Most people can agree on one thing during summer in Austin, TX: reliable air conditioning is a must. When you’re in need of air conditioner replacement or repair, knowing which contractor to call can be confusing when you have several options. Not all HVAC businesses are created equal and by following the tips below, you can make sure you hire the best service available.
Professional Affiliations and Recommendations
Before choosing a heating and air conditioning company, first check to see if they are members the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and have at least an A rating. You can find the company’s profile on the BBB’s website.
Being members of the local, state and national Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) association is a big plus.
Another way to get valuable information regarding the company’s reputation is to read past client reviews on the company’s Google, Yelp, Customer Lobby, and social media pages. On Yelp look at hidden comments as well, they are not as transparent as other sites. You can read about previous customer’s experiences with the contractors and why they would/would not recommend hiring them. Also ask for recommendations directly and call their past customers.
License and Certifications
Make sure the company has a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation Mechanical License. Also check and see if they employ NATE and National Comfort Institute’s Air Balancing and HVAC System Performance Certified technicians. Typically you can see their licenses and certifications on their website, but you can also ask a company representative directly.
As a homeowner, probably the most important insurance coverage a contractor can have is Workers Compensation. If anyone is hurt while performing work in your home you are liable unless your contractor has adequate coverage.
The recommended minimum insurance coverage is a General Liability Aggregate of $1,000,000 and Workers Compensation of $1,000,000.
Air Conditioning servicing and installation is a hazardous task. Make sure your contractor has insurance so you are covered and don’t hesitate to ask for proof.
Note their customer service when you contact them. Are you put in a phone tree or do they answer the phone directly and in house. How do they speak to their potential clients? Are they courteous when answering questions and providing price quotes? Do they return messages in a timely, professional manner? First impressions matter and the way the contractor handles your communication can be a good indicator of how they will handle the project.
Company Policies and Guarantees
When it’s your time and money on the line, the fine print matters. You want to hire an honest company that values the satisfaction of its customers. Ask about their policies to see if they value quality work over simply making the sale. Do they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee? What is their warranty and policies if your new HVAC unit should break down? How long has the company been around? Do their prices seem fair for the materials and labor needed to complete the job? Ask for references of customers that had problems and call them to see how they were resolved.
Get the Details in Writing
The costs of AC repair and installation can add up, especially in Central Texas. Before you commit to a repair ask for a written estimate. Likewise, if you are looking at more substantial work, get a proposal with all the equipment, specifications and price details in writing.
Obviously, if you need a job done, it’s important that your schedule lines up with the contractor’s. It is frustrating whenever your air conditioning unit breaks down but especially in 100-degree heat. Find a contractor that offers same day 24/7 emergency service at regular rates. But if it is the first heat wave of the season same day service may be impossible. Be upfront about the issue you’re having and see what their availability looks like.
By asking a few simple questions, you can feel safe knowing your HVAC contractor is knowledgeable, qualified, and reliable. For air conditioning repair in the Austin, Georgetown, or Marble Falls areas, contact Stan’s Heating and Air Conditioning today!