Any company that is not willing to provide proof of general liability (GL) insurance should be avoided. A minimum standard for GL insurance is $1 million for residential work and $2 million for light commercial. HVAC Contractor
There are other methods for researching air conditioning, heating and ventilation companies such as: contact your local Better Business Bereau (BBB), perform online searches and reviews and ask the company in question for references. However, all of these methods fall short of comprehensive transparency. The BBB actually works for the companies it represents as they are only rated if the company in question pays them a recurring fee. Online review sites rarely display all of the reviews received, and post reviews from sources that are not always credible. This provides a platform for companies to post their own reviews and individuals to hastily post reviews without the company in question’s ability to professionally resolve the issue. Furthermore, no company would give out a negative reference; only those that are extremely positive. None of these are ideal dynamics for consumers seeking completely unbiased reviews and references. It is advised to use these methods as an educated consumer and consider the information source for what it is worth.
One of the best ways to find a new air conditioning, heating and ventilation contractor is via the “word-of-mouth” method. If the company recommended was affordable, professional and reliable for a friend or family member, there is a good chance that company will do the same for you. Good companies use the word-of-mouth method to continually provide a new customer stream by keeping their customers happy.
Other traditional methods for finding a new air conditioning, heating and ventilation contractor include performing online searches, phone book directories or online directories and other advertisement mediums. Keep in mind that all of these methods are bought and paid for by the companies in question. None of these methods should serve as a testimonial and should be used only as locating sources.
Third party providers such as Angie’s list, Find Local and other online companies are the newest platforms for sourcing and rating air conditioning, heating and ventilating companies. Although these companies do provide a service with some merit, they are, in fact, adding cost to the consumer. Angie’s List, as well as some other online business directories, charge the customer directly for their ratings and companies’ contact information. Other third-party sites provide consumers with air conditioning, heating and ventilation companies and add the cost of being a middle-man to the business equation. Keep in mind that none of these are “free” and that consumers should understand the cost and value of using entities like these.
Multiple estimates are recommend when hiring an air conditioning and heating contractor. There are no industry standards for pricing HVAC related service or products. Similar jobs can vary thousands of dollars from one company to the next. A minimum of three estimates is recommended prior to the repair or replacement of any major air conditioning and or heating system component and before the design and installation of new systems.
A second opinion can be of value if the repair or replacement is costly. Not all technicians or companies are equal or reputable. Repairing air conditioning and heating systems is extremely complex. It is not uncommon for a repair technician to be unable to isolate the problem or for a representative to recommend an unnecessary purchases. Contacting a competing air conditioning and heating company can save time and money and regret.