That is the question that every homeowner should ask themselves.  Many HVAC/Heating and Air Conditioning contractors are trying to lure customers in with a dirt-cheap
maintenance ($29 "tune-ups"), but what are homeowners really getting for their 29 dollars? Is a legitimate air conditioning or heating tune-up, as specified by equipment
manufacturers, being performed? Or is it more of a 'blow the dust off and see if there are any parts we can replace' kind of service that you're getting for that bargain
basement price?

First let’s look at it from a practical economics standpoint. The national HVAC industry average hourly pay for an ac/heating service technician is close to $25/hr. In major
metropolitan areas it can be $40-50/ hr or more but for arguments sake lets say $22 per hour. Now let's factor in the cost of State and/or Federal taxes, unemployment taxes,
benefits, etc. which are all associated with the employee. For this example we’ll use a 40% mark up. That takes us to $30.80/hr. We also have to add the overhead cost that
covers things like the cost of the van, auto & liability insurance, office/administrative costs, utilities, rent, etc. For the service department, this is conservatively 35-40%, and
often as much as 50% or more but let’s say 40% conservatively. That brings us from $30.80/ hr to $51.34/hr.

Now, a thorough maintenance, as recommend by air conditioning and heating manufacturers, it takes around 1.5 hrs per system on a cooling tune-up (if you wash the
condensing coil), and 30-45 minutes per system on a heating tune-up. Since we’re doing both tune-ups in a years’ time, we’ll say it takes on average 1 hour per system to
perform the maintenance.  We also have to factor in drive time. We’ll use 20 minutes for drive time, though many places see 30-45 minutes for drive time between calls. So,
if they’re doing a proper tune-up, at $29 with a cost to them of at least $51.34, they’re paying you!

So, how can heating and air conditioning repair companies afford to do this? Well, most likely one of two ways, with one being much more prevalent than the other.

One option is they are truly just trying to cover their costs and hope to get service work and equipment replacements from these maintenance customers. That used to be a
safe gamble, when the economy was good. But in today’s economy, where most of us need to stretch our dollars as far as we possibly can; many homeowners will shop
equipment replacements and even service work, even if they have a service contract with a certain company. It’s not guaranteed work anymore.

The other option, and unfortunately I believe the more prevalent of the two, is many companies don’t do a true tune-up; rather they clean up what you can see but mostly
check to see if there are any parts they can replace, often at an extremely inflated price. They figure since they were the cheapest price you could find for maintenance, you’re
not going to question their repair prices. And sadly, most often they are correct in this assumption.

We don’t want to trivialize having maintenance performed on your equipment;
it’s as necessary as changing the oil in your car, and it's even required by manufacturers to
keep your warranties valid. But if it’s not done properly, you’re wasting your money; even at $59. How would you feel if you went in for an oil change and they left your same oil
in the engine, took off your oil filter and just “wiped it off”, and tried to sell you a set of $40 wiper blades and a $30 air filter?  Well, unfortunately, that may be just what you are
getting when you sign up for a $29 tune up.  

While we do not offer a $29 tune up, we do offer a
first time maintenance for $59.  We offer this service with the hope that our clients will be so satisfied they will refer their
friends and family and help us to grow our business.  When you are ready for maintenance and you want true system maintenance performed by a licensed technician, give
us a call.
Copyright 2010-2011 Air-Flo/Erwood Heating and Air Conditioning  10530 72nd St - Suite 705  Largo, Florida  33777.  All Rights Reserved.

Why the 29 dollar A/C Tune up most likely not a 29 dollar A/C Tune Up.

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