Maybe you just moved into an upscale NYC residence and are looking for a reliable residential HVAC service. Or, maybe you’ve had enough of your residential HVAC contractor, who is late for appointments and leaves a mess behind.
You should accept nothing less than stellar service. Here are tips on how to find a residential HVAC contractor that won’t disappoint you and will treat your home like a castle.
A dozen tips on how to find a top quality residential HVAC contractor
1. Ask for references… and find them yourself
You should always as a vendor to provide references. But let’s face it: it’s unlikely they will say anything bad! So where else can you turn?
Online crowd-sourced reviews can be helpful. We recommend checking Facebook and Yelp to learn about others’ experience with an HVAC contractor. Also, check the Better Business Bureau to ensure they haven’t received tons of complaints about the prospective residential HVAC contractor.
2. Turn to friends
Ask friends, neighbors, co-workers (and your building’s property manager) about HVAC companies they use for installation and service. Wouldn’t it be better to get references from people you know and trust?
3. Insist on experience
Make sure you look at residential HVAC contractors who have the right experience. Look for those who have worked on equipment like yours and done similar projects.
- Have they done residential work in luxury high-rises or only suburban homes?
- Small business systems or only large-scale commercial projects?
- Can they talk about experiences solving problems like yours?
4. Make appointments with more than one residential HVAC contractor
Meet with residential HVAC companies reps to discuss your project. Onsite evaluations are necessary for an accurate estimate.
Don’t waste your time on a contractor who wants to give you an over-the-phone estimate. If they don’t have time for you, you shouldn’t have time for them!
5. Check credentials
Make sure the residential HVAC contractor has proper state and local licensing. New York does not require a specific license. But, you can look for industry certifications that assure competency in different HVAC service areas.
Don’t be shy about asking for proof of insurance, which will financially protect you if property damage occurs. Check to see if the residential HVAC contractor carries worker’s compensation for employees, covering on-the-job injuries.
6. Get written estimates
A wink and a handshake won’t do. Written quotes are essential for two reasons. It helps you to ensure the contractor is doing the contracted work or maintenance.
It also allows you to compare apples to apples when looking at proposals from multiple residential HVAC contractors.
Be wary of a contractor submitting an estimate substantially lower than others. Ask questions to determine if you are getting the same level and quality of service.
7. Understand your service agreement
Service agreements aren’t all the same. There are different level plans. One thing to look for: Does the service agreement proposal include parts and labor? In the service proposal is not clear, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Better yet, read this article to learn how to compare contracts & pricing: HVAC Service Contract Pricing Guide
8. Don’t overlook appearance
You don’t want to let just anyone in your home to service your HVAC system. You are looking for trustworthy techs because they have access to your home and its contents.
Feel free to ask if your residential HVAC contractor conducts employee background checks. For security purposes, techs should wear ID badges.
Uniforms and neatness convey professionalism and might be an indicator of a matching work ethic.
9. Check technician training
Check if your potential residential HVAC contractor requires continual employee training and industry certifications. You want to make sure your technician keeps pace with updates.
Sometimes the old way of conducting business isn’t always the best way. Be wary of technicians who say, “We’ve been doing it this way for twenty years.”
10. Notice who’s in your neighborhood
When looking for a residential HVAC contractor, check your neighborhood for company vehicles. Their presence shows that they have enough personnel and trucks to respond fast to your calls. It’ also a sign your neighbors are happy with their service.
11. Make sure your residential HVAC contractor embraces new technology
Technology impacts practically every aspect of a visit from your contractor. Ask if they use:
- Computerized fleet management & dispatchers. This helps them send the closest truck to your home and keeps technicians on schedule.
- GPS on every truck. This can help techs avoid traffic jams.
- Mobile devices. Tablets, smart phones and dedicated wireless devices can shorten the service call and record-keeping process.
- Modern diagnostic tools. This helps technicians detect signs of potential problems before a full-blown breakdown occurs.
12. Make security a must-have
Does your residential HVAC contractor use mobile electronic devices to encrypt your payment information securely?
Let’s take security a step further: Does the company supply its technicians with wearable video technology that records service calls?
Only a few HVAC companies, like Arista Air, have invested in this cutting-edge tool. That’s because we have confidence in our staff to provide you with visual proof of what we’re doing in your home.
To see how this new technology can benefit you, check out: The Evidence-Based Approach to Choosing an HVAC Company.