There are around 83 million owner-occupied homes in America. Some things you can find in virtually every last one of them are major appliances.
After all, it’s very difficult for any household to get by without things like refrigerators, ranges, ovens, clothes washers, and dryers. Unfortunately, those appliances don’t last forever. At some point, an essential appliance in your home will need essential repairs.
The question at that point is how to find the right appliance repair company. If you’ve had an appliance acting up or just want a headstart on the process, keep reading for some key tips on finding the right repair company.
Start with the Manufacturer
When you buy a major appliance new, that appliance almost always comes with a warranty that covers at least some essential repairs. At least, it does if you’ve used your appliance in a normal way.
As long as your appliance is still under warranty, your should probably make your first call one to the manufacturer. In many cases, they’ll send someone out directly to do repairs.
If they don’t maintain a local presence, they’ll often work through a partner service from a major retailer to get your appliance repaired. In some cases, they may also refer you to a local, 24/7 appliance repair service for off-hours repairs.
The Retailer Where You Got the Appliance
A lot of retail outlets provide a service agreement when you buy a major appliance from them. Instead of calling the manufacturer, you call the retailer directly. They’ll send out a repair tech to help you get your appliance up and running.
If you get a service agreement with your appliance or appliances, make sure you hang on to the paperwork. It often includes crucial information, such as the make, model, serial number, and purchase date of the appliance.
Consider the Type of Appliance
One thing you must consider is the type of appliance that has malfunctioned. While a repair tech from a retailer might prove fine for a fridge or an electric range, some kinds of appliances need a specific kind of professional.
For example, HVAC equipment typically needs someone who is specially trained as HVAC tech. Air conditioner units, in particular, require HVAC specialists because the units use refrigerants. Many states and cities have regulations in place that require a licensed HVAC tech to handle all refrigerant-related services with an HVAC system.
If you’re having problems with a gas stove, gas clothes dryer, or gas furnace, a repair tech may or may not get the job done. While a repair tech can typically track down a problem inside the furnace or stove, they generally can’t do anything if the problem is with the actual gas line.
For gas line repairs inside your home, you need a licensed plumber to do the work.
With the special cases taken care of, let’s look at how you find an appliance repair company in more general terms.
For general appliance repair services, you can always start by asking around with local family, friends, or coworkers. Odds are pretty high that someone you know needed an out-of-warranty appliance repaired at some point.
They can point you toward the service they used or warn you about a company that did a bad job. If you’re very lucky, you’ll get a bit of both. That lets you narrow down the list and avoid potential problems at the same time.
Since appliance repair is a consumer-facing type of work, online review sites can prove a goldmine of information. At least, they can as long as you’re thoughtful about what you read on them.
Review sites often run on algorithms that elevate and give added weight when a regular reviewer posts a review. That can unnaturally skew the overall rating a company gets on the site toward the positive or the negative.
Instead, look at general trends in the ratings. Has the company gotten mostly gotten good ratings over the last six months? If so, they’re probably a reliable repair service.
Look at Independent Repair Services
Big chain repair services and retail repair services often get by on pure volume. They don’t have a lot of incentive to go the extra mile.
Local repair services typically must provide good service, and do it the first time, or they risk developing a bad reputation. Beyond that, it’s often far easier to get a service tech out to your home quickly when you call a local service.
In some cases, their workload isn’t quite as heavy. They can also make decisions like the owner taking one extra call after their last scheduled appointment for the day.
Most chain repair services don’t get that kind of latitude. They operate on strictly defined rules that they don’t normally deviate from unless absolutely necessary.
Check Out Their Website
While most appliance repair businesses can handle most kinds of appliances, it still pays for you to check out their website in advance. Some businesses may not deal with certain kinds of appliances.
For example, a business may prove perfectly happy to help you with your kitchen appliances but won’t touch a washer and dryer. In other cases, a business may work with specific brands of appliances.
That might sound counter-intuitive, but working with a few specific brands lets the business order in some inventory of commonly used parts for those brands’ appliances.
That can speed up their repair times because they can bring what they need or make a quick trip back to their business location.
Picking Your Appliance Repair Company
When a major appliance goes down, it can feel like a crisis. In the case of something like a refrigerator, it often is something of a crisis because food isn’t cheap. Don’t let that crisis feeling make you rush in finding an appliance repair company.
Start with the manufacturer or retailer if the appliance is under warranty or if you have a service agreement. Call in an HVAC pro for HVAC repairs.
Beyond that, ask for recommendations, look at reviews, and check out company websites.
Are you looking for more home maintenance tips? Check out our Fashion/Lifestyle section for more posts.