HVAC Service Selection Full Guide

Ian Mutuli
Updated on

There's nothing more frustrating and annoying than when your HVAC system unexpectedly breaks down or stops working completely, especially on a sweltering summer afternoon or on those chilly winter mornings. Your HVAC system can break down or malfunction for several reasons, including dirty air filters and coils, insufficient coolant, defective components, ductwork leakages, and more. Not only do these issues affect your system's operating efficiency, but they also increase your energy bills.

Whenever your HVAC unit suddenly breaks down, you want the problem fixed quickly and efficiently. And that means finding a trustworthy company to diagnose and repair your HVAC professionally and cost-effectively. However, finding a reliable HVAC service company can be difficult, with so many companies out there. Here's a comprehensive guide on important factors to consider when choosing the best HVAC service provider for all your HVAC-related issues:

1. The Company’s Reputation

One of the first things to consider when choosing an HVAC service provider is their reputation. Knowing a company's reputation is crucial as it gives you an idea of the quality of service they offer. Check for customer reviews on the company's website to assess what services they offer, their competencies, and their experience. Check third-party reviews on established reviews websites like the Better Business Bureau since they're more reliable. Reading reviews from past customers can provide invaluable information about the companies you're considering, helping you select a company that best meets your needs.

2. Ask for Referrals

If you don't have the time to research different review sites for customer reviews, you can ask for referrals from trusted friends and relatives. If someone close to you had a positive experience with a particular HVAC service, they'd undoubtedly refer you to them. Getting a recommendation from close family members and friends can be more reliable than the internet. This option will give you several HVAC service providers that you can hire. However, you'll want to assess the recommended companies further before settling on a specific one.

3. Company’s Experience

HVAC service requires great precision since even minor mistakes can significantly impact the unit's performance, quality, and reliability. Hiring a company that has been in business for many years is one of the best and most reliable ways to prevent costly mistakes when the service is being rendered. Choosing experienced HVAC contractors who have successfully handled complex HVAC repairs guarantees they'll offer the highest quality services.

 An HVAC service that has been in business for more than five years will also be skilled enough to handle advanced HVAC repair and maintenance jobs. Having an experienced contractor work on your HVAC unit can also give you peace of mind. You can determine the amount of HVAC service experience by asking how many years they've been in business and proof of their past projects.

4. Type of Services Offered

HVAC service repair companies are not created the same. Some offer commercial HVAC services only, while others specialize in residential services. To avoid hiring a company that doesn't offer the service you need, check the type of services each company offers. For instance, if your unit has a reusable air filter, you may want to choose a company that offers cleaning and maintenance services, so your system's filter can be cleaned and maintained every three months. Be wary of service providers who only provide the basic services and leave you to take care of any emergencies that arise.

You can check the kind of services that each company offers from their websites to help you decide whether they're the right fit for you. Alternatively, you can contact the company via phone or email to inquire about their HVAC services. Ask for proof of their successfully completed projects by requesting their referral contacts or images of past work.

5. HVAC Industry Certifications

The HVAC service company you're considering should also be fully certified and accredited to offer HVAC services. However, the certification requirements can vary depending on your county or state. Ensure that each company is licensed and insured to guarantee the quality of work and protect you from any potential liabilities. This will help ensure the contractor can cater to any injuries and damages that could occur when the service is being rendered.

Choosing a fully certified company can ensure it follows appropriate protocols to guarantee quality work and professional results during HVAC projects. Ask each company to provide you with their licenses and check that they have accredited approvals from relevant bodies.

6. Guarantees on service provided

Your goal is to choose a contractor who offers quality services such that you won't need any repairs soon. However, errors are likely to occur even with the most experienced HVAC contractor. To prevent hiring someone who will disappear after they've completed the job, ensure the HVAC service you choose offers a guarantee for their work.

This way, you won’t pay any money out of pocket for repairs in case your HVAC unit stops working or malfunctions after the contractor leaves. Choosing an HVAC service company that offers a warranty can prevent you from such hassles and additional costs by handling emergency repairs for free or at a reduced fee. Ensure that your preferred HVAC service provider offers a warranty for their work beyond the initial service provision.

7. HVAC service Costs

If you've narrowed your options to two or three HVAC service providers, you can use price quotes to determine the best company. Most HVAC repair companies often provide their clients with free estimates upon request. Get an estimate of the project's overall cost from each company and compare them. Check every quote carefully to understand the charges included to ensure there are no hidden charges. Avoid contractors who give quotes over the phone since they can change the price after coming to your premises.

The best HVAC service provider should come to your home in person to determine the kind of service your HVAC system needs, so they can give you an accurate and detailed estimate. You should also avoid companies that charge you far less than others for the same service. That's because they're likely to offer shoddy services or are inexperienced. Once you've found an estimate that meets your budget, request the company to put it down in writing since it shows their commitment.

Endnote

While some of the above-listed things may apply more or less to your specific situation, they are a perfect place to start when selecting an HVAC service. Considering these factors when choosing an HVAC company can help you find the right fit for you.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.