HVAC systems are often something we take for granted until they aren’t working properly. To minimize the need of an unexpected failure and emergency repairs, preventative maintenance is a must. However, not all HVAC service companies are the same, which is why you must know what to look for. Below are the things to consider before you hire your next HVAC service company.
Check Their Reviews First
Thanks to the internet it is easier than ever to find local service providers, and learn the pros and cons of their most recent clients. Use online reviews to create a short list, focusing on providers who work on the same type of system you have.
Check Their Credentials
Now it’s time to find out if they meet the minimum requirements, with your first priority being that they are licensed, bonded, insured—and in full compliance with all local standards. In most states you can check their status online. If not, call the company directly and request they send verification. Otherwise, you cannot be confident that they have the skillset required to work with electrical wiring, refrigerant, combustion systems, and all the technical aspects of your system.
Price Is Not A Top Priority
While you want to find a service company with a competitive price point, quality must be your top priority—not price. While any company can provide a general tune-up estimate over the phone, be leery of any contractor who provides a quote over the phone without seeing your system firsthand. Price range maybe, but not a full quote. And even when you do narrow it down to a few contenders, avoid the temptation to go with the lowest bidder. Instead, select the service company whose skill you feel most confident in.
Discuss Their Service Guarantee
HVAC maintenance, repairs, and new components are an investment—so you need to know what each company’s service guarantees are. Inquire about how long they guarantee their parts and work, what kind of warranties are provided, and what your options in service contracts are. This should include discussing their suggested ongoing service schedule, including preventative maintenance and emergency repairs.
Products And Brands
Just like all technology, HVAC systems are evolving at a rapid rate. You want a contractor who works only with high-quality parts and HVAC systems, not one who cuts costs by investing in low-quality. Also, look beyond brand to model. For example, if your old AC lasted for 10 or 15 years (which is standard) go with the same brand, but not the same model. Just like the cars we drive, models evolve over the years—especially over such a lengthy time span.
Ongoing Preventive Maintenance
During your consultation, don’t forget to ask about their suggested preventive maintenance schedule. For both heating and cooling this is often bi-annually, annually if you only heat or cool. However, this may vary if you run a large commercial facility. Either way, you want to inquire about the cost and frequency of your ongoing needs—and the cost of emergency repairs.
Trust Your Gut
Finally, if something sounds too good to be true, or just doesn’t feel right—trust your gut. Your HVAC is essential for comfort, safety, and depending on your local climate, the wellbeing of your home systems. Not only that, but both your system and your repairs are a substantial investment. Only hire someone you trust.
You don’t have to know much about how HVAC systems work to narrow down your local service companies. In addition to the tips above, ask friends, family, and colleagues for referrals.