What to Look for When Choosing an HVAC Service
Whether you’re installing a furnace, need your air conditioner repaired, or require similar service, you would be best served by putting the task in the hands of a trained HVAC professional. HVAC technicians are well-versed in the installation, maintenance, and repair of HVAC systems, and will provide both proper and safe service.
That said, you need to find the right HVAC service, because if you don’t, you could end up with someone who lacks skill and knowledge. Wondering how to find the right HVAC company for your job? These are the things you need to look out for.
Though HVAC companies can have a variety of different characteristics, generally speaking, the best of them share a few key characteristics. Interested in learning more? Then keep reading to learn all about the best qualities of an HVAC service!
One of the most important things to look out for in an HVAC company is experience. In most cases, experienced companies will provide a better level of service than will inexperienced companies.
There are a few reasons for this. For one, experience provides a company with the time to iron out its mistakes. For two, it gives a company time to develop its business processes. Finally, it gives a company the opportunity to work on many different types of jobs.
What this means, of course, is that experienced companies can provide their customers with the best service possible. Inexperienced companies, on the other hand, are still using their customers as guinea pigs. In other words, they’re making their customers liable for the mistakes that they make.
Now, this isn’t to say that an inexperienced HVAC technician couldn’t get the job done. There’s certainly a possibility that they would. However, experienced companies are a much safer bet, and are therefore more deserving of your money.
We suggest that the company you choose has a minimum of 2 years of experience. Any company that maintains a positive reputation over that length of time must be doing something right.
A Positive Reputation
In addition to ample experience, your chosen company should also have a positive reputation. After all, if a company has a positive reputation, it’s because it’s done good work in the past. If, on the other hand, the company has a poor reputation, it’s because it’s done poor or inconsistent work.
Now, what you might be wondering is: how do you determine a company’s reputation? However, the odds of finding a consensus opinion in that situation are low.
As such, you would be much better off turning to the internet, and, in particular, business review sites. These sites contain reviews from past customers and can tell you a lot about what specific HVAC companies have to offer. They also contain consensus star ratings, allowing you to get a quick feel for each company’s reputation.
Which sites should you look out for? The most popular include Facebook, Google, and Yelp. If you search for your prospective company in Google, you should find a number of other options as well.
See what you can scoop up, and then read through various reviews. These should help you answer questions, as well as develop confidence in a handful of companies.
In the vast majority of states, HVAC technicians are expected to have an HVAC license with the state. Some of the exceptions to this are Kansas, Arizona, Missouri, Indiana, Colorado, Wyoming, Vermont, and New York. But if you’re in a state that doesn’t make that list, your chosen HVAC technician should have a license.
Licensure is important because it indicates an adequate level of skill and competency. It proves that the technician in question has received the proper level of education and that they’ve put in the proper amount of work.
It also indicates that the technician works under a regulating body, that body being the technician’s respective state.
To choose an unlicensed HVAC technician would mean to make yourself vulnerable to scams and poor-quality work. This is because the technician is not legitimate in the eyes of the state, and could very easily leave you in the lurch.
Now, how do you go about verifying a technician’s certification? In most states, you can use a license lookup tool. This tool allows you to enter a company’s name, and then provides you with all of the licenses that the company holds.
You can find this tool by going to Google and typing “[name of state] license lookup tool”. For example, here’s California’s license lookup tool.
Make sure that you see proof of certification before signing any contracts. If a company can’t provide its certification to you, it’s not worth doing business with.
In addition to certification, you HVAC technician should also have insurance. Insurance is vital to you, the customer, as it protects you from liability in the event of damage and/or injury.
Let’s say that your chosen HVAC company accidentally puts a hole in your wall. It’s a possibility, as mistakes can occur with any HVAC company.
Well, if the company wasn’t insured, it might try to avoid liability for the accident, pushing it off onto you instead. This would put you in a horrible position, where you either have to pay for the repairs yourself or file a lawsuit against the company. Neither of these is desirable.
Or, let’s say that an employee of the company breaks a bone while working on your property. As a result, he has to be out of work for 2 months.
If your chosen company doesn’t have insurance, they might try to avoid paying workers’ compensation to the employee. Unfortunately, because the injury occurred on your property, you could be forced to pay it instead. This would put you in a major financial hole.
Insurance ensures that you don’t have to pay for either of these instances. It protects the HVAC company financially, so that it can handle any such incidents without great strain or thought.
Now, you might be wondering: what types of insurance should your chosen company have? The most important ones to look out for are general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance.
Another thing you’ll want to look out for is warranties. Warranties are important, as they guarantee a company’s work. This can come in handy if the work was done wrong the first time, or if something goes awry with your HVAC system shortly after the work was completed.
Any reputable company will provide a warranty for its labor. The specifics of this warranty will vary from company to company. However, most companies will guarantee their labor for 6 months or more.
Note, just hearing about a warranty isn’t enough. You need to have it down in writing. Otherwise, the warranty might as well have not existed in the first place.
Be sure that the warranty is included in the language of the contract that you sign. At the very least, make sure that it appears on the company’s website or in an email between you and the company.
The Services You Need
Different HVAC companies provide different services. While some will provide, say, only cooling services, others will provide only heating services. Others, however, will provide every service under the sun.
You might even come across some that provide, say, only residential services, or only commercial services. Note, again, however, that some will provide both types of services.
Some companies are ultra-specific in their niches as well. For example, you might find a company that does only furnace repair, or only AC installation.
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Regardless, you need to find a company that can accommodate your specific needs. You need to make sure that the company is experienced in the job you require, and that it’s more than capable of facilitating it for you.
To find out about a company’s services, take a look at its website. The company’s website will generally have all the information you need. If it doesn’t, just make a call instead.
Not all HVAC companies charge the same rates. In fact, their rates can vary greatly based on a variety of factors. As such, before signing any contracts, you need to make sure that the company’s rates are affordable to you.
How do you find out what a specific company charges? The key is to ask for an estimate. Call the company up, describe the type of work you need to have done, and then ask for a monetary quote for the project.
Any company worth your time will provide you with an estimate when you ask for one. If a company avoids giving you an estimate, or if it’s hesitant to give you one, you should think twice about utilizing its services. Giving out estimates is a standard part of running an HVAC business, and should not be treated as an inconvenience on the part of the business.
We advise calling around for several estimates. This way, you can compare them against one another and get a decent deal.
Make note, estimates that are much lower than the others are a cause for concern. After all, why would a company charge such a low rate if it wasn’t lacking in some area? Companies that charge very little are usually short on skill, experience, customer service, and other aspects of doing HVAC work.
Signs You Need the Help of an HVAC Service
There are a few different signs that indicate the need for an HVAC service. If you come across one of these signs, use the characteristics above to help you make the correct choice.
First and foremost, if you need additional heat or cold in your home, you need to call an HVAC service. Your chosen service will install an HVAC system for you to accommodate all of your climate control needs.
There are all kinds of HVAC systems that you could install, including central AC, ductless mini-splits, furnaces, boilers, and more.
Another sign that you need an HVAC service is that one of your systems is performing worse than usual. For instance, if it’s taking too long to turn on, or if it provides inconsistent temperatures, the help of an HVAC technician is needed.
The last sign that you need the services of an HVAC technician is that your HVAC system requires maintenance. Both heaters and air conditioners need to be cleaned and serviced every 6 to 12 months.
While you, the homeowner, can accomplish some of this maintenance on your own, the more intensive aspects of maintenance should be put in the hands of an experienced HVAC technician.
In short, when it comes to big changes involving your HVAC system, you should call up a professional. HVAC work is fairly complex and is not easily handled by untrained individuals.
Trying to do the work on your own could very easily result in an accident occurring, whether that accident is an injury, a functional issue, or otherwise.
Finding the Right HVAC Service Is Imperative
When push comes to shove, finding the right HVAC service is imperative. Not only does it affect the quality of the service you receive, but it also affects your experience throughout the process.
As such, when searching for the best HVAC service in your area, you need to keep your mind on the characteristics discussed above.
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