrigerants, preventing carbon monoxide leaks, and poor indoor air quality resulting from mold in air conditioners and ducts. They also follow industry practices to prevent accidents.
At J&A South Park, company leadership is expected to set the tone and importance of following safety procedures. Likewise, technicians are expected to understand the reason for the procedures and the importance of following them at all times.
Regular training and education help our HVAC technicians feel confident they can follow these procedures, keeping themselves and customers safe on the job each and every day.
Some final thoughts
One proven way to know you have employed a top-notch HVAC technician is to look for a company with a reputation for hiring such techs. At J&A South Park, our professional technicians have the necessary patience, knowledge, training, and certifications to help you with all your heating and cooling installation, service, and maintenance needs.
Above all, we pride ourselves as experts in customer satisfaction.
To ensure we consistently meet expectations, we’ve created programs that reward our customers for their feedback and continued business such as our Satisfaction Survey and more!
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Visit here: https://jandahvac.com/