Licenses and Certifications
You can check that a business license is current on the website of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. Likewise, ask a company what certifications they have, such as EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) or NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certifications which are standard in the industry.
Heating and cooling technology is always changing. Find out if their employees are involved in any continuing education.
A company should be able to provide you with recent customer references. Contact these references to ascertain if the customer was satisfied with the quality, professionalism, and timeliness of the repair work, as well as the level of customer service.
Experience is twofold. First, how long has this company been in business in your area? Second, how experienced is this company with the HVAC system you have in your home? You want a company that is knowledgeable with the specific challenges you face in your area and with the equipment you own.
A reputable HVAC technician will do an in-home inspection and ask a lot of questions. Furnace repair is not always as simple as replacing a broken part. An HVAC technician will want to inspect the furnace and other equipment to determine the underlying issue to the furnace breakdown. The contractor will want detailed information from the customer, such as certain rooms not heating properly, humidity problems, and allergen issues. Avoid contractors who give a quote by phone without asking a lot of questions or doing an inspection. Also, a contractor should discuss with you what your repair options are, rather than dictating what you need.
A reliable HVAC company realizes that furnaces often break down at very inopportune times. For that reason, look for a contractor who is available beyond the scope of regular business hours. If your furnace malfunctions on a Saturday night during one of Minnesota’s cold spells, you need to know you have a company you can rely on to get your heat back on as soon as possible. Look for a company that has 24/7 emergency repairs.
HVAC repair can be quite costly, and you don’t want any surprises when the bill comes. That’s why straightforward communication is a must. A reputable contractor will address any questions and concerns you have. They will also give an estimate prior to performing any work. This estimate should itemize the type of repair needed, parts, and length of time it will take to complete the repair. The technician will explain step by step what needs to be done, and likewise will continue to update throughout any larger repair jobs. Customer service and communication should be a top priority to ensure you will be a repeat customer.
Furnace repair is often expensive. However, beware of hiring based solely on cost. An estimate that is significantly lower may not be high quality work. Again, a contractor should let you know what your options are, including the approximate cost of each of those options, and what the repercussion of each of those options is. For instance, there may be a repair that can be done relatively cheaply, but it is only a temporary fix to a bigger problem. Or the bigger problem could be addressed, which will be more costly, but will save in energy bills and future repairs. It is more important that a contractor give an honest evaluation rather than the cheapest estimate.
When you need furnace repair in MN, who you hire matters. By carefully choosing an HVAC contractor, you can have the assurance that you’re being taken care of by a professional who takes pride in his or her work and cares about providing you and your home with the best service possible.
References: How to Choose an HVAC Contractor By Apollo Heating available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.