Most people have had a lot of exposure to the acronym “HVAC” yet not many could tell you what it actually stands for (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning in case you’re wondering). By the same token HVAC contractors are relied upon to keep us cool in the summer and cosy warm all winter long yet few people truly understand what they do and, more distressingly, a number of myths and misconceptions continue to dog these highly trained, hard-working professionals. In this post we’ll take a look at some of the most common HVAC misconceptions and try to put them to rest.
Hot Misconceptions and Cold Facts About the HVAC Contractor
HVAC contractors are some of the hardest working people in the Toronto building trades but they’re often the victims of popular misconceptions that swirl around the work they do. Misconceptions such as:
● All HVAC contractors are rip-off artists: The fact that few people have any idea what an HVAC contractor does leaves these talented professionals open to suspicion from those who wouldn’t know the difference between HSPF and CFM. They may need to do dozens of little things to your furnace during an annual check to make sure it’s running properly. Yet it’s these little things that tend to make some people believe that they (the HVAC tech) are making things up as they go along. They’re not. Everything your HVAC technician does or bills you for can be easily researched on the web. Try it next time you’re curious or want to know more about how your home’s HVAC system works.
● You don’t need any special qualifications to do HVAC work: Most HVAC technicians will attend trade school while serving lengthy apprenticeships that last anywhere from 3 – 5 years. Beyond that they will need to be licensed to work in most parts of the country and they also need special training and certification to handle the refrigerants associated with air conditioning units. Most also attend supplementary classes in order to stay up to date with advances in technology and many have advanced certifications in other, related lines of work. In addition any good HVAC contractor will also possess:
a. Natural mechanical ability.
b. A detail oriented personality.
c. Good time management skills.
d. A high degree of analytical skill.
e. A patient, methodical approach to their work.
● HVAC service contracts are a waste of time: This probably falls under the rubric of people thinking every HVAC contractor in Toronto is out to rip them off but it’s a big enough issue on its own that it merits its own bullet on the bullet list. There are a couple of things to know about HVAC service contracts:
1. If you treat your HVAC system like it’s indestructible and never have it serviced you will pay dearly in the long run. You can depend on it.
2. If you check the fine print on your furnace warranty you’ll more than likely see that if you don’t have it serviced by a qualified professional on a regular basis the warranties associated with various parts will be void.
Unlike carpentry or stone masonry the HVAC industry as we know today it is less than a hundred years old. Maybe because it’s the new kid on the building trade block it tends to attract suspicion and misunderstanding. Whatever the cause the HVAC contractor doesn’t deserve the bad rap they sometimes get. Instead they should be praised for delivering us the modern, climate controlled world in which we live and which few of us today could imagine living without.
For the record:
HSPF = Heating Seasonal Performance Factor
CFM = Cubic Feet per Minute