A properly functioning HVAC system is one of the most critical features of any home. After all, if your air conditioning and heat aren’t functioning, you are likely to find yourself miserable during the hottest and coldest months of the year. That’s why it’s important to have regular diagnostics and repairs done by a reputable HVAC company.
While there are a lot of HVAC companies out there, many of them are unfortunately neither reliable nor reputable. Here are five ways you can ensure that you’re working with a reliable HVAC company:
This first step may sound obvious to more tech-savvy people, but not everyone is in the habit of reading reviews before hiring an HVAC company. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to make use of social media and home maintenance resource sites to thoroughly research any company you’re thinking of employing. Check several different websites to make sure a potential company is an established one. If they’ve been around for a while, they’re more likely to be reliable. Often, less reputable businesses disappear after a short time. Some companies, like Entek HVAC, have been in business for generations, which is a very strong indicator of their reliability. By reading online reviews, you’ll also be able to hear from satisfied customers, who will often go into great detail about their experience. This information is invaluable when seeking an HVAC company.
Check the reviews to see if the company performs tasks in a timely manner, if they were upfront with their business dealings and did not make use of hidden charges, and ensure the staff was friendly and easy to work with. Of course, if you’ve had a great experience with your HVAC company, don’t forget to write a review of your own!
HVAC systems are highly complex and require a great deal of training and expertise to work with. That’s why any reputable HVAC company will make sure its staff all come highly credentialed. Look for certifications such as the Building Energy Assessment Professional certification from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Less reputable HVAC companies will not bother to have their employees go through the ASHRAE’s certification programs, but this means they most likely will not bring the knowledge, experience, and skills to the table that certified workers will. You’ll also want to check if your potential HVAC company is a member of any safety organizations. Commitment to safety is of course a critical requirement for anyone working on your home. If your HVAC company is a member of ISN or a similar organization, that’s a pretty strong indicator they’re a reliable HVAC company.
Check the Paperwork
A reliable HVAC company will always be meticulous about their paperwork, working hard to ensure all the proper permits are in place before starting any job. They’ll be able to present your with any permit that you request, as well as proof of insurance, workman’s comp, and any other paperwork that’s critical to the legality of doing any necessary HVAC maintenance. One sure way to know that a company is not reputable is if they try to avoid showing you permits and insurance paperwork; if they dodge your questions, or they try to explain to you why insurance is not required in this particular situation. A good, reputable HVAC company will always have their paperwork organized, and be ready to show it to you or any officials any time its requested.
Think About Cost
When choosing an HVAC company, the issue of money is critical. While an HVAC company’s prices shouldn’t be exorbitant, you also should be wary of opting for the cheapest one in your area. Usually, if the cost seems too good to be true, it probably is. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for, and if you settle for an ultra-cheap HVAC company, it could end up costing you thousands of dollars in avoidable repairs when you need to call in a second company to fix the mistakes the first one made. HVAC repairs require highly trained professionals and specialized equipment. If the cost is too low, the company may be missing one or both of these critical factors. Don’t allow yourself to get scammed by an improperly equipped or trained business.
Ask About Payment
You should also establish how the company wants to be paid before any work is performed. There are certain red flags you might see from a disreputable company; for example, if they want to be paid in advance because they need to buy the proper equipment, then that’s a sure sign you’re not dealing with professionals. While many companies will require a deposit before starting work, this isn’t the same thing as not being able to start because they don’t have enough cash on hand to buy the equipment they need. When it comes to money, you should make sure everything is understood well in advance. A reputable company will be perfectly clear about what you owe, when you owe it, and how they prefer to be paid.
Find Out What Services the Company Offers
You may just be looking for basic maintenance and repairs, but with an HVAC unit, there’s always the possibility you’ll need more work done. There’s also the chance you may need emergency repairs at an unexpected time. Since this is often the case, you’ll want to make sure your HVAC company has a plan in place to help you. Of course, maintenance and prevention are always the best choices when it comes to being well prepared, so look for a company that will be extra thorough in cleaning, maintaining, and repairing your heating and cooling units.