When it comes time to select an HVAC contractor, making the right decision is critical. Not all contractors are created equal, so it’s important to do your research and ask the right questions before choosing one.
This guide will help you understand how to choose an HVAC contractor. You will understand what to look for in an HVAC contractor and how to make sure you’re getting the best possible service.
Common Challenges when Choosing an HVAC Contractor
Choosing the right HVAC contractor can be a daunting task for many homeowners. There are a lot of factors to consider, and it can be difficult to find objective information. Here are some common challenges of finding and choosing a contractor:
1. Many homeowners don’t have a lot of experience or subject matter knowledge. This can make it difficult to know what questions to ask or how to evaluate proposals.
2. Reviews can be helpful but they’re not always perfect. It’s important to remember that everyone’s experience is different, and that one negative review doesn’t necessarily mean that a contractor is bad. For example, customers may leave a 1-star review because a contractor was late to an appointment for instance. And while nobody likes having to wait for someone who didn’t arrive when they were supposed to, it does happen to everyone from time to time, and it doesn’t mean the contractor is terrible and untrustworthy overall.
It is also important to remember that though your friends and family may have had a good experience, that does not mean the contractor is qualified. Word of mouth recommendations aren’t always the safest route.
Reviews for HVAC companies and contractors can be flawed. 5-star HVAC contractors online may not be 5-star HVAC contractors in real life. Review scores can be somewhat misleading, the reviews themselves can be biased, and customers may have been incentivized to leave a positive review. And if the review was left shortly after the installation, it may not be reflective of the quality of work as things can go wrong later down the line.
3. It can be overwhelming. There are a lot of variables to consider when choosing a contractor, such as price, quality, experience, availability, qualifications, and customer service. It can be hard to compare all of these factors and make a decision.
With so many challenges, many homeowners end up feeling frustrated when choosing an HVAC contractor. When they do, they are in danger of choosing the easiest option which may not always be the best option. However, there are some things you can do to increase your chances of success.
What to Look for with HVAC Contractors
There are a few things you can look for while you are vetting HVAC contractors. These indicators will give you a better idea of whether or not the contractor you’re considering is of quality.
Signs of a good HVAC contractor:
- They have no outstanding complaints. If there is a negative review, they have responded and dealt with it.
- There is not a surplus of negative feedback about them online.
- They have a good, clean track record.
- They have been in business for a number of years. While this may not be possible every time (everyone needs to start from square one!) an established business means they likely have experience and know how to consistently manage and deliver their services.
- They are fully insured.
- They have all of the necessary licenses.
- They are transparent about costs (no hidden fees!).
- They have fair pricing in-line with the competition. Way too high or way too low is a red flag.
- They can guarantee their work or offer solid warranty coverage on the installation (at least 1 year).
- They hire certified technicians, their support staff is trained, and their team seems confident.
- They respond in an appropriate amount of time to your requests.
It’s a lot to consider, we know. And you likely don’t have time to vet all the heating and cooling contractors on the market. You are busy and not an HVAC expert. But we are.
The experts at FurnacePrices.ca have given HVAC companies an opportunity to complete our independent certification. This certification considers a range of criteria, such as:
- how long the company has been in business,
- do they have proof of insurance, valid and up-to-date licensing, and
- a history of good performance and overall positive feedback from real customers.
This independent certification gives you clarity and transparency to the process. You can make an informed decision based on unbiased information. It also helps local HVAC contractors to find new customers.
And our partner contractors always aim to build lasting relationships with homeowners rather than just making a quick sale. Most of our Certified contractors have been with us for years.
Tips to Choosing HVAC Companies or Contractors
You should be well-educated now on how to choose an HVAC contractor but we have a few more extra tips for you and common mistakes to avoid.
- Do not always choose the cheapest option. Often, with everything in life, you get what you pay for. The more established companies may have higher costs but this allows them to offer better services. They can hire qualified administrative and support staff. So, you will be able to follow up after the service and get timely responses.
- Try contacting your HVAC company or contractor with a follow-up question after you receive a quote. Did they respond in a reasonable amount of time? This is a great way to understand how they value customer service, even for people who are not yet paying customers.
- But don’t automatically write off companies that take a little while to respond during busy seasons. These surges in demand can be quite taxing for every provider.
- Don’t start wondering, can a general contractor do HVAC work? You will want to hire a professional, licensed HVAC contractor to do HVAC work.
When it comes time to replace or repair your HVAC system, don’t take chances. Make sure you’re working with a qualified and reputable contractor. Doing your research upfront will save you time and money in the long run.
Follow the tips outlined in this guide, search our certified contractor listings, and you’ll be on your way to finding the best possible HVAC contractor for your needs. Not sure where to start? Get a Free Quote!