If the air and temperature circulating throughout your home is the symphony, then your HVAC system is the conductor. The ductwork, air conditioner, and heating elements all work harmoniously to create a comfortable living space, no matter the outdoor climate.
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Maintaining indoor air quality and keeping humidity regulated are crucial tasks your HVAC equipment is designed to optimize.
But what is it exactly that HVAC contractors do? In this article, we’ll break down some of the vital services these professionals offer and discuss when you should reach out to them for their expertise.
What Do HVAC Contractors or Technicians Do?
Generally speaking, most states classify HVAC contractors as those who run their own businesses servicing HVAC systems or who supervise HVAC technicians during site visits. These heating, ventilation, and air conditioning specialists perform a multitude of functions ranging from installation to repair.
They are also important contacts to have in your back pocket to summon whenever your systems need maintenance, which should be at least once a year to ensure they always run optimally. Sweating profusely in the summer months or freezing during the winter season is not something anyone wants to endure because their HVAC system is acting up.
Your HVAC system moves warm or cool air throughout your home through vents, ductwork, or, sometimes, radiant systems. HVAC contractors are trained in servicing these systems and have experience working with furnaces, heat pumps, boilers, and even refrigeration.
While some HVAC contractors may only service specific types of HVAC systems, others are trained and certified to work on various types. Every HVAC system is intricate, and in many states, an HVAC contractor must obtain a license to perform any maintenance.
To secure a license, many states require HVAC contractors to either have four years of active experience or a four-year degree from an accredited school with around 2,000 working hours under their belt in order to take the licensing exam.
Your HVAC system puts in a lot of work, day in and day out. Those hot summer months and harsh winters don’t give it much time to rest, so performing an inspection or tune-up at least once a year is highly recommended.
An HVAC contractor can perform an annual tune-up for your home and review your system’s refrigerant levels, wipe down your fans and vents, change air filters, and inspect the overall system to ensure things are operating as intended. While they’re checking all of your equipment, they can isolate any issues and tend to them before they get out of hand.
Contact your local HVAC company to see what kind of maintenance plans they offer. Performing yearly or bi-yearly maintenance will reduce the risk of unexpected breakdowns or high utility bills. It’s always a good idea to give your HVAC some TLC, but it’s especially important whenever you experience the following issues:
- Uneven cooling or heating
- Harsh noises emanating from your system
- High energy bills
Whether you just bought a house or are thinking about renovating your current home, you should always seek the help of a professional HVAC contractor to install cooling or heating systems. Over time, every home will need their HVAC equipment replaced or serviced—especially older homes that may be using outdated or insufficient systems.
Homeowners shouldn’t have any issues installing small, portable units in a section of their home on their own, but the major HVAC systems that are integrated with your air ducts or radiant heating systems need to be handled by a licensed HVAC contractor. Installing robust heating and cooling systems often requires permits and codes to ensure the safety and efficiency of your units.
HVAC systems require significant energy to operate, and if installed poorly, it could result in wasted energy and higher bills. In addition to the cost of your unit, be mindful of labor costs when budgeting for the installation of your new HVAC system.
The best way to avoid costly repairs to your HVAC system is to perform yearly maintenance. However, sometimes things happen, and your air conditioning or heating can fail without warning. When this happens, contact your local HVAC company to come in and assess the situation. They have the proper equipment and tools to isolate the problem.
Repair work on HVAC systems typically involves one of the following:
- Testing thermostats
- Tripped breakers
- Blower issues
- Electrical problems
- Ignition system or pilot light malfunction
- Cleaning or replacing dirty air filters
- Replacing supply lines
- Isolating the source of a leak
Since your HVAC system has many moving parts, often hidden from plain sight, it’s tough to notice a problem before it’s too late. Your local HVAC company will likely offer emergency repair services in addition to standard visits. Emergency repairs can be costly but can often be avoided through regular maintenance.
When To Contact an HVAC Contractor
When your HVAC system shows signs of distress, it’s time to reach out to your local HVAC company so they can address the problem before it escalates. If you’re installing a new HVAC system or experiencing a sudden breakdown, it’s best to contact an HVAC contractor to ensure everything is installed correctly or repaired in a timely manner.
HVAC contractors are specially trained to handle any issues that arise in your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Here is additional information about those sectors that HVAC contractors can service.
You may be surprised by how many ways our clever society has come up with to combat cold climates indoors. HVAC professionals are trained to perform work on all sorts of heating systems, including boilers, furnaces, and heat pumps. These heating systems can be run through natural gas, electricity, fuel oil, wood, solar energy, propane, or a combination of sources.
When your home heating system is experiencing uneven or weak heating or is releasing odd odors or strange sounds, you should reach out to your local HVAC expert to come in and inspect your unit. Your heating system can get very hot and uses complex parts that only a licensed professional should handle or repair.
When the air ducts, fans, and vents that distribute warm and cold air throughout your home become compromised, you could face problems with humidity and air quality. Many times, ventilation is an oversight, but maintaining a clean ventilation system is imperative for keeping the air quality of your space at its best and keeping mold and pests away.
Symptoms of a ventilation system issue could include bad smells or reactions to allergens in the air. An HVAC contractor can help you clear out blocked vents or ducts, add additional fans, and either clean or replace filters to improve your indoor air.
Most air conditioning units use a forced-air system and refrigerant to remove heat from indoor air and expel it outside. Since refrigerant is hazardous, the Environmental Protection Agency requires HVAC contractors to obtain an EPA 608 certification to work with this chemical. Therefore, calling your local HVAC company is necessary if you suspect any type of refrigerant leak.
If your home experiences a sudden loss of cool air or your energy bills suddenly spike, you should have a licensed HVAC professional come out to assess your unit. Understanding how your AC unit works is a good practice for any homeowner, in order to know when and how to approach any issues.
Tips for Hiring an HVAC Contractor
Like with other home projects, you should do a little legwork before hiring an HVAC contractor to work on your HVAC system. Here are a few tips to consider when it comes time to vet an HVAC professional to complete work in your home.
- Read local reviews about the company you are considering. You can check out reviews on sites like Google, Nextdoor, and Yelp or check out the company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau.
- When calling HVAC companies, be sure to inquire about their license status and certifications or specializations.
- Ask your local HVAC company about billing and warranties, and be sure they are bonded and insured.
Ongaro & Sons — Your HVAC Experts
Ongaro & Sons is a family-owned business in its fourth generation of operation. For over 90 years and counting, we have provided affordable heating solutions for the North Bay area, ensuring stability for our valued customers. You can always count on great prices and exceptional service when working with the HVAC specialists at Ongaro & Sons.
Our NATE-certified technicians are experienced industry veterans capable of maintaining and repairing any furnace, heat pump, or boiler system. We are a licensed state contractor with fully insured, qualified, and professional technicians dedicated to industry-leading heating solutions.
With decades of institutional knowledge and experience, our service technicians are among the most capable in the industry.
We’re committed to providing ongoing training and education opportunities, helping our technicians develop and learn new skills. As HVAC technologies continue advancing, we always work to bring our customers the best heating services and solutions.
If you have heating issues, contact Ongaro & Sons here or call us at 707-419-3135 today. Before beginning our work, we’ll investigate the cause of your issue and provide detailed quotes and recommendations. No matter the project, you’ll always know exactly what to expect and what you’ll pay.