Heating and cooling systems are decades-long investments, so finding the best people to service them is essential.
A good HVAC system will provide you with comfort and safety all year long. You can keep yours running smoothly through the seasons by investing in its upkeep.
In areas like Buffalo, the summers are warm, and the winters are freezing. That’s why you really need to ensure your HVAC runs without any hitches.
The question is, how do you find a good heating and air conditioning technician? If you pop a query on a search engine, you’ll get a slew of advertisements from HVAC companies, all claiming to have the best technicians. How do you sift through these companies and find the right one for you?
Here are some things you can do and factors you can consider to help you narrow down your choices.
Ask for recommendations
The best kind of testimonial comes from those you know personally. Ask your friends, family, and co-workers. Ask your neighbors, too. There’s a good chance that they have an HVAC company to recommend.
Asking those who are close to you can ensure that you’ll get more honest answers. They’ll have your best interests at heart and most likely give recommendations without ulterior motives.
It’s not likely that your friends or family know the exact details of HVAC companies. They wouldn’t know their credentials or their entire catalog of services. However, you can focus on asking questions that reveal their customer experience. Here are some points you can ask when getting a recommendation:
- How’s the quality of their work?
- How was your experience with their technicians?
- How transparent are they? Did they properly explain why you needed certain services? Did they clearly explain their process of installation/repair/maintenance?
- What’s the booking/scheduling process like?
- How much did it cost you to hire them?
- Do they have any perks like free consultations or discounts?
Do your own research.
Aside from asking your friends and family, you should also do a little digging of your own. Go to a search engine and type in “HVAC services near me.” Check out the top results, and browse their websites thoroughly.
Search for the company names your friends and family shared with you as well.
Here are some things you should look out for during your search:
One of the first things you must learn about an HVAC company is how long they’ve been in business. This is not to say that new companies are bad. Of course, there are great ones with properly licensed technicians as well.
However, a company that’s existed longer will have a better understanding of the community they serve.
In Buffalo, winters can be particularly biting, with temperatures sometimes dropping to 21 degrees in the middle of the season. Companies that have been in the business for a long time know the importance of proper heating in the area. Their technicians will know homeowners’ most common HVAC problems and how to fix them quickly and effectively.
A company having longevity also means that they have a proven track record. Customers trust and recommend them to others, which keeps them in business for a long time.
Lastly, a company that’s been operating for a long time means they have seasoned technicians. Those who have been working in the company for a long time will have already seen it all. They’ve serviced almost all brands and makes of HVACs. They’ve seen the most common problems that pop up depending on the brand of your air conditioner or furnace.
When it comes to hiring an HVAC technician, go for one with more experience. You will have better peace of mind knowing that something as important as your HVAC is in good hands.
This one is non-negotiable. A reputable company will have licensed technicians.
Here are some certifications that you should look for from a technician:
- EPA License: All air conditioning technicians are federally required to have an EPA license. Refrigerants are harmful substances, which is why the government requires technicians to know how to properly handle, repair, maintain, and dispose of devices that use them.
- Local License: Some cities have their own license requirements. In Buffalo, all technicians must apply for a license from The City of Buffalo Office of Fuel Devices. There are four classes of HVAC licenses depending on the type of devices they can install and service and what type of fuel they use. In order to qualify for Buffalo licenses, HVAC technicians must pass the Heating Contractor’s exam.
- NATE Certificate: This one is optional. North American Technician Excellence (NATE) is a nonprofit organization. They provide certifications for HVAC technicians through a series of knowledge and experience-based tests. To keep the certification, technicians must undergo follow-up training and further testing every two years. A good HVAC technician ideally has a NATE certificate on top of their other required licenses.
Most companies would proudly display these certifications on their website, so just be on the lookout for them when you browse around. If you can’t find a company’s certification info online, you can always call the company and ask.
Range of services
Not all HVAC companies offer the same services. Some are experts in residential HVAC, while some focus more on commercial spaces. Some companies offer services only for common devices like central AC and furnaces. Meanwhile, some can cover other devices like heat pumps and boilers.
When looking for an HVAC technician, go for a company that can service the heating and cooling system you have at home. Check service provider websites to see their full range of services. You can also take it a step further by calling the company and asking them directly.
Most HVAC companies will say that they can service almost all brands of air conditioners and heaters. The keyword here is “almost.” It’s crucial to know if a potential contractor can service your particular brand and make of HVAC, especially if your unit is old. Sometimes, companies don’t have the necessary parts anymore for older units.
To be sure, take a photo of your unit and its rating plate found at the back. The plate contains important information, including your unit’s model and serial number. You can then message a potential contractor and ask if they can service your HVAC.
As with any kind of service, price matters a lot when it comes to HVAC services. Call the company you’re considering hiring and ask for a diagnosis and a quote. Once you agree on a price, don’t forget to get it in writing to avoid any disputes in the future.
Although price is important, it shouldn’t be the only deciding factor for choosing an HVAC service provider. Sometimes, more experienced technicians charge more, and you’re simply paying for their expertise.
When comparing prices, be wary of those whose rates are too good to be true. You might end up spending more in the long run. The best case scenario is if you can find a reputable, experienced, and certified technician that charges a fair price for their services.
Warranties and other guarantees
You’ll learn a lot about an HVAC company based on the guarantees they offer. Those who offer 100% satisfaction guarantees and long warranties are confident in the quality of their technicians’ work.
When browsing HVAC company websites, look for service guarantees. Do they offer full refunds or monetary compensation if they do not deliver services as promised? How long are their parts and labor warranties?
Choose a company that stands behind their work. This way, you can protect yourself and your investment in your HVAC.
Lastly, it’s best to check what HVAC companies’ customers are saying. Most companies proudly post glowing reviews, and they’re worth checking out. Most testimonials will reveal the strengths of the company. Watch out for aspects that are present in multiple testimonials. Do the customers rave about the customer service? Do they think that the service was value for money? Which technicians are being mentioned and thanked the most?
Of course, HVAC companies will only post positive reviews. If you want more comprehensive testimonials, you can check out online forums or social media sites to see what people really think.
You can also check Google reviews for detailed ratings with pictures. Ideally, a good HVAC company should have a high average rating from many customers. A high average rating from 50 customers might not give you an accurate picture of how good a company is, but a high average rating from 1000 customers will.
Find the best HVAC technicians in Buffalo.
Still searching for the right HVAC company? Go for the company with more than a hundred years of experience.
Since 1921, Reimer has been the trusted HVAC and plumbing company in Buffalo and surrounding areas. Our team of experienced technicians can handle any air conditioning and heating service you need.
Book your appointment here or call us now at (716) 272-2371.