Five Keys to Finding a Quality Cooling & Heating Contractor
As an Edmonton homeowner, you should be well aware that being picky with who you hire to do house repairs is not only acceptable, it’s encouraged. While some services such as a roof replacement are once in 12-15 year interactions, working with a heating contractor could occur multiple times over the course of a single year. It’s good to find a quality HVAC Company you can work with not only for large scale projects, but also when emergencies arise. While an air-conditioning emergency can be annoying, a malfunction of a furnace in the depths of winter could be downright deadly.
The truth is, finding quality heating contractors is much like dating in that you may have to go through a few frogs before you find that special connection. Follow these tips to narrow and minimize the time spent with inferior HVAC companies so you can form a quality partnership with quality cooling and heating contractors.
Find a Company That Specializes in Your Make of Furnace
While most heating contractors are adept at working with a wide variety of furnaces and HVAC parts, if all things are equal, you can’t go wrong in working with a contractor that specializes in your exact type of manufacturer. There are a number of reasons to work with a brand-specific HVAC company that extend well beyond familiarity of the product including:
- More convenient access to parts;
- More keen on common problems or preventative fixes; and
- Can offer you an expanded maintenance guideline for a specific product.
Of course, this shouldn’t be the determining factor in choosing a company, but it helps choose between two equal parties.
Get Word of Mouth References
Once you’ve found a few possible suitors, reach out and get unsolicited reviews from your friends and neighbors. People rarely have anything to gain by informing you of their personal experiences with a company and will give you a more honest opinion than even online posts, which business sometimes pay to obtain.
Be aware that we are more likely to remember a negative experience than a positive one so take each experience with a grain of salt. Still it serves as another great data collection move in your quest for the perfect heating contractors.
Get License Verification
It’s quite easy to paint ‘licensed & bonded’ on the side of a service vehicle. To produce authentic documents, however, is a whole different animal. If you’re thinking about hiring a company for your HVAC needs ask them for proper documentation about their licensing and insurance. Proper documentation isn’t a problem to obtain for most professional heating contractors. In fact, the service company should be insured even to come onto your property and inspect your system to give you a quote. Too many people have fallen for that HVAC service that seemed perfect though – courteous, inexpensive, prompt – only to find out they’re uninsured and/or working under the table. Hiring an uninsured company is a dangerous gamble to take.
Obtain Quotes and Bids from Multiple Contractors
Just because a company has the proper insurance documents doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the ultimate heating contractor. The last line of defense that you can take is to get quotes from a multitude of different contractors in your area. Pricing is another aspect that needs to be taken into account when finding quality heating contractors. The lowest price isn’t necessarily the best value but at the same time a quality contractor doesn’t have the right to charge you three times as much as the competition either.
If you obtain multiple quotes from various companies, you’ll get an idea of what the industry norm is for the services you want. Along those same lines, hopefully, all the companies that give you an estimate are doing so for the same diagnostics. If one heating contractor advises that you install a new circuit breaker while another insists on a complete system overhaul it definitely raises a red flag.
Don’t Be Afraid To Keep Looking
Once you go through the rigamarole of seemingly finding your heating contractor soulmate, it doesn’t mean that you’re tied to them for life. If you aren’t happy with the service or the personality of the contractor simply thank them for their time and look elsewhere for your next HVAC needs.
It doesn’t take an emergency situation or a complete furnace overhaul for you to be proactive in finding a quality heating contractor. After all, no emergencies are scheduled ones. Simply contact the different HVAC companies in your area and tell them you’re interested in the options available for a replacement down the line. In fact, you may want to bring in the service personnel just to get their expert opinion on if your system is running to maximum efficiency or if there are obvious approaches you’re taking wrong.
In the end, spending a little money on a furnace inspection could save you a lot in the long run.