So your furnace needs repaired.
It can be a scary time. Your house is cold and you're worried about a huge repair bill. To top it off you don't even know how to tell if the guy you're hiring is going to rip you off.
What should I be looking for?
That's what I want to talk about today. If you understand what you need and what to watch out for you can have peace of mind when hiring an HVAC expert.
Question # 1 -- Experience
Ask how long your repairman has been in business. While you are at it ask what
education they have. While it is completely possible that a HVAC professional with 1 year of experience is good, it is far less likely than one that has been in business for 15 or 20 years. Why? It's the track record. If you have been in business for 20 years you are either good, out of business or have left a trail of complaints. This is also an excellent time to check out the BBB to see if there are any logged complaints. If everything looks good proceed on to question 2.
Question #2 -- Pricing
We've all seen it. You send your car in and are told that the repair should be around $200. You go back a few hours later only to be told that they "found something unexpected." What does this mean to you? Your $200 repair is now $1,200. Oh yeah and they forgot to tell you about it. Make sure that this doesn't happen to you. All of your repairs should be explained up front before you receive a bill. Your heating and cooling expert should also use flat rate pricing. If you heating and cooling uses an hourly rate you can very easily run into the afforementioned repair. Also make sure that the price you were quoted is
the price you will pay, regardless of how long it takes for the repair to be made. Don't let your uneasiness about hurting the heating and cooling services company's feelings keep you from asking these important questions. The unease you feel before asking these questions is nothing compared to the feelings if you find out the price was not what you were expecting.
Concerned that the price is too high? Call for a second opinion. Some heating and cooling companies will even come out for a second opinion evaluation for free. If a company seems much lower or much higher than its competitors beware. If
something sounds too good to be true it usually is.
Question #3 --The actual repairs
If your heating and repair company has successfully passed questions 1 and 2 you are likely golden, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention one final scam that is occasionally seen with heating and repair companies. Make sure that you understand if you will be getting new parts. If you are make sure that they are actually put on. A common scam seen is you pay for new parts but the HVAC repairman doesn't use them and instead patches your current system. Like I said, if the first two questions are good the chances are very slim that this will happen but it never hurts to be safe.
Good Luck and Good Hunting for that true Heating and Cooling Expert!