Hire the best contractor – 10 questions to ask

Woman holding paper with drawed question marks in front of her h

Whether you’re approaching the end of a current HVAC maintenance agreement or just exploring your vendor options, here are some tips for simplifying the process and setting yourself up for success.

When choosing a new HVAC service provider, it’s important to seek out the right one for your needs — and in this case, size does matter.

You don’t want to select a company where you’re easily lost in a sea of customers. At the same time, you don’t want a company that’s slow to respond in an emergency because they’re simply too small to have sufficient resources.

While it’s nice to have the same familiar service technician on each and every service call, it can also be risky. What if your go-to tech is on vacation, has an emergency or leaves the company? To eliminate this problem, Cottam’s service department is structured so there’s never just one technician who is intimately familiar with your system.

Use this questionnaire when interviewing potential HVAC maintenance vendors to see which one might be right for you:

  1. How long have you been in the HVAC industry?
  2. How many trucks does your company have on the road?
  3. How large is your contract base?
  4. What is your average response time in an emergency?
  5. What references can you provide that are similar to my type and size of business?
  6. What type of training do your technicians receive?
  7. How do you stay on top of the latest industry best practices?
  8. How much did your company invest in training last year?
  9. Do you have a process for checking a technician’s work?
  10. What process do you use for a seamless transition from our old vendor?

 

Cottam Heating and Air Conditioning is the leading heating and cooling company in City Island, New York City and Westchester.  If you have any questions please give us a call at (718) 885-3328. You can also check us out on Facebook or Twitter

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Protect your home after the storm!

winter sign

After that winter storm hits, you’ll want to inspect two key areas of your home to prevent any further damage from the ice and snow.

Roof tips

Long icicles hanging from your gutters are a warning sign of possible ice dams on your roof. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow from draining off the roof. This can cause serious roof damage.

Here’s how to deal with ice dams:

  1. Remove snow from the roof. There is a special tool for removing snow called a “roof rake.” Carefully pull it down the slope of the roof line. Never pull snow across the roof because you may damage the shingles.
  2. Chip away at the ice. For immediate action, you can chip away through the ice dam so that the water can flow through. Stop when you get close to the roofing.
  3. Call a professional. Removing an ice damcan be quite dangerous. A good place to start is with roofing contractors. Check the estimates and references of contractors in your area. Gutter cleaning companies may also offer this service.
  4. Properly ventilate and insulate the attic.The main cause of ice dams is an overly warm attic.

You should also know what not to do when dealing with ice dams:

  • Never walk on a snow-covered roof. Make sure you work from a ladder to access/fix the damage.
  • Do not install mechanical equipment or water heaters in attics.
  • Do not use salt or calcium chloride to melt snow off the roof. These chemicals are very corrosive. The runoff of these chemicals can also damage grass and plants.

Basement tips

Melting snow and ice can often cause flooding. Follow these tips to help keep water out of your basement:

  • Remove snow from basement stairwells, window wells and all walls.
  • Maintain sloped exterior grades away from your house.
  • Make sure your downspouts are clear.
  • Don’t pile snow up against the house.
  • If you have a sump pump, clean and test it.

Cottam Heating and Air Conditioning is the leading heating and cooling company in City Island, New York City and Westchester.  If you have any questions please give us a call at (718) 885-3328. You can also check us out on Facebook or Twitter