Hiring a heating and cooling company often seems like a difficult task, especially for Grand Rapids area homeowners who’ve not required the services of an HVAC technician in the past. With many HVAC service providers in our area, how does a homeowner go about making this tough decision?
Choosing the right contractor makes all the difference when hiring an HVAC company to perform work at your home – the integrity of your home and HVAC equipment are on the line. The NATE-certified technicians at A-1 Mechanical will tell you what to look for as you evaluate area heating and cooling companies so you are able to determine which ones are credible.
Where to Start Your Search for an HVAC Company
If you have never worked with an area HVAC company before, it’s difficult to decide where to start your search, with so many local providers of heating and air conditioning services. We recommend that you turn to your greatest resource for recommendations – those you know and trust.
Seek out your friends and family and even trusted coworkers or neighbors and ask which area HVAC companies they’ve worked with in the past. From these sources, you’re most likely to receive a candid review of various local contractors. Find out which companies they liked and didn’t like, how their experiences were with each business and which companies they would hire again.
Qualities of Reputable HVAC Companies
Before choosing an HVAC company, take the time to research area contractors and learn more about their businesses. Here are the qualities to look for:
- Contractor’s license: Under Michigan law, a mechanical contractor’s license must be held by any company performing repairs, installation or alterations of heating, cooling, ventilation or refrigeration equipment and systems. Before choosing an HVAC company, verify the contractor’s license is valid using the state’s license search.
- NATE certification: NATE (North American Technician Excellence) is an independent certifying organization for the HVACR industry. Technicians can voluntarily obtain NATE-certified status by passing NATE’s rigorous exams to prove his or her knowledge and technical skills. Certifications must be upheld by meeting ongoing educational requirements. As a homeowner, working with an HVAC contractor who employs NATE-certified technicians is to your advantage – NATE-certified technicians are well versed in industry principles and advancements, and their skills have been proven, ensuring you receive high-caliber service for best results.
- Brands: Different companies work with different brands of heating and cooling equipment. If you need repairs or maintenance, you want to be sure a particular company services the make and model of your existing heating and air conditioning system. If you need new installation of a heating and cooling system, look for a contractor who offers the brand you’re looking for or a wide selection of systems to choose from.
- Written estimates: Before hiring an HVAC company, it’s wise to request written estimates from around three different contractors – this allows you the opportunity to meet with and interview the company in person and compare bids between providers. Don’t hire a company that won’t provide you with a written estimate. In the HVAC world, it’s pretty much impossible to provide an accurate estimate of work over the phone – with little detail regarding your home – so the price won’t be correct if the contractor hasn’t visited the jobsite in person. With a written estimate in hand, you know what work is proposed and what to expect out of the contractor.
Before Hiring an HVAC Company
As you gather information and meet with select local HVAC contractors, it’s also recommended that you take a look at the company’s reviews to see what other customers have to say about their experiences. Online review sites such as Google, Yelp and others offer information that you won’t get from the company’s list of chosen references, whether it’s good, bad or ugly.
An issue all homeowners must consider when browsing reviews is that these sites are sometimes used as sounding boards for disgruntled customers. While you want to know if someone had a bad experience with the company, beware that comments are sometimes made hastily out of frustration, and sometimes before the company had the opportunity to right any wrongs. The negative reviews can be just as valuable to your decision as all the praise a company gets. Look closely at how the HVAC contractor handles upset customers. Look for professionalism, attempts to correct the situation and attentiveness.
For Quality HVAC Services, Turn to A-1 Mechanical
When hiring an HVAC company to perform heating and cooling installation, repair or maintenance services in your Grand Rapids area home, we do hope you consider A-1 Mechanical in your shortlist of contractors. Our licensed, NATE-certified technicians are committed to the delivery of excellence on every job, upholding the strong standards of our company. We’d love to provide you with an estimate for the work you need done and share how our team has your best interests in mind – contact us today to schedule a consultation.