When you live in the Alaskan wilderness, you either have to learn how to fix everything yourself, or learn how to guide repair technicians to your home. It can be a real problem, especially if you need emergency heating and air conditioning service. Although some HVAC contractors may have GPS systems in their vehicles, it only works on clearly designated roadways. (In many parts of Alaska, GPS systems cannot pinpoint cabins in the middle of nowhere.) There are things you can do to help guide them directly to your front door.
1. Describe Landmarks
If you live where there are only back roads made of dirt and none of them are on a map, be sure to give precise directions that include easily identified landmarks. If your driveway is almost completely hidden from view because of the trees, be sure to tell the technician that as well.
2. Warn the Technician of Any Unusual Bumps in the Road
If you know that you have to drive around a large boulder or that living close to the foot of a mountain means you deal with rockslides quite often, this is valuable information to your technician. It will keep him or her safe and on the lookout for potentially hazardous road conditions. Avalanches, mudslides, and rockslides are quite common in Alaska. Your technician might be prepared if one happens on the drive out, but will not be prepared to get around one if it happened just yesterday.
3. Tell the Technician How Far Back from the Road Your House Is
If your private driveway is a mile long or more, the technician might think that he or she is lost. If you do not know how long it is, drive to the road and mark the distance on your odometer so that you have the information for future reference. It also helps to tell the technician what color or style of house you live in, so that he or she knows he or she has arrived at the correct house. If the technician will need a snowmobile, an ATV, or a 4x4 to get to you, he or she should know that too.
Assisting New Technicians with Repeat Visits
Since many HVAC contractors have a handful of technicians working for them, you may not see the same repair technician twice. In fact, if the first technician has to order a part to fix your furnace or your air conditioning, either that technician or a new technician will have to return to install the part later. If possible, request that any other repair technicians ride along the first time so that they all know where to find you. Otherwise, be prepared to instruct and guide other technicians (such as Streamline Services, Inc.) to your home in the Alaskan wilderness.