You just decided to make changes to your home? Great! The next step is to determine who will be the lucky contractor who will carry out the work. Here are some tips on choosing the right HVAC company for your home improvements.
Ask for advice
Whether it’s co-workers, friends, or relatives, it’s almost certain that someone around you has already had renovations. Look for the right recommendations from the people you know.
Perform the usual checks from the Building Authority
Construction contractors in the province must hold a license to be able to carry out your work. You can check a contractor’s compliance in the Ontario College of Trades public registry. You can find out if any tradesperson is certified, and hire them safely.
Check with former clients
Don’t hesitate to ask the contractor for client references. Call or email to find out how their experience went. Ask to either be there or see photos of the work to make sure they live up to your expectations.
Read their Google reviews
A quick and easy way to see if your potential contractor is a good bet is to read their customers’ reviews on Google and their social media platforms. If they have four stars or more, it is safer to consider using their services.
Check if your contractor is a registered business
The Ontario Public Record Search allows you to know if the company you have chosen is indeed registered. This is a crucial step to take to do business safely and legally.
Request quotes and compare
It is best to give your renovation plan to at least three of four contractors. They will assess the cost of materials and work to be done. Make sure to inquire about the time they will take to complete the job as well.
Know how the price is decided
HVAC contractors will first assess what equipment will need to be replaced or repaired. The rates will then vary according to the needs. Will your entire heating system need to be replaced or will only the ventilation ducts be replaced? The cost varies depending on the equipment required and the configuration of your home and the complexity of the work to be done. There are many components to consider when talking about an HVAC system (plumbing, electricity, etc.).
Asking your potential HVAC contractor questions is very important. It is best to know as much as you can about their experience, specializations, thoroughness, deadlines, insurance, etc. You can also look online for relevant questions to ask your contractor.
Here are a few that are important:
- How long will the work last?
- What brand does your company do business with? (If you haven’t yet decided which equipment to choose)
- What are your licenses? (some entrepreneurs specialize in a particular field)
- How long have you been in business with this company name and license number?
- Are there any tax credits or discounts that I could benefit from?
- Which system would best suit my needs and my home?
- What experience do you have with this system?
- Would it be possible to get referrals from previous clients?
- What warranties are included with the installation or repair of this HVAC system?
- Does anything have to be prepared before the start of the work?
Make a deal!
Some people take the risk of paying in cash, but that is a hazardous road to take. In the event of a dispute with the contractor, not having a contract becomes problematic, as there is no receipt or record. The agreement must be written and detailed. You can find more information about how to be safe as a consumer online.
Advance: to give or not to give it?
The Consumer Protection Office of Ontario mentions that the law does not specify how work must be paid. However, they indicate that: “If possible, do not pay the merchant any deposit, or give them a minimal sum.”. They also recommend paying in installments, depending on the progress of the work.
Red flags to look out for when choosing your HVAC contractor:
It’s a one-person company
This is a major red flag, as HVAC problems can occur suddenly. Unless that one person company only has one client (which is also another red flag), they won’t be able to be there for all their clients. Make sure to choose a company with a team of at least 3 or 4 HVAC technicians. If you live in Vaughan, here is a Vaughan HVAC contractor with a team of experts that are worth considering.
If your contractor isn’t insured, do not go with them. If that’s the case, you, as a homeowner, are at risk of paying for the HVAC company’s costly mistakes. The most obvious one is the injury of a technician or worker on-site, and we all know it won’t be cheap. To avoid all these problems, make sure to choose an insured company.
This one might seem silly or negligible, but it’s not. Here is why: a company that has taken the time and energy to spend on proper uniforms for its technicians gives value to its clients. It also means that they are professionals and have enough resources to maintain their brand image.
Bad reviews online and no response to them
It is one thing if the company has some bad reviews but an overall high score (above 4), and a whole different thing if it has mostly bad reviews. In the second case, do not consider the company. In the first scenario, see if they respond to their bad reviews and how. If they are proactive and offer further assistance to their customers, it means they value them and are more likely to value you.