How to choose an HVAC contractor can be a confusing concept for the average home owner. Not only is the market saturated with companies to choose from, there are many details to consider that can vary by the type of job. However big or small your job may be, it is important to take this process seriously. Doing your research can mean the difference between quality work which adds value to your home or business, or a future filled with issues. Being in the business over 50 years, we here at ABC Fuel Oil Company have seen it all. Not all HVAC contractors are the same and more importantly, not all of them are BAD! There are still HVAC companies & contractors out there who do things the RIGHT way. This article will walk you through several steps to guide you through the process of hiring the right person or company for the job.
- This may be obvious-but you want to make sure you are dealing with a licensed contractor. This will weed out any fly-by-night companies that may not have your best interests in mind. In order for a company to become licensed, they need to be trained and certified in specific areas like handling refrigerant, servicing oil heat equipment properly, etc. One good way to determine if they are licensed is to look for the license # on either the company vehicle and on any paperwork that may be exchanged about the job details.
- Speaking of paperwork-request a written copy of any quote you receive. Although verbal figures are helpful in deciding on price, I would recommend getting something in writing before officially agreeing. A written contract should also include beneficial information like timeline, equipment information, and job details that you can use when making your decision.
- Avoid going with the “lowest bidder”. Although price is an important factor to consider, it isn’t always wise to solely base you decision on. We always say that when it comes to something you use almost every day, it may be in your best interest to spend a little more up front to avoid costly issues in the future. Oftentimes, going with a slightly more expensive model can offer longer life if properly taken care of, but can save you money on your energy bills.
- Ask around! A great way to gain knowledge about companies in the area is to hear from some of their customers. We highly recommend asking friends and neighbors who they have used and what their experience was. You could also check out reviews on Google & Social Media sites like Facebook. Although this isn’t always reliable information, it can give you an idea of general company reputation and how recently they’ve had jobs. It can also serve as a solid indicator of companies to avoid.
By incorporating these 4 steps into your search for the right HVAC contractor, you are well on your way to getting the job done. Don’t forget-you’ve got options! Unless you are dealing with an emergency situation, then you have time to make an informed decision. This is especially important when you consider the likelihood of dealing with them after the initial installation. Make sure the contractor appreciates your business and aims to make the customer happy.