We rely on our heating and cooling systems to keep our homes comfortable, no matter what the weather is doing outside. An HVAC system is a complex piece of equipment, and it can cost a great deal of money. In order to protect that considerable investment, it makes sense to hire the best HVAC company to work on your system. But, like any industry, there are good and bad HVAC contractors, so how do you pick the right one to work on your heating and cooling equipment. In this article, we will supply you with fifteen questions that should help you to hire the best local HVAC company for the job.
- Are You Licensed?
The HVAC company must have licensed contractors to work on your system. It’s important to understand that your home insurance will not cover any work that’s carried out by an unlicensed contractor. So, even though it may be tempting to choose a less expensive HVAC company, it could end up cost much more in the long run.
- How Long Have You Been in Business?
The last thing that you need is an inexperienced contractor working on your HVAC system. They could easily cause more problems and the money spent on their services would be wasted. But, if the HVAC company is new, perhaps they can show where they worked previously, and that may suffice. Many HVAC companies start when experienced technicians decide to strike out on their own.
- What is Your Business Address?
Do not hire an HVAC company that doesn’t have a physical address that you can visit. If the company will not supply you with an address that should be a major red flag. Every serious company should have a physical location, and if they don’t, it’s highly likely that this is some type of scam.
- Do You Have Office Staff?
This ties in with the physical location for the prospective HVAC company. After all, if you have any further questions or complaints, will there be anyone around to listen to your problems? Every serious HVAC company should have at least one person to answer the phone and speak to customers.
- Can You Guarantee the Quoted Price?
Some less reputable HVAC companies will quote a price and then overlook something later and try to alter it. It’s important to be aware of any company that quotes a lower price only to raise it later after the work has started.
- Do You Operate a Drug-free Work Environment?
The last thing you need is drug use in your home and around your family. Many HVAC companies have a zero tolerance approach to drug use in the workplace, and this includes your home. Ask the company about their policy on drug use and ask to see their zero drug tolerance policy that their employees have signed.
- Do You Carry Out Pre-Employment Screening?
Most companies now carry out pre-employment background screening for their employees. This is extremely important; you don’t want convicted criminals in your home.
- Can You Guarantee Customer Satisfaction?
It’s important to get a satisfaction guarantee in writing before any work commences. This is a sure sign that you’re dealing with a professional HVAC company that will go the extra mile to make sure you are happy.
- Do You Hire Sub-contractors?
Some HVAC companies have a smaller pool of full time employees, and they may even sub-contract a lot of their work to outside contractors. This is generally a bad sign, the sub-contractors may not be fully qualified, and they are acting more like a middleman by selling the project to a different company. Always choose an HVAC company that carries out their own work, and things are far simpler.
- Do You Remove Old Equipment?
It’s essential to know in advance if the HVAC company will be removing old equipment and debris from your home after the job is completed. Some HVAC companies tack a disposal fee onto the final bill, and this is a common type of hidden cost that you need to be aware of. If there is a disposal fee, you need to know about it upfront so that you can include that cost in your budget.
- Do Your HVAC Technicians Clean Up?
At the end of each working day in your home, the HVAC technicians should include a thorough clean up. Even though work is ongoing in your home, you still need to live there, and it’s important to keep things as clean as possible. Many HVAC contractors don’t follow this policy, but the best ones do, and you need to know this before you sign the contract.
- Do You Offer an Extended Warranty?
In many cases, a lower initial price with an accompanying shorter warrant period is a bad deal. In the medium to long term, this “great deal” is likely to cost more money when components start to tail. It’s always a better idea to get an extended warranty if one is available for extra peace of mind.
- Do You Place a Higher Priority on Warranty Calls?
This follows on from the previous question; if you’re going to pay more for an extended warranty, will the HVAC company place greater emphasis on your needs. The last thing you need is to be placed on the back burner because other new customers are generating greater revenue, and you’re left with no heating or cooling.
- Do You Have Worker’s Compensation Insurance?
Ask to see copies of the worker’s compensation insurance for any employees that will be working in your home. Working on HVAC equipment can be risky; even experienced technicians can have an accident or make a mistake. So, it’s essential to make sure that they are covered with an appropriate level of insurance before they start work. This is protection for the employee, the HVAC company, and the homeowner.
- Can You Provide a 33 Point Installation Inspection?
After any HVAC equipment is installed, it needs to be tested to ensure that it’s working correctly.
Asking these fifteen questions will help you to find a local professional HVAC company that meets your needs. Don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions; the best HVAC companies will be happy to provide detailed answers. If an HVAC company cannot answer these questions to your satisfaction, don’t hire them.