Looking for a reliable HVAC contractor can be taxing. There are too many service providers claiming they are the “best in the business” and a number of factors can weigh in on your final decision. Here are 10 questions that you can ask a prospective HVAC business.
What Services the Business Provides?
Most HVAC businesses are able to cover the full range of heating, cooling, and air conditioning services you may need, but some may specialize in heating installations or cooling repairs alone. In addition, some businesses only service certain brands or types of HVAC systems. Before scheduling an onsite inspection, you can look up the business’ services on their website or contact them via phone.
What Training Do the Business’ Technicians Have?
The most important resource of a service business, particularly an HVAC contractor, is its people. The field technicians that an HVAC business employs will dictate how well they perform the work. While a bachelor’s degree from a prestigious college isn’t necessary, some form of training is definitely needed to be able to accurately and consistently perform HVAC services. Ask what certifications the technicians carry and then do your own research on these certification programs.
How Long Has the Business Been Operating?
A more established HVAC company is logically the better bet over a contractor who just set up shop a week ago. The more years that an HVAC business has been operational, the more reviews and testimonials you can find about them, which helps you get a clearer picture of their trustworthiness.
Do They Offer Maintenance Agreements?
Preventive maintenance agreements are contracts that stipulate a scheduled maintenance service to be conducted every several months, usually bi-yearly. These contracts are often cheaper and simplify the process of having your HVAC system taken care of.
What Does Maintenance Involve?
Maintenance services encompass different components of your HVAC system. A contractor’s maintenance work may not cover a specific part, i.e. gas or oil lines, electrical wiring, or air vents and ductwork. Double-check with your HVAC business to make sure they offer a comprehensive inspection of your HVAC system.
What Systems Does the Business Offer?
If you plan on upgrading to a newer heating or cooling unit, it only makes sense to check what products your HVAC contractor offers. You don’t want to be limited in terms of brands and types of heating systems you can choose from. For instance, if you wish to install a geothermal heat pump for maximum energy efficiency, is the HVAC contractor you’re in contact with offering geothermal pump installation?
What Areas Are They Serving?
Is the HVAC business serving your neighborhood? You can usually find the full list of areas they serve on the business’ official website. If the information is unavailable, you can always inquire directly by sending the contractor an email through the Contact Us form on their website.
What Hours is the Business Open?
Unlike most traditional brick-and-mortar businesses, HVAC contractors are often open round the clock. That said, note that this is only true for their emergency repair services. Installation, maintenance, and other services, i.e. indoor air quality checks, may not be available during off-business hours.
Is the Business For Sale?
Sometimes, customers aren’t just looking for contractors to work on their HVAC system; they’re also looking for an investment or business opportunity. If you’ve been planning to enter the business, you may want to read up on how to sell HVAC businesses. This includes knowing your marketing plans, valuation, etc.
Where Can You Read Reviews and References?
If you’re looking to hire an HVAC contractor, you can’t just take their word for it. You’ll want to gather unbiased opinions from verified past customers, whether from households or businesses. Legitimate HVAC contractors will usually have a digital footprint that’s made up of a website, some social media pages, and even a blog. They’ll also be happy to send you references who can confirm their legitimacy.
These questions can help you form a clearer picture of your HVAC contractor and allow you to make a more informed decision. Don’t be afraid to ask these questions honestly and directly. If an HVAC contractor is legitimate, he/she will have no problems directly answering the questions rather than avoid them.