You are well aware that there is no shortage of HVAC contractors in the marketplace. And when you have a large number of companies servicing heating and air conditioning you are bound to have a wide spectrum of quality in the mix. Some contractors may offer exceptional quality, while others are just looking to make a buck. With that in mind, I have compiled a list of the three of the more important questions to ask when hiring an HVAC contractor to help make sure you get the quality work you expect.
Read below to learn about these questions and also a short explanation as to why they matter.
First, Is the Company Licensed and Insured for Heating and Air Conditioning Repair?
A lot of people overlook the need for a license in the trades. “My brother-in-law used to do HVAC, he can help me”, or “My neighbor says he did his own last year and he can help me out”, are phrases we here all the time. So why is a license important?
Licensing ensures that the contractor has met certain basic requirements to operate in your state. A license ensures that the contractor has a specific amount of experience, and has shown a thorough knowledge of local codes and requirements to make sure that they are knowledgeable in the work they do and that this work will be safe for you and your home. The license also requires that they have the necessary insurance to protect if things go wrong.
I was a firefighter for 10 years before I got into the trades, and what a lot of people do not know about local code requirements is that they stem from three major fires. The London fire, the Chicago fire, and the San Francisco fire, all started as a single small fire that then went on to destroy an entire city. Why? Because everyone built their homes and businesses as they saw fit, with no oversight as too what was safe or not.
These catastrophes compelled governments to develop codes for how to build and repair homes and businesses, for the safety of everyone involved, and to date, we haven’t had anymore small fires destroy large cities.
I’ll admit some code requirements are hard to understand and can be pretty weird and petty, but in general they exist to keep you, your home, your neighborhood, and your city safe. You need to make sure you hire a contractor who is licensed and has shown that he knows these codes and knows how to keep you safe with the work he performs. Next you should ask…
Do They Have Good References?
It’s very easy for someone to get business cards, build a website, and put a sign on a van to give the appearance of being professional. It’s much harder to do good, quality work that more than satisfies your customers and to build a good reputation in the process. An example of our efforts to do high quality work can be seen here.
The easiest way to separate the legitimately professional contractor from the phony is to ask for references. That said, some heating and air conditioning contractors don’t want tire-kickers bombarding their existing customers with questions, which is reasonable. So a second way you can check references is to read Google reviews. Google is very strict on their review policy and the contractor has no say over what gets written. The contractor can’t edit them, or remove them. So you can rest assured that you are getting an accurate picture if you read Google reviews.
But don’t just read the good ones. Read the bad ones as well. When the contractor makes a mistake, which we all do, how did they handle it? How did they handle a dissatisfied customer? All of this is good information to have before you choose a contractor. And finally you should ask…
Do They Warranty Their Work?
To be very blunt, an HVAC contractor who does not warranty his work has no faith in his own ability (or his employees’) to repair your heating and cooling system. It really is that simple. A qualified and well-trained contractor knows how to repair your HVAC system and will offer a warranty to back it up. So before you hire an HVAC contractor ask about their warranty. But also be aware that some warranties have stipulations, things like regular maintenance, the age of the system, etc. These are all factors that have nothing to do with the contractor’s repair but can cause failure, so don’t let stipulations to the warranty turn you off automatically, listen to what they are, and then decide for yourself if you think it makes sense or not.
In the end, if you ask these three questions, and do your homework in the process, you are much less likely to get scammed by an unsavory HVAC contractor and much more likely to get quality heating and air conditioning repairs.
Choose Prestige Air to Keep Your HVAC Running Optimally
If you live in the greater Fort Worth, TX area, and experience problems with your heating and cooling call Prestige Air. Our expert service professionals have the training and experience to keep your HVAC system in tip-top shape all year long. Call (817) 200-7215 to make sure your heating and cooling are ready for the season!
If your interested in how the process works to hire Prestige Air, click here to learn more.