Almost all home heating contractors offer a similar range of services, but the level of service between one contractor and another can differ sharply. In some cases, a sub par contractor is one that uses materials leftover form other jobs while charging for new materials, while in others it’s a contractor that demands payment upfront and then skips town. To avoid these scenarios, it’s helpful to observe a few tips that increase your chances of hiring reputable heating contractors. Below, we list two important tips for hiring the best heating and air conditioning contractors.
Tip 1: Evaluate the Records of Heating Contractors
Evaluating a company’s record involves three steps: making sure it has the proper licensing and insurance; making sure it has a good record with the Better Business Bureau (BBB); and checking to see if its customers are satisfied by asking for references.
a. Checking Licensing and Insurance
Making sure a company has the right licensing is as simple as calling your state’s department of labor, licensing and regulation. Making sure that it has insurance is as easy as calling the insurer that it claims to be insured through.
b. Checking with the Better Business Bureau
Practically every company receives complaints at the BBB, but those that place customers first resolved the complaints quickly. Therefore, if you come across a company that has unresolved customer complaints on its record, it’s best to find another company that doesn’t. The BBB also provides information on how contractors should perform regarding HVAC projects.
c. Checking a Company’s References
Just as you wouldn’t list references that had a bad opinion of you on your resume, contractors don’t supply their potential customers with such references. That’s why it’s important to ask a company for at least three more references in addition to its initial references. If the second set of references are as satisfied as the first set, you’re probably dealing with a reputable company.
Tip 2: Avoiding Heating Contractors that Have Unscrupulous Practices
Most unscrupulous contractors will have the cunning to hide their unscrupulousness, but some will put it right under your nose. Below, we list three traits used by contractors who want to make a buck, not build a customer base.
a. Soliciting Customers Door-to-door
Door-to-door solicitation isn’t about making you a valued customer, it’s about accessing your heating equipment and proposing repairs, whether you need them or not. Door-to-door solicitors usually offer extremely low rates. But even the lowest rate is too high when no repairs are needed.
b. Asking for Payment Upfront
When a contractor asks for payment upfront, one of two things are afoot: the contractor may be planning on not completing the job, or it may be running short on money, which is just as bad. HVAC outfits that run low on money use money from a new job to finish a job in process, a situation that could prolong your project for weeks, or even months.
c. Asking for an Immediate Decision
Heating contractors that have a healthy client list don’t need to press for an immediate decision. If you find your self being pressured, always say no. Who knows why a contractor would need your business so badly, and who wants to find out?