Picture this: on a 99-degree day in the middle of August, your HVAC system suddenly stops working – leaving you, your children, and your pets with no relief from the unrelenting heat of summer.
Pretty horrific scenario, right? Unfortunately, that’s just the type of nightmare that can drive some homeowners to make snap decisions and become more vulnerable to dishonest sales tactics or outright scams – especially since most homeowners aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of their home’s HVAC system, causing them to rely on their service provider’s expertise and honesty.
How to hire the right HVAC repair company:
Angie’s List, a subscription-based, crowd-sourced review website of local businesses, offers the following tips on how to avoid a painful and costly run-in with the wrong HVAC repair company.
1. Check licenses. Many states, and even some cities and municipalities, require HVAC contractors to have specific licenses to operate on HVAC equipment. You can look up your state’s and/or local government’s online database of contractor licensing requirements through Angie’s List’s License Check.
2. Do your homework. This means checking references (a professional HVAC repair company should have a list of recent customers that you can call), and checking to make sure that the company is bonded and insured in addition to being licensed.
3. Pay attention to detail. When looking at new or replacement heating and cooling equipment, ask prospective companies what specific manufacturers or equipment brands they carry. Unlike other home improvement contractors, HVAC repair companies often carry only a small selection of brands; and it’s important that you limit your hiring choices to companies that specialize in your equipment brand of choice.
4. Ask about payment schedules. On a big job, especially when installing new equipment, you may need to make a deposit and make progress payments or planned payments. If you use a payment plan or apply for financing through the HVAC repair company’s line of credit, make sure you read all the fine print and know what you’ll be financially responsible for.