5 Tips for Finding a First-Rate Furnace & AC Installation Company
Without proper installation, even the most advanced, high-performance equipment will operate ineffectively.
Plus, if an air conditioning system or furnace is wrongfully installed, it can impact the equipment itself, leading to malfunctions or damage over time.
This is why it is so important for homeowners to arm themselves with as much information as possible and thoroughly research installation companies before committing.
After all, both air conditioning and furnace installations cost thousands of dollars, on average— an investment most Canadians can’t afford to gamble with.
To assist homeowners in making informed, advantageous decisions regarding their equipment installations, we’ve decided to share our best advice for researching installers and identifying a company that can competently complete the job.
As one of Edmonton’s leading cooling and furnace cleaning companies, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with accurate, up-to-date information they can depend on when making decisions about the devices they purchase.
Here are 5 Tips for Finding a First-Rate Installation Company
1. THE COMPANY OFFERS A FULL-COVERAGE WARRANTY
When you purchase a furnace or air conditioning unit, the manufacturer of that specific system will have some form of parts warranty. This will protect you should any of the unit’s mechanical devices fail or malfunction.
Each manufacturer is unique, however, and will offer coverage for a specific timeframe. Thus, researching different brands and their coverage options is a must.
It’s also important to determine if your installation company offers a guarantee on their work in addition to the manufacturer’s warranty. This is essential since homeowners could be left footing the bill for damage or improper installation if the manufacturer’s warranty does not cover repairs or assembly.
Before deciding on an installation company, it is imperative to ask the business if their warranty is registered with a third party. This ensures that even if the HVAC installer you hire goes out of business, your warranty coverage remains intact. Most manufacturers offer a basic warranty and an extended warranty following registration of the equipment. This can sometimes be the difference between 5 years and 10 years worth of warranty on your equipment parts, which can offer you potentially substantial cost savings down the road.
Always ask potential installation companies if they can provide you with a copy of the warranty contract with a third-party warranty provider following the installation – this could mean the difference between you being covered or on the hook for thousands of dollars in repairs.
2. ON-SITE QUOTES ARE THE NORM AND PROVIDED AT NO COST TO THE HOMEOWNER
If an installation company is willing to provide you with a quote without visiting your property and conducting an in-person assessment, it should be considered a red flag.
It is pretty much impossible to gain a full and thorough understanding of your space, your requirements, and any potential hurdles without being present in the home and conducting a proper evaluation. The level of energy efficiency your windows have, how old your insulation is, and how air-tight your home is can impact the choice of equipment and installation requirements of your home.
Furthermore, these assessments should be complimentary and a regular part of the company’s operations (unless it is for a more complex project, such as ductwork installation). Always look for companies that are willing to have introductory conversations with their clients without seeking payment first.
3. THEIR BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU RATING SPEAKS FOR ITSELF
Any credible HVAC installation company will be registered with their local Better Business Bureau and have an up-to-date profile.
This is an excellent place to begin your research when looking for an installation company to take on your project.
Any company with less than an “A+” rating should be approached with caution. Additionally, if the company has less-than-ideal customer reviews on the BBB platform, this should be considered a major warning sign.
4. THEIR QUOTE SEEMS FAIR AND COMPARABLE
As is the case with almost any service, you get what you pay for. If an installation company comes back with an unusually low quote that is far less than other companies have presented you with, it’s likely a case of “too good to be true”.
Remember, skilled and reputable tradesmen will require appropriate compensation for their work. After all, they have put a significant amount of time and energy into securing the required education and qualifications to execute repairs and installations correctly. Furthermore, unusually low quotes may be missing important items related to the installation scope, such as permits or materials.
If you find yourself second-guessing the estimate you’ve been given, keep searching. It’s always better to pay for quality work than go with a low-ball offer and run into major issues down the line. This is one of the largest investments you will make into your home for your comfort and safety.
5. THE COMPANY HAS PROPER LICENCES AND PERMITS FOR THE WORK
It is not uncommon for clients to sign on the dotted line, only to have their projects held up due to vague contract deliverables. Even worse, many clients find themselves having to fight deceitful installation companies in court, after realizing that the contract they signed did not offer clear direction or hold the company as accountable as it should have.
Any respectable installation company will provide their clients with a comprehensive contract that details how work is to be executed when each phase of the installation process will be complete, and what alternative measures will be taken should issues arise.
In Alberta, companies looking to take deposits prior to starting work must be registered as a ‘Prepaid Contractor’. There are a number of requirements a company must follow to earn this license, so be sure to ask your potential installations company if they have this license prior to paying your deposit.
When reviewing your HVAC installation contract, be sure to look for a precise breakdown of all costs associated with your project, and ask as many questions as you need to ensure all parties are on the same page. Confirm with your HVAC contractor that they will arrange for all appropriate permits to be pulled, and that they guaruntee that they will complete any flagged work following permit inspection.
It is also advisable to have any modifications or conversations surrounding your contract confirmed in writing so you can protect yourself in the event of a disagreement.
Remember, ethical business owners will want to ensure you are kept in-the-loop regarding all aspects of your project. Never be afraid to ask for clarification or request a written statement if you feel uncertain.
6. THE COMPANY IS BACKED BY YEARS AND REVIEWS
When looking into choosing a company to do your furnace or AC installation, it’s important to look into how long they have been in business. HVAC companies are a dime a dozen, and there are several businesses that go under every year in Edmonton alone. Choosing a company that has been in business for over two decades shows longevity, giving you peace of mind that they’ll still be around as your new equipment nears the end of its life cycle again.
Buyers should also look into if the installation company has the appropriate accreditations and coverages to ensure you are protected while they work in your home. WCB coverage, insurance liability, and any other relevant certifications in your area should be readily available and reviewed before choosing an installation company.
And finally, homeowners should consider other customer experiences with the company: are they present on Google and do they have many reviews? What are other people saying about them? We advise also taking a look at how a company handles their less-than-stellar reviews on public platforms, as this can give you insight on how the company will handle their mistakes ( because everyone makes mistakes – it’s how they handle them that shoes a company’s true character).
7. AND FINALLY, THE COMPANY ACTUALLY LISTENS TO YOUR NEEDS
Something that will truely set an exceptional company apart from an average one is the level of care given during the quoting process. Is the consultant asking you questions that provoke other questions or concerns you hadn’t thought of before? Do they have your long-term comfort in mind, or are they just looking to sell you something ‘just ok’?
Active listening is a key requirement for our Home Comfort Specialists to ensure that your home’s comfort, health, and safety are given utmost priority. You should feel as though you’ve been given some extra value to understanding your system better than before.
Significant research should go into choosing the right company to install one of the most important and expensive appliances in your home. Not only should homeowners be scrutinizing quotes, warranty terms, and BBB ratings, but they should also take into consideration Google reviews, whether the company has longevity in the marketplace, and what kind of long-term relationship you can expect with your HVAC company. And it’s important to remember that you’re not just purchasing a piece of equipment, you’re also paying for workmanship. While price is important, reputation, relationship, and experience should be given top priorty when making a decision of what company to choose for your HVAC equipment installations.