Recently my Facebook feed has been full of posts beginning “We woke up to a 50 degree (or thereabouts) house! What a time to be left in the lurch!” Murphy’s law says that many families will experience heating problems on the coldest days of the year. However unfair this may seem, I’ve found myself commenting that not all HVAC companies are created equal! Here are a few things to look for and a few services I’ve come to expect (It’s okay to expect the best!):
- 24/7 Emergency Service
Any time of the day or night, the service crew should be ready to help. A large number of trained technicians on staff is key, so your wait time is minimized. One motto: “Your emergency is our emergency,” is a comforting idea when your family is cold and time is of the essence! And just in case you’re in the midst of one such emergency, Here’s a heating company who happens to fit all the criteria in this blog post.
- 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
There’s not much more to say about this one, except that this is a rare thing for a company to commit to, and those who have are elevated to a separate level of business in my mind. It makes me think of other stand-outs like Costco, Nordstrom, and REI, who have similar policies. I feel so confident buying from these places, because if something goes wrong: They will fix it. Period. Customer satisfaction is THE core of everything they do.
- Building Performance Certified
These nationally certified staff are trained to take the health, efficiency, and comfort of the entire home into account. Only one local company has much of their team go through this rigorous training and testing to earn their titles as BPI Certified Professionals. BPI is the Building Performance Institute. They “develop standards for energy efficiency retrofit work using an open, transparent, consensus-based process built on sound building science….and quality assurance services that help raise the bar in home performance contracting.” Read more about BPI, and check out their Guide for Homeowners on how it all works and how to find the best contractor for your needs.
- Lifetime Guarantee and 1 Year Warranty
Although these might sound like oxy-morons, they actually apply to different areas of the HVAC experience. The Lifetime guarantee refers to the Workmanship on installed ductwork, sheet metal, and piping. The 1 year warranty (for parts and labor) is in addition to any manufacturer warranties. The company should come out after the first year of use (free of charge) to make sure everything is working as it was when the equipment was installed. YES, this can happen with the right company. These safety nets and guarantees are some of the best and most comprehensive in the industry.
- Official Designations from the Manufacturer
Look for certifications. Some heating companies will have their awards, designations, certifications, etc., on their website. These matter. One example: Carrier has a very selective process to designate Factory Authorized Dealers. They use these criteria: the job is done Expertly, Efficiently, Professionally, Right Technically, with the Right Parts, and Right for the Environment. Not all companies meet these standards. Just one more safety net to look for!
I hope explaining these 5 areas of service has given you insight on your search for a new heating system, repair, or upgrade. Now, if you or your neighbor are cold, you know what to do!