Hiring a HVAC company can be a nerve-wracking experience. Did you pick the right air conditioning professionals? Will they do what’s right for your home and your budget? If you’re worried about making a choice between HVAC companies, start by asking lots of questions, including these:
Before you get started with your project, it can put you at ease to know that the people doing the work have been in business for a while. Although every company has a starting point, you don’t want to think about a new company that’s going to be a flash in the pan when it comes time to warranty your air conditioner. Check out the companies you’re interested in working with and find out how much experience they have with HVAC installation.
HVAC installers with any kind of track record should have happy customers over time that are willing to act as areferences. Ask for references and do call them — find out what the company did right as well as what they did wrong. Reviews that are too glowing are as suspect as no references at all.
It’s unlikely that your installer will get injured at your home, but if he does, it’s important to know who is responsible. If the HVAC company of you’re choosing isn’t insured, the liability falls to you, so make sure you know what you’re getting into with discount installers. Ask for a copy of insurance policies before you allow anybody to start work at your home.
Heavy work like HVAC installation often requires permits. People who choose to buck the system can face stiff penalties for ignoring the safety inspections that go along with permitting. Choose an installer who will pull the permits for you to simplify the process and ensure they won’t be cutting any corners.
The last thing you want is an HVAC company learning to install an unusual type of system at your home. Whether you’ve got a typical or unique setup, it’s comforting to know your installer has a wide range of experience to anticipate anything that could go wrong.
HVAC companies usually specialize in either residential or commercial installations, but many go beyond that to offer more focused areas of expertise. Although a standard system can be handled by most residential HVAC installers, companies with specialties may be able to provide you with additional options if a standard system isn’t really what you have in mind.
Licensing isn’t required everywhere, but even if you live in a license-free zone, an HVAC tech that’s willing to go above and beyond to have his paperwork straight is a tech that cares about his profession. By avoiding unlicensed installers, you can feel confident that if anything goes wrong, you’ll be able to get it fixed, or at least have an option for recourse.
Just as licensing can be optional, so can continuing education, but it shouldn’t be. After all, HVAC technology is changing constantly, and if your HVAC company doesn’t try to keep their employees informed, service can seriously suffer.
When you have a question about your HVAC installation or are simply wondering if that grinding noise is normal for your new system, it’s nice to know you’ve got someone to call. Companies that will pass you around instead of giving you a contact that you can call when you need them are companies you should pass by.
Any company that won’t write down what they’re doing for you and hang an estimated price tag on it isn’t a company you want to deal with. After all, just because Joe the Installer said it was going to cost you $2,000 to replace your system with the latest and greatest doesn’t mean that it will. Make sure you get everything in writing so you can hold him to his prices and promises.
Warranties are important, even if your installer does everything perfectly the first time. After all, the company can’t guarantee that the air conditioner or air handler you had installed was manufactured without defects. Never use a company that won’t give you a warranty. When you are offered a warranty, know that the longer the warranty, the better. Make sure you understand what that warranty entails and get all the details in writing so you can compare different warranties head-to-head.
Although service contracts aren’t deal breakers like warranties and written estimates, they are nice to have. For a small monthly or yearly fee, the same company that installed your HVAC system will come out several times each year to check it, do some basic maintenance and make sure everything’s running smoothly. Service contracts are great for extending the life of your equipment, but they really shine in those instances when little problems are caught before they turn into giant disasters.
Now, go forth and hire an HVAC company with confidence, knowing that you’re prepared to find the ideal company for your needs. After all, service is about more than who can offer you the best price — building long-term relationships means that someone will be there to help whenever you have a problem with your system, no matter how long ago they installed it.
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