Trustworthy HVAC guy

Looks like my 17yo AC compressor is going out - on the hottest day of the year of course. It may just be a capacitor because I can get the fan going (slowly) if I spin it when it powers up, otherwise it just buzzes. We’ve had bad luck with HVAC people in the SLC area - any recommendation, and someone who isn’t going to ding us to come out on the weekend?

I use Harvey Heating and Air. They have always treated me right. Don’t know about their weekend rates, though.

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We’ve used Whipple the last few times. Been very impressed with their professionalism and prices.

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Glad to hear, I’ve had mixed experiences with them.

Also, if it wasn’t for the coolant I would probably try to install the thing myself. Can’t be that hard.

Ralph at Mechanical Air, he has been to both of our homes multiple times and always looks for the most practical solution not what is going to line his pockets.

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We went through Costco to replace our furnace and AC ‘this year. Were very happy with the experience. They went through Superior Heating and Air. The price wasn’t amazing, but was competitive. I was able to pay with a Visa (for points), and got a Costco gift card for 10% of the purchase.

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We used Air Design when we remodeled and have used them ever since. They have been great.

I have a great guy for that if you still need someone.

Yeah…so I’m going withdraw my recommendation for Whipple based on my experience this morning.

Called them over a month ago (May 8) to schedule an A/C tuneup. The earliest availability they had was today, June 10. We’re not having any issues with the A/C, so that was fine. They confirmed the appointment last night via text, and we were all set to have them come out today.

Got a text this morning that “due to a high volume of emergency’s” (sic), they can’t come this morning, and to call them to reschedule. No big deal, things happen. I called to reschedule, and the earliest appointment they had was…July 10.

So it took over a month to get the initial appointment, they cancel that appointment the morning of, then can’t find a single slot to reschedule for another full month. Yeah…no. Done with them.

And the cherry on top of this is that I wrote them a quick note on their website’s “Contact Us” form to let them know my frustration. That message bounced as undeliverable. They’re a joke.

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Regarding Whipple, we had a clogged drain that wasn’t coming unclogged and that we’ve had various problems with since we’ve lived here. Had them come and clear it out and they mention that there is a black grease building up because it is an old house and the angle isn’t just right - blah blah blah. Talk my wife into subscribing to some program where they’ll send us some special solution to put down our drain about every 3 months to keep the sludge at bay. I can’t remember how much it was, but if I recall it was something like $25/quarter.

So we get the solution and I smell it, it smells like dish soap. Squirt it down the drain as instructed and run the hot water. I ask my wife why they sent that to us and she explains what was recommended to her and she just signed up. I ask a plumber friend who is like, "Wha??? Yeah, that sludge builds up in most all houses, just squirt a couple shots of Dawn dish detergent down trouble drains every few months and run some hot water for 5-10 minutes and you shouldn’t have an issue.

Cancelling the ‘subscription’ was not easy - and the Dawn tip does the trick - no further troubles with the drain. I’m cool with making money for the service of sending it to us each quarter as a reminder or whatever, but according to my wife it was high pressure and she felt like she would be negligent if she didn’t sign up.

The nail in our coffin with them though was our furnace wasn’t firing up like it should, but not issues or anything. Of course it is the weekend. We call them to see if we can get a guy to come out to check on it and speak to one of their HVAC guys on call and he says he’ll come out. Shows up, walks to the thermostat, pops off the cover, switches out the AA battery, thing fires right up.

I’m embarrassed that is fix - the backup battery was just low. He hands us a bill, weekend rate to drive there +$5 AA battery - I can’t remember exactly what it cost but it was north of $125. I’m of course shocked, and he says, “Yeah… I knew exactly what it was when you called.” I was done after that.

I run a business and I get calls with simple questions all the time. Yes they are getting my expertise that they should probably pay for, but I typically help them out free of charge taking the long view. I’m pretty sure most all of you do this too. But to ding me like that, particularly when he is proud that he nailed us for weekend rates - bad form imho. So I paid him and asked why he didn’t just tell me to try to switch out the battery and he said, “We don’t get paid doing that…” So I responded, “Well, you got paid today, but you’ll never get my money again.”

Since then I’ve gotten smarter - I used to be afraid to mess with potentially big ticket items like HVAC or whatever. Google and YouTube has emboldened me though, and I’ll at least research what is wrong before I call in a repair person.

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Same happened to us a few years ago for a tune up with Whipple… The first appointment they didn’t show up and didn’t even contact us, we had to call the next day and ask what was up. Same story as you, a lot of emergencies and we got bumped, rescheduled for the next week. Confirmed the day before the second appointment everything was good to go. Day of second appointment comes and they call us with the same story a lot of emergencies and they need to reschedule again. We called bull ■■■■ and they made it sound like it was our fault that they couldn’t make it. From that experience I will never use Whipple. Their emergencies make them more money, so the routine tuneups get bounced.

We’ve used Manwill, and Anyhour and they’ve been good for us.

They actually called and apologized, offered a slot next week, along with a discount.

Debating whether or not to take them up on it. Leaning towards no.

Interesting thing, we had a complete system install plus new water heater and they were trying to get their guys out working because of COVID so we got 45% off the final quote. They were super professional.