HOW TO AVOID DISREPUTABLE HVAC CONTRACTORS
When it comes time to call a heating and air conditioning contractor, with all the choices of companies out there choosing the right HVAC contractor can be overwhelming. Customers want to be confident that the contractor they hire will be honest, reliable, and competitive in pricing and that they will stand behind their work and that the equipment installed is backed with a warranty. Being in the heating and cooling business for over 20 years I’ve heard from many customers their stories of past dealings with disreputable contractors, so I’ve put together a list of steps to take to help avoid being taken advantage of.
1) First call at least three companies and compare charges so you know approximately what a regular service charge is and whether it’s a flat-rate charge or an hourly charge.
2) When your HVAC technician arrives and diagnoses the problem, he or she should explain to you exactly what the problem is and give you a detailed explanation of the costs involved to repair the unit. For example, the technician should break down the cost for parts, labor, tax,
3) If you are quoted a repair that totals over $400 to $500, I highly urge you to get another opinion from another HVAC company. It never hurts to educate yourself and to get a second opinion. It can save you money in the long-run.
4) After the job is completed, be sure the technician supplies you with warranty information for labor and parts in writing on the invoice.
5) Ask questions of your technician about why the unit failed and any more questions you feel are pertinent about your system. Also inquire of your technician about a regular maintenance program for your unit and have him or her explain how a regular maintenance can add life and efficiency to your system.
6) Any recommendation of a major component replacement or repair should be fully explained by the heating and air conditioning company as to why they recommend this action and how it benefits you as the customer in the future, i.e. the unit is 25 years old, there is a safety hazard such as a carbon monoxide leak, et cetera. Be sure, however, to let them know you will be getting a second opinion. Any reputable company will respect your decision and will urge you to do so.
7) Remember, before you choose a contractor and before any major work is performed you should research to see if the HVAC company that you are considering is licensed, bonded, and insured and is in good standing. You can go to the Arizona Contractors License website and the Better Business Bureau website which I’ve listed the websites for you as follows: www.azroc.gov/forms/contractorsearch and www.bbb.org/search.
8) Last but not least, ask for referrals. Talking with those who are happy with their experiences with a good heating and air conditioning company speaks volumes. This way you can help avoid the pitfalls of hiring the wrong company and costing you money.