What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a HVAC technician during the COVID-19 pandemic?
To set up a safe consultation or appointment with an HVAC technician during the COVID-19 pandemic, start by comparing technicians in your area in an online search. Message or call technicians to ask whether they can perform a consultation over the phone or even over a video call. This way, they can assess the problem without increasing the risk of virus transmission by visiting your house.
If it turns out the service is essential, you’ll need to follow CDC guidelines as well as local government guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety.
Currently, governments on both the federal and local levels are updating guidelines on what qualifies as an essential service. To see whether an HVAC technician is considered an essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic, check your city or state’s government website.
For federal guidelines, check CISA’s Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19 page, which identifies 16 critical infrastructure sectors during the crisis. But note that not all jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.
If you decide to hire a technician for an HVAC repair or installation project, practice current social distancing guidelines. This may require remaining outside while the technician works or ensuring the technician can work in a sectioned-off area or outbuilding.
Comply with social distancing guidelines while the technician is performing work. Do not make physical contact with technicians, maintain at least 6 feet of distance between you at all times, sanitize all involved spaces and surface and pay using a digital platform instead of cash or a check.
The use of digital payment platforms -- like Google Pay, PayPal, Zelle, Venmo and Square Cash -- is common among air conditioning technicians. Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic is improving the adoption of these platforms as a means of helping social distancing.
As you compare local air conditioning technicians online, contact them to see if they’ll accept digital payments. Also, discuss strategies for completing the job while complying with safety guidelines for reducing the risk of exposure.
Because most HVAC systems are located in the home, it’s likely that an HVAC technician would need to enter yours when working on the projects. However, there might be exceptions. Some HVAC systems are located in garages or in areas of the house that are sectioned off. During the consultation, ask your technician if they'll need to enter your home.
When you contact local technicians, ask if they’ll perform a video call in place of a traditional consultation. Be sure to send all materials like photos and documents digitally, and comply with all relevant guidelines.
Because HVAC technicians need to be physically present to do their work, they have not conventionally offered remote or virtual services. However, with the importance of social distancing due to COVID-19, the need for remote capabilities is greater than ever. If you come across a profile that states the HVAC technician or AC professional is offering remote services, message the pro to find out what those services include.
Consult with your technician to see if the technician will be able to perform a video call consultation. You can find local technicians near you by searching online.