Hiring a contractor can be a risky business. For most of us, the days of knowing everyone in the community are long gone, and it is much more difficult to find a reference or recommendation you can trust. Anonymous references on the Internet may be false. Finding a reputable HVAC contractor is much easier if you ask four basic questions from the start.
NATE certification is the first thing to ask about. North American Technician Excellence administers the HVAC industry’s leading testing and certification program. The NATE test represents real working knowledge in specific HVAC areas and allow technicians to become certified at installation, service or senior levels in:
- Air Conditioning
- Air Distribution
- Air Source or Ground Source Heat Pumps
- Gas or Oil Hydronics
- Gas or Oil Heating
- HVAC Efficiency
By asking if the HVAC contractor will send out a NATE-certified technician, you are making certain you will receive service from someone who has demonstrated exemplary skills in heating or air conditioning repairs.
One sure way to know that a business stands behind the service provided is to ask for a money-back guarantee. Cheap parts can save a few pennies, but they will often fail at critical times. They are usually constructed from inferior materials and are put into the market without quality control standards or adequate performance testing. When contractors offer a two-year money-back guarantee on new installations and one year on service and repairs, you can be certain they are serious about quality.
A Good Corporate Citizen
The best guarantee in the world is only as good as the company that issues it. You should ask how long the contractor has been in business. New companies are not necessarily bad ones, but a long history can definitely be a sign of good work.
You might also ask about community involvement. When a contractor gives back to the community, it is a strong indication that the company plans to be around for a while. A company with strong community involvement will not want to tarnish a good reputation by doing shoddy work.
Ask For References
Finally, ask for a few references. Anonymous references on the Internet are risky things, but named references you can follow up with are quite another story. Since the earliest days of business, word-of-mouth advertising has been a valuable asset. When a contractor provides work so good that former customers will recommend it, then you can be confident that you are hiring a good contractor.
Who Should You Call?
Comfort24-7.com connects consumers to reputable, factory authorized, NATE-certified HVAC contractors in the Chicago, Northwest Indiana and Southwest Michigan area. We can provide HVAC installation, routine maintenance or emergency repair services. Call today and learn how we can connect you with a skilled contractor for your HVAC needs!
Written by Randy Gailit