How to Select the Right Heating and Cooling Contractor?

One of the most valuable service tips you'll ever get is the tip that leads to the right heating and cooling contractor. With the right technician – one you can trust – you should receive fast and professional maintenance or repair service. Tips are a dime a dozen, though, so how can you go about finding an air conditioning or heating company you can rely on for years to come? 

Hiring any service provider can be a significant expense and risk. When it comes to heating and cooling contractors, you want to be sure the company will be there for you down the road and that they’ll stand by their work. Finding the right contractor requires research and careful consideration of your options before choosing one. Rushing such a decision can lead to shoddy work that will only require additional expenses later to fix. Instead of contending with these issues, take the time to choose the right contractor the first time. Consider the following tips before agreeing to service from any contractor, so you can have peace of mind once work begins.

Do Your Homework

Like finding any other service contractor, start with asking people you know which service companies they've been happy with in the past. Check to ensure the company is licensed and insured in your city. Ask about how the employees are trained. Determine if the company conducts background and drug tests for each new employee. Look into the company’s track record and how long has it has been in business.

Take the time to check out online reviews from past customers and Better Business Bureau ratings. To get a more comprehensive look at past customer experiences, look for reviews on third-party sites like Google, Angie’s List or Yelp. These sites aggregate review scores without bias. This helps you get a better idea of the value of service you’ll receive or problems to look out for when working with a particular contractor. 

Verify Your Heating and Cooling Options

To narrow down your service companies, ask each about the pricing and warranties. Look at the bottom-line cost of the total repair or replacement, not just the gimmick that they are touting, such as a “free” item or discount. Determine what the pricing is for service charges, both emergency and routine maintenance. Ask whether the HVAC technician's work is guaranteed and for how long. Always ask what could possibly happen to void the guarantee and next steps to resolve any problems that arise. Make sure your billing agreement is solid before signing, and ask about any issues that could lead to extra charges during service. Ask if the technician is paid by the hour or the task. Some technicians are compensated with incentives based on the total sale, which can lead to unnecessary repairs.

If you're dealing with new construction or a new unit installation, determine if the company offers extended warranties on service and equipment. Not only are extended warranties a good idea, but you'll need to know exactly who performs any service or maintenance work under that warranty. It’s also wise to ask about high-efficiency options. Newer, high-efficiency units could provide significant savings on utility bills, and some will even qualify for rebates, tax breaks and other incentives.

Some of the smaller contractors may offer extended warranties, but subcontract to others the ongoing service or maintenance work. It’s better to work with one contractor for the long haul, rather than dealing with other subcontractors. Ask a potential contractor if they provide any ongoing maintenance plans or offer checkup services to follow up on their installations and repairs.

Finally, make sure that any contractor you consider has the appropriate licenses and certifications to perform the work you need. For example, natural gas piping and installation for HVAC systems, boilers, heaters and stoves requires special certification. An uncertified contractor who attempts this kind of work risks serious injuries and damage to the people and property in the structure, so always inquire about licenses and certifications for any project.

Look for Overall Value

United Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is fiercely dedicated to customer satisfaction, and we believe that any type of heating, cooling or plumbing project demands expert attention. Our technicians are trained, certified and ready to handle any type of HVAC issue. Whether it’s a commercial structure or residential property, United can help you find a solution to your HVAC issues at a reasonable cost and provide customer support whenever you need it.

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