If your furnace dies suddenly, you’ll probably be tempted to hire the first Heater Repair company you find. Who can blame you? If it’s cold enough, you might have to leave your house until your furnace is up and running again.
Having a broken heater is inconvenient, but it’s worth your time to research different Heater Repair companies before you hire anyone. Read on for HVAC Philly’s tips to finding the right HVAC contractor for you!
Licensed, Bonded, and Insured
While your cousin’s friend may offer cheap self-taught repair work, having your heater repaired by someone who is uninsured is risky business. Most states and municipalities mandate that HVAC contractors be licensed to work in the heating and cooling industry. In order to hold and maintain that license, HVAC companies need a minimum level of insurance and bonding. Anyone that works in your home should carry liability insurance in case of accidental damage or injury. Check with your local building department or code office for more information.
A professional HVAC company should have a list of recent customers that you can see to verify that the company performed the work in a timely manner to the customer’s satisfaction. A written testimonial isn’t the same as a live reference. It’s important to actually call these references to get relevant details on the project. Often, you can find valuable information online where people leave reviews about recent HVAC service. If you look through enough reviews, you can probably even find someone who had the same furnace problem that you’re having.
Get at least three written in-home estimates from three different companies in writing. Your most important consideration is likely cost, and costs vary widely from one company to the next. While cost is key, it’s also very important to ensure that the project’s overall scope, details and completion dates are thoroughly documented. A written estimate protects you from traps like price hikes and inflated labor costs.
Brands & Training
Ask prospective companies which specific manufacturers or equipment brands they carry. Unlike other home improvement contractors, HVAC companies often only carry a small selection of brands. If you’re doing your own price comparison research on new equipment, you may need to limit your options to companies that specialize in the equipment brand of your choice. Contractors should hold training certifications with the manufacturers of the equipment they carry.
Tax Credits or Rebates:
Depending on the type of home heating or cooling equipment you’re installing or upgrading, your project may qualify for federal or state tax credits or rebates. Be sure to ask if incentives are available for your project. If they are available, make sure the project is properly documented to meet incentive requirements.
Read the Fine Print
If you use a payment plan or apply for financing through a HVAC company’s line of credit, make sure you read all the fine print and know what you’ll be responsible for financially. Sometimes there are stiff penalties for missing a payment that will put you in a tough spot.
Ask About Guarantees
Never work with a contractor who doesn’t fully back the work performed. Ideally, you should opt to hire a heating contractor that commits to 100% customer service and product guarantees as well as warranties. If a contractor isn’t willing to stand by the quality of their work, why should you risk hiring them?
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
While you can’t foresee an unexpected breakdown, you can take steps to keep your furnace running at the top of its game. Many homeowners put off repairing or tuning up their furnaces until a malfunction occurs. If you don’t perform regular maintenance and your furnace breaks down, critical (and usually the most expensive) components will often need replacing. In dire cases, an entirely new furnace will need to be purchased. In this case, you need to prepare for a furnace replacement. Research your options, especially if your furnace has been in your house longer than you have.