Have you ever come home after a long day at work and your home feels like an oven? You scramble to check your thermostat and find the temperature to be above 80 degrees and climbing. What is wrong with my AC unit, you think to yourself. Who do I call to fix it? How much will it cost? Do I need a new air conditioning system? These are common questions that run through homeowners’ minds. I feel your pain, and in this article, I will explain to you how to narrow your search to find the best HVAC Contractor in your area.
The 10 Most Important considerations when choosing an HVAC Company
The most important aspect of choosing a company to do business with is how previous customers felt about their service. Reviews will tell you a lot about a company. For example, were their technicians on time, was pricing affordable and flat rate, did they fix it the first time, and did customers feel the company was honest and professional? Recommended places to look for reviews online are Google, Facebook, Yelp, Angie’s List and the BBB.
2. Licensed & Insured HVAC Contractor
Always do business with a State licensed HVAC contractor. Licensed contractors need to carry a minimum amount of insurance, abide by strict codes, and participate in continuing education. Only licensed contractors can pull permits for HVAC installations and using someone who is not licensed can cause the city to fine homeowners for not pulling permits. Insurance will also cover any damages caused by the company’s negligence.
3. Background checked & Drug tested technicians
Air conditioning technicians are in your home and around your family. It is very important to have professionals you can trust in your home. Personal belongings can be stolen or you may be the victim of a burglary after an unscrupulous technician has shared information about high value items in your home.
4. Certified & trained technicians
The air conditioning field is constantly changing with new technology. Technicians with more training and certifications will be able to properly diagnose your system’s issue(s) much easier and faster than those that do not have the training. Companies that focus more on sales and less on training, will commonly send sales technicians to your home and attempt to sell you a new system, rather than giving you a repair option.
5. Employ NATE Certified Technicians
NATE is a well known organization in the HVAC industry, known for its rigorous testing and high standards. NATE certification shows that technicians are knowledgeable and proficient in working on your HVAC system. Companies that employ NATE certified technicians show they are competitive in the job market and employ educated and informed HVAC technicians.
6. Same Day Service
When your AC system breaks, you want it fixed ASAP. Hire a company that can get to your home the same or next day. Companies that are booked 3-5 days out for a service call take on too much work and over book. Make sure the company sends you job reminders and updates, so you know an accurate time of arrival of your technician.
7. Upfront Flat Rate Pricing
Choose an air conditioning company that offers upfront pricing before they do the work, and make sure it is flat rate. Companies that still charge hourly rates can send you an inexperienced technician who can rack up the bill while he is learning the trade. Flat rate pricing insures you get the best price no matter how long the repair takes. Flat rate pricing also protects the customer from technicians making up pricing on the go.
8. Install Quality HVAC Equipment
Nobody wants to purchase a brand new air conditioning system and watch it fall apart a couple of years after installation. HVAC Contractors who are focused on being the lowest bid to win the project typically cut corners by using cheaper brands of air conditioning equipment. These contractors focus on price over quality and it shows in their work. The manufacturer’s parts warranty does not cover rust, corrosion, or wear and tear. Go with a contractor who is aligned with a quality brand such as RHEEM, Trane, Carrier, or Lennox. Being a Pro Dealer for that brand also proves they have been tested by the manufacturer and are very experienced in installing that specific brand.
9 . Offer Financing
Your air conditioning system is the most expensive appliance in your home. To install an HVAC system can cost anywhere from $5,000-$10,000 depending on what type of system you purchase. Having low interest or no interest financing is extremely helpful to homeowners to make their HVAC purchase more affordable over time. Savings on your monthly electric bill may even surpass your monthly payment, so essentially you are not spending extra money on your brand new AC system.
10. Professional Service Vehicles and Uniforms
How a company’s service techs and service vehicles look will tell you a lot about a company. Unkempt service techs without uniforms show the standards of the company and that will most likely show in their workmanship. A company that brands itself professionally shows that they are here to stay in the community and strive to become the best air conditioning company in your local area.
Make the Right Choice
My last recommendation is to choose a company with friendly employees focused on customer service. Companies with happy and professional employees will ensure you are completely satisfied with their level of service and will always do their best. With this information, you should now be able to narrow down your search for the best HVAC Contractor in your area. Hire them and pull out your thickest blankets because it’s going to be a chilly night.