So you’ve made the big decision: it’s time for a new central air conditioner. Maybe you’ve even done some research on the latest technology or on reliable manufacturers. Now it’s time to decide which local dealer you want to work with, and there are plenty to choose from. Here are some of the things to look for in choosing your HVAC dealer.
You’ll want to work with a reliable dealer that has a proven track record. There are a lot of ways to determine that. Talk with your friends and neighbors about dealers they’ve worked with and what their experiences were. There are numerous online tools that provide customer feedback and recommendations. Dealer websites should also be able to answer many of your questions, as well as provide ratings from past customers. Your local utility company may also be able to provide a list of their recommendations. It’s a good idea to pull together a list of 8 or 10 potential dealers from these sources, then start to ask more specific questions.
Does the Dealer Specialize in Your System?
If you’ve already got central air, replacing or upgrading it will mean making sure all the components are compatible and properly installed. You’ll want to be sure the dealer you choose has expertise in your current system and can provide components that are compatible with it.
What Products Do They Carry?
If you’re getting a whole new system, you’ll want to be sure that you work with a dealer that carries the brands you’re interested in. You’ll want to know about those brands, their reputations, and their reliability before settling on the dealer. At Stay Comfy, we recommend the Carrier brand of air conditioners for their reliability and overall excellence.
Are Their Technicians and Installers Trained and Certified?
Ideally, you’ll want to work with a dealer whose technicians and installers are NATE certified. The North American Technician Excellence organization tests and certifies HVAC professionals. It’s the standard measure of ensuring that technicians are fully qualified and vetted for the work they do. Another factor to look for is if the dealer’s installers and technicians are factory trained for the units they install. If so, it’s usually an indication of high quality work.
How’s Their Customer Service?
While you’re still doing your research, is the dealer willing to come out and take a look at your system? Advise you on your options? Willing to work with any restrictions you may have, such as budget or time constraints? If the dealer is willing to give you great customer service before the sale, it’s likely that they will afterwards, as well. Still, it’s a good idea to ask about their maintenance policies. Do they provide 24/7 emergency service? Do they have an information line you can call if you have questions or concerns (and talk to a real person)? Do they provide annual inspection and maintenance visits and at what cost?
Stay Comfy works with reliable dealers throughout Minnesota and the upper Midwest. To find a dealer near you, check out our dealer locator tool.