Picking the Right HVAC Company
Choosing a HVAC company or contractor can be something of a process. Especially because not all contractors provide the same level of service. Performing research can be the difference between ending up with an expert and just plain getting ripped off. Some contractors even make a career out of one-time scare sale tactics because they don’t plan to deal with that person again.
In some cases, you may find some contractors aren’t actual contractors. In other cases, you could find yourself dealing with a couple of self-proclaimed handymen working from their truck. All hope is not lost. There plenty of contractors that can be trusted. We certainly consider ourselves a cut above the rest and would love to work with you on your HVAC needs. In any case, we are about community and building long lasting relationships, so we want to provide you the means to make a good decision for yourself.
Below are some tips to do so.
Research the HVAC Contractor’s Reputation. If you’re like most people, you want someone with a credible reputation in your home. If you go with someone you found on a classifieds site or by other means they may charge you and their intent may be never to see you again.
Typically, even if there is a huge price difference in the solo or unheard-of contractor’s bid, the amount you’ll spend fixing an amateur’s potential mistake won’t be worth the deal they gave you.
We are using our company’s examples but if for some odd reason you wanted to use another contractor the same or similar resources would work. 😉
Some of these tips can be used in general although we’re mainly talking about HVAC companies here.
Do the contractors or companies you are looking into have more than a couple ways to verify previous customer experience?
Here are some resources you can use to verify a contractor’s credibility online:
Google My Business
We would recommend using a HVAC Contractor with no less than 5 reviews on their Google My Business page. Read the reviews. If there are only a couple positive ones and not much context behind them, it may be best to move on to the next company.
If a company has an average score of less than 3.5 stars. It’s probably best to either read the reviews to make a well-formed decision or move on to the next potential candidate.
You can usually tell the difference between a well setup Yelp profile and one that isn’t.
What to look for:
- Good reviews
- Comprehensive information about the company
- Contact information
If you see all of these, the company probably cares about their Yelp account or at least overall reputation with their customers.
Note: We don’t want to point fingers, we use Yelp. We like Yelp. It’s a good platform! We haven’t had any problem with them as far as we can tell.
However, HVAC company or not, when using Yelp for company research you should know that there have been some alleged irregularities in their online review practices. Our suggestion would be to take Yelp reviews at face value to help you make an overall decision based on all the information available.
The BBB can be notoriously tough on companies with a questionable reputation. In some markets it is extremely difficult to get an A+ score. Don’t let the BBB stop you from doing business with someone with otherwise good reviews. However, make sure to read what people have to say about the business on the BBB. Even with otherwise good or bad reviews what people say here may sway you one way or another.
Even great companies can get the occasional bad review. Deserving or not. A good way to see if those companies deserved the bad reviews is how or If they react to them. Some companies are clearly trying to do anything they can to make something right. This shows they are engaged with their customers and are willing to follow up on their work. Sometimes there are people you just can’t please.
In other scenarios, it’s obvious from the gate that you should stay FAR AWAY from a certain company due to their reputation.
Is the Company Easy to Reach?
Something the ability to reach a company easily can be invaluable to a customer. After work is completed, it’s a good feeling to know that the company is a phone call away.
Tips to help you determine if a company is easy to reach:
- Phone numbers should be clearly displayed on their website and any other platforms they have
- Clearly labeled ways to contact the company outside of a phone call
- A company should have little to no record of issues contacting them or lack of follow up. Again, reading reviews is a good way to find out.
- Were they easy to reach when you first called them?
Don’t Accept Official Bids or Estimates on the First Phone Call
Getting a general idea of what things might cost is certainly fine. However, if you are provided a strict quote without the HVAC contractor assessing the situation, it could mean that the contractor doesn’t plan on performing a complete job. In some cases, there are things that need to be done to complete a job properly. We would recommend you avoid companies that offer official estimates without being able to review your unique situation.
Your HVAC Contractor Should Provide a Written Bid or Estimate.
Some HVAC techs may want to give you a “verbal contract.” bid. Although, this is accepted in many cities as a legal, binding contract. It can be difficult to prove the cost or the work without written documentation. So, if for some reason you do not receive documentation prior to a job. Just ask. If a contractor is unwilling to provide you something to prove their work, you may want to look elsewhere for services.
Verify You Are Working with A Licensed Professional.
It is unfortunate that some HVAC contractors claim to have a license, when in fact they are working under the radar. Let’s face it, there is a lot at stake here when dealing with gas lines, fire, or anything pushing air into your home. Usually, it’s not worth sacrificing your safety by choosing to do it yourself or allowing an under-qualified person to do it for you.