You may spend weeks or even months doing research, trying to decide upon an air conditioning system to install in your home. This due diligence makes perfect sense. After all, you’ll likely own your next air conditioner for 10 or 20 years, or even longer! However, the effectiveness of an air conditioner isn’t just determined by the stats on the box. A poorly installed air conditioner will never perform as well as advertised, and will cost you dearly on your power bill.
But how can you choose the right heating and air expert? Well, this guide will provide you with some helpful suggestions.
Look up reviews for popular heating and air installers in your area.
It’s definitely a good idea to start by looking for the best-rated AC installers in your area. Yelp and Google are reliable standbys that are great sources of information. But there are also other sources of reviews to check out, including Facebook and the Better Business Bureau, as well as more industry specific review sources like HomeAdvisor.
Really take some time to read some of the reviews written by past customers, so you can get a sense of what you can expect from each company. Look for reviews written by customers with questions and concerns similar to yours, and see what their experiences were like.
Ask around for referrals and opinions.
No opinion is more valuable than then opinions offered by trusted friends and family members. Ask them who they have worked with previously, and what their experiences were like. In addition, try mentioning some of the potential companies you’ve found in your research—naming names may remind them of experiences they’ve forgotten, or may prompt a recollection that, “Oh, so-and-so worked with that HVAC company. You should give them a call and see what their experience was like.”
We know from experience that word-of-mouth and family recommendations go a long way. In a few instances, we have worked with three generations of the same family. So be sure to ask around and see if your loved ones have any insight.
Call up the AC installation companies you like best and pick their brains.
Every job is different. In your case, you may know that your home will pose a particular challenge due to its layout or construction, or you have specific requests for your system setup. Or you may simply have particular preferences, such as a specific brand of air conditioner you have found consistently reliable.
Call your short list of promising HVAC installers and pose your questions to them. Treat it like a job interview or audition—you have a list of very specific needs, and you need to ensure that the installer you choose has the skillset and experience necessary to fulfill your needs. In addition, be sure to ask what guarantees and warranties do they offer for their work. If they won’t stand by their work, why should you?
If they don’t have experience with your preferred brand of AC or they don’t sound confident about their work, then it’s probably wise to move onto the next contractor on your list.
Ask for a home inspection.
Once you’ve weeded out the lemons, call the remaining companies and request an onsite inspection. The only way an HVAC contractor can provide a reliable cost estimate is by actually inspecting your home.
Don’t make your determination based upon the price tag alone. It’s often worth it to pay a little more—after all, you get what you pay for. Instead, look for attention to detail and evidence of professionalism and competence. A good contractor won’t do a quick in-and-out. They should look over your entire home: check the insulation, visually inspect the windows and doors, examine the condition of your home’s insulation, and so on.
Once they have completed their inspection, make sure to get a written estimate. Never accept a bid unless the contractor stands by it with a written budget and a guarantee that they’ll get the job done.
Now, it’s time to make your decision.
But if you’re still feeling uncertain about the process of choosing an HVAC installer, we are more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Here at Gilmore, we’re big believers in providing customers with all of the information they need in order to make an informed decision. Our goal isn’t to make a sale, but to make you happy.