When you’re in need of HVAC service, one of the first things you’ll do is search Google for companies in your area who can help. Depending on your location, you may be faced with several pages of relevant search results. How do you decide which company to go with?
It’s not as difficult as it seems when you take a few key criteria into account. By keeping the following qualities and traits in mind, you can easily narrow the list to one or two companies who can meet your needs both efficiently and affordably.
- 1. Licensed, Bonded & Insured
- Depending on what state and city you live in, every HVAC specalist is required to meet certain licensing requirements. This ensures that the technicians they send are properly qualified to assess, install, troubleshoot and repair HVAC systems.
So what does it mean that a specialist is licensed? Generally speaking, it means they have met (and continue to meet) local and state standards of education and experience. It also means that they meet the legal requirements for insurance and bonding. If you contract a company to work in your home, and accidental damages or injuries occur, you need to know that the company is bonded and backed by good insurance policies. This protects both you as the homeowner and the technician who is working on your HVAC system.
- 2. Reputation & Experience
- The high demand for HVAC services across the country means that a lot of companies spring up—and quite a few of them shut their doors after a year or two. All the more reason to check up on a company’s reputation and find out how long they’ve been in business! For example, what happens to your warranties if the company goes under? It’s possible you’d lose them.
Companies who haven’t built solid reputations are also more likely to bring substandard workmanship to your job, which can cost you. Always look for an established company—or at least a young company with a good reputation and experienced technicians. Sites like yelp are useful for the customer reviews they offer, and the Better Business Bureau is another great way to check up various HVAC companies. It also helps to ask friends and family what companies they’ve used in the past, and what the experience was like.
- 3. Presentation and Physical Address
- The difference between a solid, reputable HVAC service provider and a less-dependable moonlighter can sometimes be seen in the appearance of company vehicles, technicians and equipment. Reputable companies should have reliable tools, clean vehicles, and friendly technicians with a professional demeanor. Less reputable businesses will come off in a less professional way.
You’d be surprised how many HVAC companies have no physical address. This is usually a sign that the company is brand new, not very reputable, or both. When scanning the web sites of HVAC service providers, look for a physical office location. It may also be a good idea to visit the office and speak to someone in person. This gives you a sense of who you’ll be working with and what kind of company they run.
- 4. Free Consultations/Inspections
- Many companies will send a technician to your home or business for free, in order to assess and discuss your particular needs. This is a great advantage, since you get a free expert opinion on what the next step should be. Often times, you’ll end up with a detailed estimate as a result of the consultation, which can be compared against other estimates. Most reputable companies offer a free consultation of some kind; but if a company is hardly willing to talk or discuss your problem without charging a fee, you can expect the same attitude throughout the process. Also beware of companies who use the free consultation as a way to pester you with high-pressure sales tactics.
- 5. Expertise with similar systems
- If your system needs maintenance or repair, it makes sense to find a company that’s familiar with the brand of equipment you have, or at least one that installs and maintains the same type of HVAC systems. Some companies specialize in certain brands or types of systems, while many of the most reputable companies are highly competent with almost any HVAC brand or system, including the latest technological advancements.
- 6. Support and Warranties
- The reputable HVAC specialist will provide an easy way to get in touch in the event that something breaks down. Some companies have emergency repair numbers that are answered seven days a week.
It’s also a very good sign when a company backs up their equipment and labor with a lifetime warranty in writing. You know this type of company takes their work seriously, and fully expects their technicians to deliver impeccable results.
Did you find this article useful? We hope this information helps in your search for a quality HVAC service provider. Please feel free to leave question or comments in the box below!