Basic Provisions an HVAC Contract Should Include

  July 25, 2013

Regardless of the type of service being rendered, a service contract should address the usual contract issues, including length, responsibilities, wage rates, dispute resolution, force majeure and other items. A simple one- or two-page document from a contractor is rarely sufficient to cover all the bases. Even a long and detailed contract may not, however, lead to the level and type of service desired unless it clearly states what work is to be done, on what schedule, and how is it to be performed, tracked and verified.

At the very least, a scope of work must cover preventive maintenance, repairs and replacements, finding and correcting operating problems, and reporting on such work. Some scope-of-work provisions also include guidance on engineering and upgrades to improve energy efficiency. To ensure those efforts are done to the satisfaction of the facility, specifications detailing items such as preferred products and methods, service hours, contractor professional qualifications and exclusions are often referenced in an addendum.

Among the specific items needed in a scope of work are:
  • Identities, by a unique number, of all pieces of equipment to be serviced along with the location of the equipment, referenced by unchanging room numbers or other means.
  • Task descriptions for each generic type of service, such as seasonal chiller servicing.
  • Procedures on how to log, track and file work orders and materials used in them.
  • Methods to pursue and track changes to equipment and programming.
  • Details on how often reports must be provided.
  • Descriptions of any training, drawings or other non-routine activities desired by the owner.


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