A good HVAC company is a valuable find for a homeowner. You need someone you can rely on when there’s a problem with your furnace or air conditioner. And, you want a company you can trust for routine maintenance every year.

Here are ten ways to tell if a company is the one you want working in your home.

A reliable HVAC company is certified, licensed and insured

This is your first stop in making sure you’re dealing with a professional, reliable HVAC company. They should be licensed by the state you’re in and also insured. And, check for any special certifications they may need in your area.

Having all these items tells you the company is serious about their work. It also says they’re invested in the community and will be around for a while.

And remember: having insurance is important for you too, not just the company you’re hiring. If something happens to a worker while they’re on the job, their company’s insurance covers it. You won’t get involved at all.

They’re familiar with your equipment

Next, check out the company’s web site. They should list the brands and equipment they work with regularly. Is your brand there? If so, you can feel a little more confident in giving them your work.

Most companies will list top brands like Carrier, Bryant, Lennox, and Mitsubishi. It’s common to see a dozen or more names. If you can’t find it, call and ask them. Or, at least, ask where to find the list on their website.

Seeing your brand listed means they’re familiar with the specifications and maybe even quirks of those units. In some cases, techs receive certification from the manufacturers so they can work on those machines.

Choose a contractor that works locally

When you’re looking to choose a contractor, find one that has an office nearby you can visit. Even if their work area is a space in a private home, they should have a physical location, not just a phone number.

The guy with nothing but a van and a business card with his cell number is probably a fly-by-night operator. Ultimately, you want a relationship with an honest company you know you can trust for years to come.

A company with dedicated office space is much more likely to stick around. You can be more confident that they’ll be around to honor any warranties or service contracts.

An honest HVAC company provides referrals

An honest HVAC company will have a good reputation in your area. And, they’ll be ready to prove it. Ask them for referrals and references.

Then, find more online. Does the company have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau? Positive online reviews from previous customers? These are all signs of a winner.

They don’t do estimates over the phone

Anyone who listens to your description of a problem over the phone and quotes you a price is, at best, inexperienced. But, it’s more likely they’re just trying to get the work by giving you a low price. Once they look at the unit in person, they’ll jack up the price.

A lot of factors can affect what’s going on. There’s the condition of your ductwork, for instance. Or, the size of your home. That’s not to mention parts of the unit that you can’t see, or leaks and electrical problems that require special equipment to detect.

They offer clear, easy-to-understand contracts

Now, we’ve covered how the contractor you’re dealing with should send someone out to check your equipment before quoting a price. On top of that, they should also always give you their bid in writing.

This way, there’s no confusion about what they’re doing and when. And, you have a record of it in case something goes wrong later.

They have safe work habits

How can you trust someone to care for you and your home when they don’t care for themselves? A contractor working on your furnace or air conditioner deals with electricity and natural gas, not to mention large machinery and moving parts. A good one does so safely.

All those things are dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. There’s a chance of injury not only for the person working on it, but also anyone else in the house.

You want a tech who takes all the proper precautions. Their tools should look clean and well-maintained. They’ll make sure everything is shut off properly before they begin working. And, they’ll isolate their work area and power sources, so children and pets aren’t at risk.

They offer options besides replacement

There are plenty of instances when there’s no other option but to replace something. That’s anything from a broken piece of equipment to an entire furnace or air conditioner. On the other hand, most times a replacement job makes more money for the company than repair work.

A dishonest or greedy tech will always push hard for a replacement. Someone from a professional, reliable company will walk you through all your options and explain precisely why they need to replace something.

If the person you’re dealing with can’t talk straight to you about the work, get a second opinion.

When a contractor uses cheap equipment to deliver a low estimate, they’re not doing you any favors.

Sure, a low quote will probably get them the work. But, you’ll be stuck with flimsy equipment that won’t work efficiently or break down quickly. That means paying more money in the long run.

A quality company can and will install state-of-the-art equipment. One easy way to tell if the equipment is reliable is if what they’re offering has an Energy Star label. That tells you it’s energy-efficient. If they can’t or won’t provide that, look elsewhere.

They give you a guarantee

Like any good contractor, the people you hire should stand by their work. If there’s a problem with the job later, they’ll come back out to fix it. And, the follow-up visit shouldn’t cost you anything if it’s due to their mistake.

No one’s perfect, but the best out there will make sure the job is done right. That’s even if the tech has to come out again. Before you agree to anything, make sure the work is guaranteed. And, make sure that’s in writing.

AC, Ductless, and Furnace Repair in Downers Grove, IL

Compass Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. has provided expert, reliable AC, ductless, and furnace repair in Downers Grove, IL for over 10 years. Call us at (630) 504-8688 or click here to schedule an appointment online.