Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are the most complex parts of your house, and picking the right contractor may be the most important decision you make about your home. You want to choose a company that has experience, is professional, is reliable, and trustworthy.
Here are 7 of the top questions you can ask any contractor to find the one that is best for you.
“Which of my neighbors have been your customers?”
The first thing we think of is to ask our friends tends to be, “Who did you use?” for HVAC work. But often that gives you just one company, and just one job.
Go beyond that and ask each contractor for more than one local customer so you can get a broader perspective. And ask those customers who their friends used, and were their friends happier with a different contractor. You can’t do too much asking! (1, 2)
“What kind of reviews and ratings to do you have online?”
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) historically has done a lot of work in order to give an objective rating to businesses. It helps if you know that a contractor is solid financially as well as popular with its customers, and will still be around when you need follow-up work. In today’s world, you can look at Google reviews as well as Facebook reviews, among other places, to learn more about the HVAC company you are considering. We even have some of our testimonials right on our website. (1, 2)
“How long have you been in business?”
Experience is important in a hands-on industry like this one. You want someone who has seen lots of cases, and knows the many complex problems that can pop in a house. With over 60 years of experience at Greater Comfort, our highly trained technicians bring our special brand of expertise and customer service to every job we perform. (1, 2)
“Which brands of HVAC equipment do you carry?”
Reputable contractors carry several brands of equipment (which is why we carry brands such as Lennox and Mitsubishi). Smart customers purchase only units that are Energy Star rated for energy efficiency by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Most units have the amount of energy usage post on the product paperwork, and your contractor can give you that info. If you want to compare units, and see if your contractor is offering the most efficient equipment, check Energy Star ratings here.
“Can you give me a free written estimate?”
These days virtually all contractor give written estimates, and you shouldn’t settle for a verbal one. Also, beware firms that give you and estimate before they have inspected your home. Every home is unique, and you want the contractor to identify any special needs, and any money-saving features, that determine which products you need. (1, 2)
“Do you offer an ongoing maintenance program?”
Firms with a maintenance plan or program are firms that stand behind their work. It’s also something that can make sure you stay up-to-date with regular maintenance for your home! And the plans enable you to keep your systems clean, properly lubricated and pressurized and in peak performance, without worrying that you’ll forget and miss a season. Anyone who’s had a furnace fail when the temperature is below freezing, or experienced an AC breakdown when it’s in the 90s, can appreciate the genius of this low-cost preventive plan. (1, 2)
“What does your home maintenance inspection include?”
Reputable firms include a detailed list of their inspection items in their written estimate. Many of them also post this list on their websites, so you can easily compare the items, and discuss them with each contractor.
Beyond The Questions: Visit the Website!
Experience is important, but you also want a firm that know the latest products and techniques. The best firms keep their web sites current, with useful and cutting-edge information. If the web site hasn’t been updated in years, the firm’s skills might not have been kept current either.
Keep in mind that reputable firms don’t mind when you have questions. It shows you are prepared and you care about the longevity of your home.
Call the Experts at Greater Comfort this Fall
Want to learn more about the trusted, affordable brands we offer—or just have more questions you’d like to ask to get to know us? Give us a call today at (859) 491-4915.