As a property owner or manager, you may require the services of a contractor or handyman at some point. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they refer to professionals with different skills and areas of expertise. Knowing the difference between contractors and handymen can help you choose the right professional.
Contractors have licensed professionals with specific expertise in plumbing, electrical work, or HVAC installation and repair. They have the knowledge, training, and experience to handle complex projects and can provide warranties for their work. Contractors typically work on larger projects that require permits and inspections.
On the other hand, handypersons are skilled workers who can handle various tasks around the house, such as painting, minor repairs, and furniture assembly. They do not require a license, and their rates are usually lower than contractors. Handymen may have a different level of expertise than contractors. Still, they can be a cost-effective solution for smaller tasks.
In this article, we will delve deeper into the differences between contractors and handymen and explore the benefits and drawbacks of each. We will also provide insights on choosing the right professional for your needs.
The Pitfalls of Choosing Inexperienced Contractors for HVAC Repair or Replacement
We’ve all read the news that building and renovation costs seem to be at an all-time high. Demand for materials and labor is high, and supply chain challenges have continued to perpetuate. So, when property owners or managers need HVAC repair or replacement, a common inclination may be to hire the least expensive contractor to do the job to save money.
The first reaction many people might have is to use one of the subcontractors already on-site who may be familiar with doing HVAC work. The worker is already there, right? Or you might have a handyman or general type of contractor that knows a little about many repairs. It sounds like an easy and less expensive alternative, right? Do you think bringing in another company or certified HVAC contractor seems like an extra expense that could be avoided?
Know Your Options
That person who is already on your property, or the handyman you have relied on for many other types of projects in the past may be convenient, but by no means is he/she the right person for this type of work!
Hiring a NATE-certified air conditioning and heating installer often means they are the best in the business. North American Technician Excellence (NATE) is the main certification for technicians in the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) industry. If you need to hire an HVAC contractor, confirm that the technician working on your system is NATE-certified. If not, use this contractor Locator to find a NATE-recommended contractor.
Knowledge and Training Pay Off
If you need someone to work on your HVAC system, you want to know that that person has a thorough, working knowledge of your system or knows how to install a new system properly. NATE certifies technicians through written tests that HVAC industry experts create. These tests are designed to measure actual understanding of the systems HVAC technician may need to work on, not recall textbook facts.
Testing is thorough, ensuring that a technician who passes the certification courses knows how to diagnose, repair, and replace most HVAC systems in your local region. Like other technical professions, choosing a company that mandates their technicians to keep up with their professional training with continuing education classes and certifications can make a big difference in your service call. The result is that this decision saves money and potential future headaches of improper installation or system sizing.
What is NATE and Why Is It Important?
NATE certification is meant to show consumers that the technician they’ve hired is trained to the highest industry standards. When a contractor passes these nationally recognized tests developed and supported by the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning industry, NATE-certified technicians prove an authenticated knowledge of installing or maintaining today’s increasingly sophisticated heating and cooling systems. Consumers should have peace of mind that when hiring a NATE-certified technician, they are getting the best industry-trained installation and service for their heating and cooling system.
From a customer’s perspective, when using a NATE-certified technician, the benefits include:
- Lower utility bills through proper installation and maintenance
- Fewer callbacks, manufacturer, or parts warranty claims
- Efficient service
- The job is done right the first time
- Equipment that runs at peak efficiency
- Receiving advice from a knowledgeable, skilled, certified technician
Your handyman can’t possibly keep up!
Technology and trends in the HVAC industry are constantly changing. NATE certification is valid for five years. If technicians wish to get re-certified, they must complete 60 hours of continuing education or take the new, updated tests. Technicians who continue their education through these courses ensure they have up-to-date knowledge about the industry. Staying current on HVAC innovations is critical to keeping your units running at peak performance.
As of May 2021, more than 150 HVAC brands are reported in the North American market. Each manufacturer often creates nuances in their products that can make routine installation, repair, or maintenance trips a nightmare for technicians if they have not been properly trained. Most HVAC dealers may carry a select number of brands for new equipment installations, but many repairs cover a much larger range of brands that differ enough to confuse the unskilled or non-NATE-certified technician.
Don’t Gamble On Your Investment
HVAC manufacturers create specifications for installing or repairing their unique products properly. When doing this, technicians must adhere to manufacturer and industry standards, quality assurances, and procedures.
Why does this matter? Your HVAC system is a big financial and long-term investment and one of the most important home appliances you (or your customer) will own. The manufacturer’s product warranty may be at risk if improperly installed or repaired. This could mean you may be in the market for a new one if shoddy work is done.
If you are looking for savings, try to find savings in other areas. HVAC is not a do-it-yourself project, and no matter how good of a contractor you may have, if they don’t carry a license to do that work specifically, you are just throwing the dice.
HVAC Contractors Technology & Motili HVAC Solutions
It’s simple for facility managers to connect with contractors when they use Motili, and HVAC contractors no longer need to scramble to find steady work year-round. As a result, it’s now easier than ever to grow an HVAC contractor business with the Motili app.
Technology allows HVAC contractors to accept jobs from the app and clear communication with details about new jobs, service calls, and work orders. In addition, contractors using the Motili app can view and accept jobs as they become available for ongoing, consistent work. Since Motili averages more than 50,000 new system installs and more than 90,000 service work orders yearly, there is plenty of work to do.
How does it work?
Motili notifies contractors when a client needs service. Contractors choose which jobs to accept, but there’s no competition with other contractors once a position is taken. Motili provides the equipment, saving the contractor time and energy.