All HVAC companies are not similar, which means you need to do thorough research when in need of HVAC services. You want to ensure you are working with a competent company that has hired professionals. An HVAC contractor is not the same as someone who just owns equipment and has promised that they can do the job. An HVAC system is critical, whether you are installing a new one or replacing yours. It will determine how comfortable and productive you will be in that house. So, how do you ensure you are choosing the right company to work with? Discussed below are a few tips to help you decide.
Check On Licensing and Insurance
An HVAC system is one of the most expensive pieces of equipment you have in your home, and that is why you need to work with someone who has gone through appropriate training. Of course, hardly will the person who wants to work with you tell you their company is not licensed. There are state laws that require HVAC contractors to be licensed before providing services to the public. This license shows that someone has gone through training on heating and cooling systems for at least two to five years. It shows that the contractor is familiar with things like refrigerants, airflow, ductwork, combustion systems, and electrical wiring. Working with an unlicensed company comes with many dangers. For instance, they might do a lousy job costing you money on redoing the work, and you have no guarantee they will deliver on the task given. A bad job can also lead to safety issues. For instance, improper installation of the furnace can lead to gas leakage, resulting in carbon monoxide poisoning in the family. In addition, someone unlicensed may not know the right system for your home, which may end up causing problems with the heating and cooling systems. Check for insurance as well. Accidents happen, and if a contractor gets injured in your home, you might be held liable for those injuries, thus incurring extra costs.
Whether you are choosing a company to work on your home, car, or business premise, you need a company that has employed workers with experience. A company with experience that has been in existence for a while shows they are doing something right, which is why they are still in business. These contractors have probably seen all kinds of HVAC systems and will know which is ideal for you, and if they run into a problem, they will know how to fix it quickly. For instance, most people usually do not realize that an issue with their water heater could be a result of dirt building up on the heating elements. Therefore, they will request hot water heater repair services only to find out that they need an HVAC technician. And when you get an HVAC technician who cannot pinpoint the issue, you will end up being frustrated. Even if you are working with someone who has just got into the field, they should be accompanied by someone with more experience. This will give you confidence that even the equipment used in your home is of quality or that the auto AC service will be done well.
Ask For References and Referrals
When looking for a company, ask your colleagues, friends, and family members which reputable HVAC company they have worked with before. Even as you ask for suggestions, be specific with your questions. Ask about the price, whether the company stuck to the agreed budget, and how long they took to respond to issues and offer assistance. The company should also be ready to give you references to call before you start working with them. Ask the references whether the jobs were done well, finished on time, and within the budget you agreed on initially. You can also ask how clean the installation was and whether the homeowner’s property was respected. This is very important considering that if the company is installing new ducts, they might tear down some parts of the home, which means you will need building repair services as well. Check whether the company tested the system, ensuring it is working efficiently before leaving. These are some of the crucial details that will determine whether you will be working with a company. You should also check online reviews and ratings. They will give you some insight into the company. However, note that anyone can write reviews, and some of them might be fake. Reviews praising the company without further details or bitter comments without stating a specific problem are usually questionable.
They are Available Locally
Choose a company that is close to your home. A big-name company may sound appealing, but if they are not in your area, working with them will be a huge inconvenience to both of you. With a local company, you are likely to get personalized services. For instance, the local company is familiar with your climate and will know the right HVAC supplies for your home. In addition, they will respond fast to your requests and complaints and send one of their contractors to check what the issue is. This means you will not have to wait for a long time for problems to be fixed. Another advantage of a local HVAC company is that it is easy to build a long-term professional relationship based on trust and good service, because you will be working with the same person several times. This also means you are likely to get good customer service. Most of these companies offer discounted prices to people they have worked with for a long time, which benefits you in the long run. Supporting local businesses is always beneficial to the community. A big-name company will still manage whether you use their services or not. However, a local business probably needs your support to grow and continue providing services. Most of the money made by local communities usually stays in the community and supports the growth of the local economy.
Offer Evaluation Services
When installing a new HVAC system, the potential company should send contractors who will evaluate your home or building and determine the ideal heating and cooling system. During an evaluation, some of the things that should be considered are the square footage of the property, the number of windows and the direction they are facing, and the R-value of insulation. If this is a repair and maintenance service, the contractors should look for leaks in the duct system plus loose insulation and segments. Determining the size of the new system should not be based on the size of the property alone. Instead, there is an industry software system where data is fed called Manuals J, S, and D, determining the proper heating and cooling system to be installed. This is why most people opt for HVAC design-build service. It comes with accountability where you will only be dealing with one person from the beginning of the project to the end. That one contractor oversees everything from designing the right HVAC system for your home or property to installing it. You may be surprised at how often incorrectly sized systems are installed in homes and office buildings. This often leads to a short cycle when a system is too big and the system overworks if it is too small for your home. However, with a design build contractor, it is easy to avoid such issues.
Check on the Pricing
After the evaluation is done, the prospective contractors should give you a price estimate of what everything will cost plus warranties. When it comes to cost, everyone is trying to save money, and so the obvious choice is getting someone whose price is lower. However, sometimes the lowest price can end up being costly. Maybe a cheap contractor does not offer clean-up services and will leave you with repair work to do. Or perhaps they are not that qualified, and as they install the system, they damage the water purifier systems. All these are risks you do not want to take. Not to mention how you will be inconvenienced if your heating, ventilation, or air conditioning systems fail to work when you really need them. Most of the time, when a contractor gives you a lower bid, they are either unlicensed or uninsured, and they lack a lot of experience. And while you may have low expectations with a cheaper contractor, you may experience constant repair and maintenance issues later that will frustrate you. Of importance to note is that being cheap does not necessarily mean the job will be done poorly. That is why you have to check on other things like references and online reviews to be sure.
Check on the Company’s Affiliation
Some companies work with the Better Business Bureau, an organization that helps cement trust between companies and clients. You can check the website and see if customers have complained about the company. Note that no company is perfect, and every once in a while, things might not go how the customer wants. However, a good company works to clean up those complaints. This means that when customers raise concerns, the company is ready to solve them. Other HVAC companies are associated with manufacturers of HVAC equipment. Since no manufacturer wants to work with a shady company that will put their name in the mud, this can be a sign that you can trust the services you are about to get. Most of these manufacturers come with standards that can lead to dropping companies that are not performing and recognizing or rewarding companies that are bringing good services to customers.
They Offer a Guarantee
Like any other good company, the one you choose should be confident in their work. If an issue arises later with the job, you need assurance that they will fix it. And, when they come to resolve the issue, they should not charge you a cent if it is their fault. For instance, if pipes are not installed correctly, they might cause water damage to your home. This is something that you may find out later when you start noticing mold growing on the ceiling. Of course, this gives you an extra expense as you will need water damage restoration services. If this is the fault of the HVAC company, they should be ready to incur those costs. People make mistakes, but a good company ensures the job is done right and rectifies issues.
Another important thing is the contract itself stating the terms that you and the company have agreed upon. In the contract, there should be things like the cost for the work done, payment schedules, job schedules, model numbers, and warranty information. This is what binds both of you and ensures that everyone does their part. If a contractor is not ready to work on a contract, this should be a red flag.
Offer Alternatives Besides Replacement
There are instances where the only solution to your problem is installing a new AC. For instance, the system could be old and worn out, where repairing it will just keep costing you more money. However, there are times when replacing costs, your money, and time that you do not have. A dishonest tech will push you to replace the system. This is especially common if they are working with a manufacturing company and they are pushing for their products. A reliable company walks you through your options explaining why repairing will not work and why replacing is the best alternative. If you notice the person sent to you cannot explain simple details, it is best to get a second opinion just to be sure.
Choosing an HVAC company is not an easy task. However, it is all about doing research and following your instincts. It would help if you also learned how to narrow down your search based on location and reviews of the company. This gives you a much easier time as you are only assessing a few companies. Remember if you find a good company, you are likely to stick to them till you move out of that location.