FAQ’s

Q?

Why haven’t I received a call back?

A.

Sandy's company operates with a limited number of technicians/installers & office staff. The present shortage of qualified technicians has been coming for the past several years. This has been a major concern for all regional HVAC contractors, with no end in sight. The job fairs & aggressive hiring programs by Bruce Power the past few years has "poached" a lot of existing area talent.  The High School system removed the trades & co-op programs from the curriculum several years ago which was a source for potential trade oriented students.  The result is now being felt by the consumer. There is now a response from provincial and federal agencies to reinvent the trades programs & invest in the apprenticeship programs. We will not appreciate the benefits of this renewed interest for a few years.  The apprenticeship program requirements for a licensed tradesman is 4 years.

We try to  complete our annual maintenances at the end of the heating season (April through to July). Due to COVID 19 restrictions in the beginning of 2020 and 2021 we were only allowed to provide for emergency repairs during this period. New construction in 2020, which typically starts in May, was delayed until June, with COVID 19 rules in place allowing only 1 trade at a time on sights and only 2 man crews.  Air conditioning season in 2020 was over the top busy for all companies and suppliers due to the COVID 19 situation having placed people working from home and requiring A/Cs or replacements.  Cooling calls became emergencies for people working from home.  This year followed the same trend, as lockdown procedures have again been placing similar restrictions, but now our supply chain has slowed even more significantly due to most manufacturing plants operating at significantly reduced capacity for the past year+.

Due to the volume of no heat calls and condemned furnaces that we have been experiencing the past couple of fall/winter seasons, we are over capacity. We try to call as soon as we have an idea of when a technician can be out to you, typically this will be the day before service.  If you have not heard from us, it is not because we have forgotten you, we just have nothing new to tell you.  If your call to the office is for a no heat or other emergency situation we try to respond as quickly as possible.

We do not anticipate a change in this present situation, we were hopeful that the new year would bring positive change, but unfortunately that has not been the case.  Moving forward we are continuing to seek out new talent and, with the flooding of new people from the city into our rural areas, we are hoping to see some trades people wishing to relocate their families as well.

We hope the situation will change that will allow for the HVAC industry to grow in the Grey Bruce areas for the benefits to our residential, commercial and new construction customers.

In the meantime, thank you for your patience and understanding during these trying times!

Q?

Do you work outside of your office hours?

A.

We do have an emergency, on call technician.  Please keep in mind that our technicians do work full time Monday through Friday during our office hours.  There is an additional charge for after hours service calls.  After Hours service begins at 5:30pm.  Please be advised, we cannot guarantee that our technicians will be available for regular service hours if you call before 5:30pm, even though our office is still open at that time.  Our after hours service is available at an extra charge, paid at a rate of time and a half above our regular hourly service charge.

Q?

My Furnace isn’t working, what do I do?

A.

We are happy to help you if you have a furnace that doesn't want to work for you, but there are a few things that you can do before giving us a call.  If you need us to, we can come out and take a look at your equipment, but we don't like to charge you a service call for something you could do yourself.  To save you the cost and us the time, please take a quick look at the following things to check before giving us a call:

  1.   Have you changed your thermostat batteries recently?  At least half of the customers we talk to have thermostats with batteries and they don't think they do.  If it has a digital display, it is highly likely that there are batteries.  Make sure to change these at least once a year.  If you have installed a new thermostat recently, you still might need to change the batteries.  If the thermostat has been sitting on a shelf for a while, the batteries may have gotten old.
  2.   When was the last time you changed your furnace filter?  Some people think that they don't need to change it as often as they do.  A good rule of thumb is to check it once a month.  You may not need to change it any more often than once every three months, but if you have animals, kids, or any other circumstances that lead to more dirt, etc... getting into your ducts, then you may need to change it more frequently.  Remember, if your furnace doesn't have good air flow, it will not work.
  3.   In that same line of reasoning, make sure to check the inlet and outlet vents outside of your house.  We have had balls, rocks and milkweed pods stuffed in them by kids, animals, bees and wasps nesting in them, snow blocking them, or even some that have been covered up by a deck added to the house.  Again, no air flow equals a furnace that doesn't work.
  4.   Is your furnace getting fuel?  Typically this is something more to watch out for if you use oil or propane to heat.  If you run out of propane or oil, you will need to get the tank refilled. Sometimes the gauges are not perfectly accurate, so you might be out and not realize it. If you have less than 15% in the tank, it may not be filling your house.  If you have run out of propane, when you first get your tank refilled, it takes a while for it to fill the house and run your furnace. Also, if your propane is refilled while you are away from the house, for safety reasons, your propane company may have shut the valve on the propane tank.   Make sure to double check that it is open.
  5.   If you have done any of the above and your furnace still isn't running, try resetting the furnace at the switch.  Your furnace switch should look like a light switch, somewhere on the wall or ceiling right near your furnace.  Sometimes it will need the reset to get going again after any of the above issues.  Turn it off for a few minutes and then flick the switch back up again.
  6.   For any of your heating/cooling equipment, electricity is necessary.  If absolutely nothing is happening when you try to start it up, you could have a breaker that has popped.

After trying all of the above, if you are still having trouble, give us a call and we will get you onto our service list!

Q?

How much does it cost to replace a Furnace, A/C, Etc?

A.

This sounds like an easy question to answer, but there are a lot of factors that can change the answer.  We typically have our salesperson do a site visit to figure out the scope of your project, what type of unit will suit your needs, etc...  If you are looking to price out a replacement or renovation, give our office a call and we can get our salesperson to contact you.

Q?

What information do you need for service?

A.

If you are preparing to give us a call with a service request, it is helpful if you have as much information for us as possible.  If it is about a piece of equipment(Furnace, A/C, water heater, water softener, etc...) it is helpful if you have the Make, Model and Serial Number of each unit.  Barring that, if you know the size and output of your equipment, that is helpful.  When all else fails, you can take some pictures to send to us at info@sandyhamilton.ca, it is very helpful!

Q?

I have a small plumbing job, can I get a quote?

A.

Typically, unless you are buying large equipment, such as a boiler, we do not quote small plumbing jobs.  Due to the fact that we work in rural areas, the drive between job sites makes it better for both ourselves and our customers to have our technicians come out prepared to complete work, rather than take additional time to quote a small project.  Customers are charged for time and material.  **Note**  If you have bought your own plumbing fixtures and want us to install them, we need pictures of the new fixtures, as well as existing plumbing and fixtures.  We need to make sure that the current fixtures/rough ins are compatible with what you would like to put in.  We do not want to have to charge you for two service calls if we get to your house and we do not have the supplies needed to complete the work.