Finding a quality and trustworthy air conditioning contractor is difficult. How do you start the process? What if the contractor or company does poor work? What happens in an emergency?
Homeowners face endless questions, yet, need reliable contractors when issues arise. As a result, A.Johnson and team scoured the web for reliable ways to help find trustworthy air conditioning contractors. Plus, quality contractors help ensure common A/C installation mistakes don’t occur!
Without any further ado, please find some great questions to ask any contractor or home services company. Based on the responses, you’ll be confident you found a quality company that will help for years!
How to Identify a Trustworthy Air Conditioning Contractor
First and foremost, the initial batch of questions relate to identifying a trustworthy A/C company or contractor. Many of the questions relate to trustworthiness because a quick search provides some of the results! If you know an answer and they respond with a lie or act cagey, then that provides a warning flag.
1. Please provide some references (and check their reviews)?
Ask for references and look for reviews. The online world makes it difficult for anyone to run from a spotty reputation. Take advantage of review sites, like Google and Facebook, and do some research.
“Many disgruntled and satisfied customers share their personal experiences about specific contractors. The feedback section of the rating sites offer good insights in regards to the quality of service that the contractors provide.”
Additionally, read the reviews carefully and see how many recommend the company. Keep in mind, there will be some negative reviews, but if the overwhelming majority are positive, then that is a good sign.
Finally, ask for some customer references as well.
“A professional heating and air conditioning company should have a list of recent customers that you can refer to in order to verify that the company in question performed the work in a timely manner and to the customer’s satisfaction.”
Ask yourself; do these customer experiences align with the online reputation? If so, then keep the air conditioning contractor on the short list.
2. Are you certified, insured and licensed?
Quite simply, you want to work with a professional contractor or company. Air conditioning contractors should be NATE certified and the companies should have the proper licenses and insurance.
“Most leading residential contractors belong to the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) or the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA). Both sites provide listings of heating, cooling, ventilation and refrigeration contractors in your area. Look for contractors whose technicians are certified by North American Technician Excellence (NATE) and/or partnered with ENERGY STAR.”
3. Can I see your office space or shop?
Many homeowners worry about scams. Avoid the probability of scam contractor and ensure the company operates out of legitimate office space or repair shop. It does not matter if the space is small or messy; the shop shows the company takes its business seriously.
“They should have an office or shop facility, and they should not be ashamed to have you visit them. An office or shop is an indication that the company has been in business and intends to remain in business.”
Generally, avoid freelancers. Although these contractors may be qualified, if an issue arises with their work, then you may have some concerns. Side work likely means the contractors doesn’t have liability insurance or may lack the proper licenses.
“Usually, these types of contractors work at nights and on the weekends. “On the side” contractors often don’t have liability or worker’s compensation insurance, and are not fully licensed.”
4. Do you offer any warranties and/or guarantees?
Professional organizations stand by their work. Ask about warranties or guarantees because you want to hear them discuss the quality of their work and process to fix something if not completed correctly the first time.
“Make sure the contractor has adequate staff to install the system and respond promptly to service calls. What guarantees, warranties and follow-up service are offered? Warranties vary, so it’s important to know what is included in the warranty and what is not.”
For example, at A.Johnson, we guarantee our results!
5. How long have you been in business?
New companies may be in it for the long haul, however, fly by night companies exist. Trustworthy air conditioning contractors develop lasting and ongoing relationships with their customers. As a result, develop a relationship with your contractor and you can stop worrying about A/C issues.
“You don’t want to call a new company every time you have issues with your unit. There won’t be any continuity of service or historic knowledge. Look for someone who wants to earn your business over and over.”
As a result, check the company site and history. If the company has been in business as long as they said, then that is a positive sign.
How to Compare A/C Contractors
After creating a short list of quality air conditioning contractors in your area, you need to make a final selection. Ideally, your community should offer plenty of reliable companies. Therefore, ask a few questions (to them and yourself) to select the A/C company that is best for you and your family.
6. What are the standard and emergency hours?
Ask about the standard coverage. The normal business hours work great for routine A/C tune ups and preventative maintenance. However, ask about emergency service as well.
“A quality provider will have an emergency number that’s staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and enough technicians to respond when the weather is awful and the calls pile up.”
For example, A.Johnson provides 24/7 coverage because we know the Capital District remains prone to severe weather.
7. What is their general attitude on the phone?
When asking questions, take some mental notes about their demeanor. Are they rude or pushing you to make a decision? The way they handle prospective clients provides some insights into their customer service.
“Even if you have an emergency, for example, your air conditioning has gone out and it’s 94 degrees outside, the time that you spend gathering details beforehand can save you money and a lot of headaches.”
If an emergency happens, then you need service fast. If an A/C company provides curt responses during normal hours, how will they respond during an outage? Frequently, customer service starts at the top, so how a representative interacts with you provides some insights into how the company treats customers.
8. Ask to explain their pricing structure?
Prices make a difference. For example, some large corporations, provide lower prices because the air conditioning techs work on volume. The more calls they handle, the more money they make. This helps the corporation, but not you. In the long run, the lowest bidder typically isn’t the cheapest option.
“They might say they will come out to inspect your HVAC for $29.99 or even for free, but they have to make up the cost elsewhere. That’s when you get slammed with high repair costs, which most people end up paying because the technician is already at their house.”
As a result, simply ask about their pricing structure. A professional company operates on a set structure and explains what goes into their prices. For example, certain companies conduct background checks on all employees, which means homeowners can rest assured about the technicians entering their home.
Ultimately, remember the saying buyer beware.
“Beware of price estimates that are too low – granted, you want to save money and avoid costly HVAC repairs whenever you can. However, cheap prices are usually an indication of a contractor or technician that is cutting corners and not doing things according to the manufacturer’s specs.”
9. Do they recommend the most up-to-date technology?
Additionally, ask about their recommended equipment and technology.
“You can spot a good contractor from a bad one if he offers that you use good, up-to-date machines that you can incorporate in your home.”
Finally, make a list of pros and cons of the various air conditioning contractors. Select the company that provides the service you and your family deserve!
Many of the questions that help identify a trustworthy air conditioning contractor also work for other trades. For example, finding a HVAC tech includes similar strategies because the time tested methods and questions work!
If you need an air conditioning contractor this summer and every summer, then call or contact us at A.Johnson and ask any question you want! We have the experience and expertise to help with any A/C issue!