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Winter Prep: How to Find the Best Heating Service in Your Area

Posted by Brittany on Sep 21, 2015 10:23:15 AM

As you are prepping for cooler weather ahead – powering down the air conditioner, taking the boat out of the water, buying a new coat, packing away the swimsuit, and learning how to winterize your home? Make sure that finding an HVAC service to help you get your home ready for fall and winter is a priority too. Here are some tips to finding the best heating service.

Winter Prep: How to Find the Best Heating Service in Your Area

Do They Know Your HVAC?

In the HVAC profession, there are many skilled technicians with various levels of expertise and specialties, according to our resident expert, Keith Hill, technical support manager for Minnesota Air.

“For example, some are great on gas furnaces and air conditioners, but not so good on heat pumps or hydronic heat (boiler systems),” he says. “And nowadays, the brand of product may have nuances that make it difficult for a tech that is not familiar with that particular product.”

If you want to make sure you are getting the right service for your brand, look for a full service company – one that “designs, installs, and services the type of system you have,” according to the This Old House website.

Keith’s advice is to hire a certified tech who is familiar with the brand and specific type of product you have in your home.

“That makes it more likely that they have the product knowledge needed, ready access to parts, and experience working with the idiosyncrasies of that product,” he says.

Have They Been Certified?

A reputable company will always have liability insurance and workers' compensation policies in place, but there are also several third-party certifications for HVAC Technicians.

According to Keith, all techs should have the EPA Refrigerant Recovery and Recycling Equipment Certification. 

“Every tech is required to have EPA refrigerant certification in order to handle refrigerants and to perform any work on a system containing refrigerant,” he says. That’s for your safety, the tech’s safety and the environment’s safety.

Other optional certifications are NATE (North American Technician Excellence) or HVAC Excellence. These certifications verify that the tech has learned the “best trade practices” in troubleshooting and repair of HVAC systems. Keith says that because of the extra time and expense in achieving the certification, there is usually a higher cost associated with hiring these professionals, but it can be well worth it. They can save you money by diagnosing the problem faster and performing the repair right the first time.

Keith says he highly recommends getting a tech with one of these certificates, but they are both optional and the EPA certification is not.

Does The Company Have A Good Reputation?

Finally, do your research and check how your HVAC company stacks up against the competition. Do you have friends and neighbors that have had positive experiences with the heating service? Is the company established? Has it been around for a while? Will it be around next year?

“These companies are invested in their business and cannot afford to tarnish their reputation by hiring ‘parts changers,’” says Keith. “Hiring the tech that has the lowest hourly rate is rarely a good idea. Do your homework and it will pay off both in dollars and in the knowledge that your system is in good working order - reliable, safe, and efficient.”

If you need a first step in the right direction, contact us – your HVAC experts at StayComfy Heating and Air Conditioning. We’ll answer your questions and show you why we deserve your business!

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Topics: Heating, HVAC, Winter