2019 Idaho Real Estate Blog

Eight Important Things You Must Know BEFORE You Choose a Heating and Air Conditioning Company Main Idaho Real Estate Insights

and What Some Companies Don't Want You to Know!

Investing in a heating and air conditioning system is not just any ordinary purchase. Odds are you will keep and use your system for ten to fifteen years. In fact you probably won’t buy more than one or two systems in your lifetime. Anytime you make a sizable, long-term investment of your hard-earned money, you deserve to know the facts about the company and system you choose.Before you make your final decision about this important investment, you should ask the following eight questions when “interviewing” potential heating and air conditioning contractors:

  1. How long have they been in business?

Installing, testing and servicing your system is not a job for amateurs. Neither is helping you choose the system that is right for you. Fact is most people don’t choose a high enough efficiency system. It takes years of experience and training and exposure to literally hundreds of different situations to become a true professional. Be wary of a company that is “just starting out”. You really don’t want to have someone get their on-the-job training while cutting holes in your floors and walls or while altering your electrical system.At least ten years of experience is suggested.

          2.  Are they licensed, insured and bonded?

The answer may be obvious, but the question is often overlooked. When you are trusting a company to  recommend, install, test and service your heating and air conditioning system, it is critical that they earn that trust by being professionally licensed as well as carrying adequate, if not excessive, bonding and insurance. In the event of a dispute or, even worse, an on-the-job accident or injury, the proper bonding and insurance are protections you need. Ask to see their license, bonding documents and insurance information and make sure they are up to date. Some unscrupulous contractors will show you expired policies just to get the job. It is always appropriate to check with the licensing, bonding and insurance agencies to verify that you are protected . . . in fact, we recommend it.

          3.) Do they have a real business location or do they work out of their truck?

This may sound harsh, but there are an awful lot of “one or two person operations” out there that choose to cut corners when it comes to investing in their business. When making your heating and air conditioning investment, you want to choose a company that can afford to provide you with the highest level of service and professionalism that you deserve. If there is no “physical address” they can just pack up their truck and go to the next city or state with virtually no notice. Equally, if not more important, if they have just one or two trucks and only one or two employees, even the smallest business crisis for them can become a large one for you. A sick employee (or owner) or even a vehicle breakdown could delay your job for days or even weeks. Ask to visit their business location. If the answer is “no” or “maybe later” that should give you reason to interview another company.

4.) Do they have a “real” service department?

In smaller operations, the business owner is often also the “service department and technician”. Imagine having your system down or malfunctioning in below freezing weather or on a hot one-hundred degree day and calling for service only to find the service department went on vacation or is out sick?Make sure the company you choose has a real service department that’s available as well as “on-call” technicians that can respond to your needs quickly and efficiently. Remember, you are not just buying a furnace or air-conditioning system. You are making a long term investment in equipment. . . and maintenance and service.

5.) Do they have a drug and alcohol free workplace?

In most cases the “workplace” is on your property. It’s unfortunate but true that some individuals without proper testing and employer scrutiny will and do show up on the job impaired in some way. Installing and servicing your heating and air-conditioning system is complex and specialized work. Even the slightest error or misjudgment due to impairment can lead to injury or an improperly installed or serviced system. Bad judgment in either situation puts you at an
unacceptable risk. Ask about the company policies regarding drug and alcohol testing. If you get a vague answer, ask for proof. If you feel the least bit uncomfortable, trust your instincts and find another company.

6.) Can they provide written references and testimonials?

Ask for a list of satisfied customers and clients including phone numbers and addresses. A professional company should have several (not just one or two) people in your area that you can call to ask about the quality of work and service that they received. Most companies will have a “ready set” of written testimonials and references as well. If these references and testimonials are provided, take the time to check them out for yourself. Don’t hesitate to ask if you can call their bank to make sure they are financially stable. If references or testimonials can’t be provided or aren’t provided in a timely manner, you are best advised to continue your search for a professional company before you make your investment.

7.) Is the company a Factory Authorized Dealer?

The requirements to be a true Factory Authorized Dealer are getting more and more stringent. The levels of training, ongoing education and financial investment required to be an Authorized Dealer have risen dramatically over the years. If a company is not a Factory Authorized Dealer, it may be a sign of lack of commitment to provide the highest level of products and services or the lack of the necessary financial investment required. . . or both.


8.) Are estimates provided free of charge and free of obligation?

A professional heating and air-conditioning company will be happy to come to your location, help you determine the best system for your needs and give you a written quote or estimate (remember, there is a difference between the two) in a timely manner. They will also be willing to give you free advice and information that will help you to make a good decision. If you are asked for a deposit or retainer before receiving a no-obligation quote or estimate, you should look for another company for your heating and air-conditioning system or service.

Choosing a professional heating and air-conditioning company doesn’t have to be a long, confusing or uncomfortable task. By simply asking the questions above and adding some of your own, you can remove the “guess work” and “uncertainty” from your decision.

For more information or to request a FREE No-Obligation Estimate for your heating and air-conditioning needs, please feel free to call us at Western Heating and Air Conditioning at (208) 375-6101 (Boise) or at (208) 465-9450 (Nampa). Visit our website at www.westernhvac.com or stop by our sales and service facility at: 4980 W Bradley St, Boise, ID 83714.

Western Heating and Air Conditioning – Licensed, Bonded and Insured
Established in 1967

 
Posted by tlangford at 2/21/2009 3:02:00 PM
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Michelle Penick, Build Idaho Client Real Estate Services

Michelle Penick

Client Care Team
208.629.0217 | [email protected]

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