Is your heating system on the fritz? Is it making strange clicking, buzzing, or even hissing sounds?
Have you noticed a strange smell coming from your radiator?
Is your heating system just not working as well as it once was?
If so, then it sounds like you’re already in the market for expert heating contractors.
In this post, we’ll tell you everything that you need to know about hiring contractor professionals in your area.
From reading online reviews to comparing multiple quotes, we’ll make sure that you get the best possible deal — and service that you can rely on to do the job right the first time.
1. Read Online Reviews
The first step in narrowing down potential heating contractors?
Make sure that you read online reviews to learn about what other people have said regarding their experience with working with them.
After all, nearly 90% of consumers say that they trust online reviews about a company just as much as they do in-person recommendations from people that they know.
It’s important that you don’t just stick to the testimonial section on a contractors heating and cooling website. While the kind words of past clients may very well be true, contractors aren’t exactly going to feature negative reviews on their own website.
So, make sure that you also check out the reviews on places like Angie’s List and Google My Business.
Take a look at how the contractor has responded to reviews that had less than wonderful things to say about their experience working with them. Do they get defensive and try to blame the customer?
Or, have they engaged with the negative reviewer and asked for more information about the problem?
This offers a huge insight into the kind of experience you’ll be likely to get when working with the company.
2. Check out Their Website
Another excellent way to get an idea of the quality of service and industry experience of potential heat contractors?
Take a look at their website.
For an example of what an authoritative HVAC company website should look like, head over to americancoolingandheating.com.
Right up front, they list the fact that their services are available 24/7. They also list all the different services they provide, as well as information about the brands of HVAC units that they work to repair.
The site discusses their business ratings, contains testimonials and links to online reviews, and even has a blog for you to get more HVAC advice.
That’s the sign of a quality company.
3. Look for Red Flags
Before you say “yes” to a contractor, you need to make sure you’ve checked for potential red flags.
One of the biggest red flags to watch out for when you’re in the market for heat contractors?
Those that refuse to show you their license. If they won’t provide you with proof that they’re a licensed and registered business in the state, it’s best to move on.
Same goes if you’ve been given a variety of different phone numbers, or if when you call those numbers, no one answers and no voicemail is set up.
Finally, remember the golden rule: if a price is too good to be true, then something is definitely up.
4. Ask about Industry Experience
When you’re hiring contractor professionals to work in your home or office, you need to make sure that they have the experience to get the job done.
In short, you need to make sure that what’s going on with your heating and HVAC unit as a whole is something that they’ve dealt with before.
When you first speak with a heating professional, be sure to describe your issue in as much detail as you can. You should also let them know the year that you last had your heater serviced, as well as information about the make and model of your unit.
This will help you to determine if the contractor you’re thinking of working with truly is the best person for the job.
5. Speak With References
So, you’ve read the online reviews of a few heat contractors, you’ve scoured their website for potential red flags, and you know they have the experience to get the job done.
Before you make any sort of final decisions, you want to talk to someone they’ve worked with directly.
As we mentioned earlier in this post, reading online reviews will help you to weed out companies that are riddled with problems and have a long history of unhappy customers.
However, there also isn’t any real way to prove that the people writing those great reviews were actually customers. To do that, you need to speak with a couple of references over the phone.
When you speak with these references, it’s essential to ask the right questions.
Would the past client work with them again? Were there any hidden charges or fees? Were workers on time each day, and was the job completed within the time frame?
These are all things you need to know before you sign a contract.
6. Inquire about Training
When you’re in the market for contractors heating and cooling, you need to make sure that they’ve received the proper training.
While we all certainly love family and small businesses, learning from dad “on the go” isn’t always enough for someone to become a true “expert.”
Ask about the sort of certification their technicians have received, and how many hours of onsite training it entailed. You can even ask to see a copy of any sort of certification.
Those heat contractors who are worth their salt will be only too happy to provide you with proof their training.
7. Take your Safety Seriously
Think that the heating contractors you’re considering working with are the right people for the job?
There’s one major thing that you need to take care of before you sign any sort of contract.
While the majority of heat contractors are good and honest people, a few bad apples have certainly nearly spoiled the bunch in the past.
To make sure that you’re not taken advantage of, you need to ask the contracting company how they conduct background checks on their employees. Remember that these people will be in your home for hours at a time — sometimes, when you’re not there.
You need to be sure that you can feel safe leaving workers inside your home. Also, make sure to ask whether the contractor has their own team, or if they’ll hire outside technicians for the job.
Finally, make it a point to ask about the types of insurance the company has.
They’ll need liability insurance, worker’s compensation, and homeowner’s insurance. This way, if a worker gets injured on the job or damages some of your property, you won’t be held financially responsible.
8. Get a Quote and Compare
So, you think that you’re ready to start hiring contractor professionals to fix the heating in your home and office.
Now, it’s time to get a quote to better understand how much the job is likely to cost you.
Remember that quotes should never be given over the phone. A reliable contractor will come to your home and inspect your HVAC system in person. They’ll identify all the potential issues, see if any of your parts need upgrading, and even likely find problems you didn’t even know were there.
However, once you get a quote from a heating professional?
If it’s higher than you expected, you can use it as a bargaining chip.
Take the quote that you received from one professional and speak with other heating contractors in your area. You may be able to get a lower price from someone else.
Or, you may be able to get the original contractor to lower the price of their services if you provide them with a lower quote that you got from one of their competitors.
Just make sure that you don’t compromise when it comes to safety and expertise.
Looking for Qualified Heating Contractors?
We hope that this post has helped you to better understand exactly the kinds of things you need to look for when you’re in the market for professional heating contractors.
Remember to read online reviews and speak with a minimum of two references. Make it a point to ask about employee training and background checks. Finally, collect a couple of quotes from different heat contractors to make sure you’re really getting the best deal possible.
Looking to connect with a few AC contractors and heating professionals in your area?
Use our online business database to help you find the right person for the job.
Then, be sure to check out our blog for more invaluable advice on how to keep your home, office, and anywhere else you are looking and functioning its best.