If only there were a magic ball to tell you the best choices to make for all your everyday decisions – what route to take to work, when you should trade in that old car for a new one, and who the best company is to hire to do work on your HVAC? Well, unfortunately, there’s not, but we’ve got a way for you to narrow down your choices when it comes to finding a good heating repair company that will work for you.
Not All Companies Are Built The Same
First, it’s important to know that just as in any profession, there are a wide array of skills and specialties when it comes to heating repair companies. Keith Hill, technical support manager from Minnesota Air suggests thinking about levels of expertise in terms of medicine.
“A doctor specializing in dermatology may be knowledgeable on cardiovascular, but I would rather have the heart specialist helping me when I’m feeling chest pains,” says Keith. “And I’d rather have the one with training at the Mayo Clinic and ten years of experience instead of the recent medical school grad.”
He says it’s obviously not an apples-to-apples comparison to HVAC, but the message is to know that there are varying degrees between the companies out there. To find which heating repair company is right for you, ask yourself (and who you want to hire) the following questions.
- Is the company familiar with my brand of HVAC?
- Does the company have experience and specialized training on my product?
- Does the company get manufacturer’s bulletins, best practices, and product recalls?
Expertise means more than just having a special skill or certification – it means knowing the type of product you are working on and being familiar with that brand of HVAC.
Don’t Just Pick The Lowest Price
Sometimes a low price can be a persuasive way to get business – I mean, who doesn’t want to save money? But also ask yourself what you are NOT paying for with that lower price. What is the company skipping to get the price down?
Does the company have all the right tools and latest testing equipment to get the job done? Do they train their technicians on the newest technologies or skip that to save costs? Remember that a low price upfront can sometimes mean more money on the backend if you have to hire someone else to correct a problem or the less trained technician takes more time to fix an issue.
Ask Questions Before You Schedule A Service
Keith says the type of system you need to repair may require specialized skills so it’s important to ask if the company’s technicians are familiar with that type.
“Heat pumps, for example, are not that much different than a standard AC, but they are different enough that they require some additional training for the tech to be proficient,” he says. “Some of the new modulating products are very much specialized and should not be worked on by techs who are unfamiliar with the advanced technology.”
Asking about certifications and proper licensing should also be standard procedure when hiring service & repair companies. For HVAC work, NATE certification (North American Technician Excellence) and HVAC Excellence certification are signs of a well-trained technician. That shows that the tech learned the best trade practices in troubleshooting and repair for HVAC systems and was tested by a third party to be proficient. Keith says to be aware that NATE certification is not brand specific, so it’s still a good idea to confirm that your tech is familiar with your brand of HVAC system.
In the end, trust your gut and get recommendations from neighbors and friends and you’ll find the right heating repair company for your needs. You don’t need a magic ball to tell you that doing your research will pay off in a big way!