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American Standard is a longstanding heating and air conditioning brand, with a reputation for reliability and staying abreast of the latest energy efficiency standards. But it’s important to remember there’s a difference between the quality of American Standard and the quality of a contractor that installs it. Below, we list some tips for discerning whether an American Standard heating dealer is reputable or lacks the professionalism you deserve.

1. Ask if a Contractor is licensed to Install American Standard Heating Equipment

Companies that offer American Standard products are required to hold a license to sell them. But that doesn’t stop some companies from acquiring and selling the products under the table. The best way to determine whether a company is licensed to sell is to visit the American standard website and look for an authorized dealer in your area.

2. Check a Contractor’s Record at the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

A company’s record at the BBB can reveal much about its level of service and professionalism. Most longstanding companies have received their fair share of customer complaints at the BBB. But if they care about their customers, those complaints will have been resolved. If you find that a company has unresolved customer complaints, it’s best to find another company that doesn’t; otherwise, you could become the next unresolved complaint.

3. Ask a Contractor for an Extended Set of References

Because every company has some satisfied customers, a company’s initial references may not offer a true indication of its quality. Therefore, ask a company to provide at least three references in addition to its initial references. If you find these references are as satisfied as the initial ones, you can conclude that the company treats its customers well.

4. Avoid Contractors that Don’t Offer an Onsite Evaluation

If you find a company is willing to handle your furnace repair or replacement by discussing the issue over the phone instead of doing an onsite evaluation, look for a different company; otherwise, you could be making expensive repairs to a job that was performed without the proper information. Replacing heating equipment involves more than installing new equipment; it also involves evaluating your home’s comfort needs to determine the right type of equipment.

5. Avoid Contractors that Ask for Payment Upfront

There are two types of companies that ask for payment upfront: those that care more about money than building a customer base, and small companies that continually run low on funds. In the latter case, a company will take payment from a new project to finish work on a previous project, meaning that your project could be prolonged due to work performed for another customer.

6. Avoid Contractors that Recruit Customers In Person or Through Cold Calling

If a contractor shows up at your door or contacts you by telephone to offer its services, turn down the offer immediately. Successful contractors don’t need to participate in these behaviors, and those that do often make money by charging for unnecessary repairs.