It's all too confusing...
Or, is it? Given the time and opportunity, the process of finding a great HVAC company should be easy, right?
It's a cold winter day, You arrive home from work and it's as cold inside your home as it is outside!. Hopefully you've already established yourself with a reputable contractor...the company upon whom you call when you're in trouble. Your heat isn't working, it's cold, and you pick up the phone and dial. You're frantic!
Being a familiar voice and name, you're accomodated and before too long a service tech is at your front door. Often a repair can be made but now you're told that your 25 year old furnace has seen better days and your trusted contractor recommends its replacement.
After hearing the details of what the problem is and the repair, if in fact one can be made, versus the cost and, you spend some time discussing the age of the equipment, it's lack of efficiency and therefore cost of operation. UGH!? Taking into consideration the age of the furnace and the practicality of repairing it, the first and most important question should be 'When can you do it'? Now why, then, would you feel you have to go further than that? How do you choose a great contractor? Read more here...
Real estate professionals seem to feel a homeowner should get 3 estimates. Now that, in and of itself, can sometimes be problematic considering your busy schedule and lack of free time. So going about collecting this information because a dreadful chore. 3 estimates? Why not 10? 20? Let's set some parameters. What indeed are you searching for? A trustworthy contractor? The friendlist? Cheapest? OK....let's be honest. Meantime, may I remind you, you have NO HEAT! You see, it becomes uncomfortable for you, frustrating for contractors, and you're still without heat. So, where do you go from there?
Your faithful heating contractor should have the following:
The willingness to relieve your stress, the proper insurance, licenses, knowledge and the desire to accomodate you as well as the ability to provide expert service to you. That being said...this should be an easy process. The most relevant question should be the availability of the contractor and how accomodating he/she is with scheduling. Of course price comes into question. Human nature is get the 'best deal' to some....other's live with the old adage 'You get what you pay for'.
Here are a few other thoughts:
- Is your contractor willing to re-arrange scheduling to accomodate you?
- Does your heating contractor offer financing or accept all major credit cards?
- Are extended warranties available?
- Perhaps your heating contractor has a coupon on their company website? It's there to be used.
Standing behind an instalaltion and providing warranty service is key here. We've heard far too many nightmare stories of the 'cheaper guy' or 'the guy my general contractor brought in' or 'the company from the other part of the state' that is nowhere to be found, or doesn't provide service when a newly installed furnace needs an adjustment or the ever-important annual maintenance. And, once the initial warranty is over, the availability of an ongoing service contract then becomes most valuable. Remember, no one puts a statement in their contract that says: We will do a decent job, or We won't take too many shortcuts, or even worse...we don't use the wrong parts! But, trust me, some do.
A fair price for a great job is what we all look for. The knowledge that, should a problem occur, someone will remedy it, and...a comfortable home at the end of the day!