Selecting a company to install heating or air conditioning in your home can sometimes be difficult because there are so many to choose from. Below is a list provided by Service Roundtable of things you can look for to help make your decision.
Heating & Air Conditioning Contractor Selection Checklist
12 Things to Look For, Before Calling
With just a little observation, you can determine much about a company. You can find the following by direct observation, talking with friends and neighbors, and a quick review of the company’s website or advertising. If you do not know an answer, ask when you call.
1. Is the contractor referred by a friend or neighbor?
The best source of information about the quality of work, friendliness, and customer service is the experiences of friends or neighbors.
2. Does the company fleet reassure you?
Contractors driving unmarked, beat up, dirty vehicles and likely to treat your home similarly. In addition, these contractors may be skating on the edge of bankruptcy and unwilling or unable to fulfill their warranty requirements.
3. Does the company have a physical address?
While many contractors may operate out of a home office when starting, they do have a physical address. Fly-by-nights and moonlighters, who will not remain around to stand behind their work, do not. They operate companies from cell phones.
4. Are company employees neat, clean, and professional?
Companies that provide employees with uniforms and insist on moderate levels of grooming tend to take a more professional approach across the board. Fly-by-nights are more likely to wear dirty jeans and tee shirts.
5. Does the company employ NATE certified technicians?
Similar to the ASE program for the automotive industry, NATE is the heating and air conditioning industry’s technician certification program.
6. Does the company have a website?
Similar to a physical address, a website is a sign of legitimacy. Most heating and air conditioning companies have a web presence today.
7. Will the company guarantee a price before work begins?
Most contractors utilize a national flat rate pricing service today. The service uses national standard times for repairs, allowing the contractor to offer a fixed price quote before work begins, rather than an open-ended parts and labor estimate.
8. What warranties are offered?
Better contractors, who are more confident in their work, offer better warranties.
9. Is the contractor licensed?
Licensing is a minimum requirement. Under no circumstances should you allow an unlicensed contractor to work on your equipment.
10. Is the contractor fully insured?
If an employee of an uninsured contractor is hurt on your property, you can be held liable for medical expenses. Reputable contractors will provide copies of their general liability and workers compensation insurance. If the contractor uses subcontractors (e.g., an electrician or an insulation company), ask for copies of their insurance.
11. Is the company part of your community?
A company that’s involved in your community has a greater stake in their local reputation than one not involved. Problems will arise from time to time and companies with a stake in the community tend to put forth an extra effort to resolve problems.
12. Is the company part of a professional community?
Companies that belong to a trade association or business alliance are companies committed to their craft. They care more. Quality is better. The level of professionalism is higher.