When You Need to Know How to Find the Best Air Conditioning Company
Are you a person that plans ahead when it comes to finding service providers for your home or business building? Maybe that’s why you’re here, reading this today. You know that now is the time to identify a reliable air conditioning company—not in the middle of summer when the compressor goes out and everyone is sweating inside your home.
Do you know how to identify a good air conditioning company with whom you can build a long-term relationship? That’s the idea—getting one provider that will be your go-to company for all your air conditioning needs.
Abacus Air Conditioning & HVAC In Austin TX Services The Following Cities
Five Tips for Finding an HVAC Contractor
Typically, air conditioning services are bundled in with heating and venting services. You can search for “air conditioning companies near me” or “HVAC companies near me,” and you’ll get the same list of providers. HVAC stands for “Heating, Venting, and Air Conditioning.”
Finding a great air conditioning company is not like searching for the Holy Grail. If you follow the tips below, you’ll quickly generate a list of HVAC companies to check out. In the next section of this article, we’ll tell you how to evaluate the providers on your list.
- Don’t underestimate the value of word-of-mouth referrals. Ask locals, including family, friends, and neighbors, what company they call for air conditioning service and repairs. They might have a different idea of affordability than you do, but most people agree on what constitutes quality service.
- Put your search engine to work. In your browser, type the keywords in bold above, or enter these: “HVAC contractor near me,” “ac repair near me,” “furnace repair company.” Your search engine will generate a whole list of air conditioning companies.
- Don’t forget about directories, both paper and online. Check out Angie’s List, Yelp, the Better Business Bureau, the Yellow Pages, Dexter’s, etc.
- Use social media groups and neighborhood apps such as Next Door. Ask for recommendations. Yes, you’ll get Brittany recommending her cousin’s company, but the name is still a good starting point.
- Visit your local home improvement store or hardware shop. Ask staff or hang out in the air conditioning aisle and ask other shoppers. Even if they’re die-hard do-it-yourselfers, they may still have some solid recommendations.
How to Screen an Air Conditioning Company
Once you’ve gone through the five steps above, you may have a sizeable list of names to whittle down. We recommend you pare the list of candidates down to three. Here’s how.
- Go back to the directory sites (Angie’s List, the BBB, Yelp, etc.) and look up all the companies on your list, if you haven’t done that already. Carefully read the reviews that other customers have posted.
- Find the Google business pages for each company. These display reviews that cannot be doctored. They also show each business’s star rating. Note the star rating for each company on your list, read the reviews, and see how the company responds to negative reviews.
- Visit each company’s website. Is it just a slick digital storefront full of stock photos? Or can you see photos of actual employees, owners, and staff? Does the website show a physical address, indicating that this is a local company? Or is there no address, suggesting that maybe it’s a lead-generation site and you don’t know who will actually show up to do the work? Look for certifications, awards, and memberships in industry accountability associations.
- Find each air conditioning company’s social media pages (especially Facebook and Instagram). Look for companies that show examples of their work plus photos of happy customers.
Pick the Top Three Companies
With the information you glean from going through the above four steps, you can compare the companies on your list. Pick your top three candidates. You will call each company and ask the representative some questions.
Your air conditioning system has two parts—a compressor outside the home and an air handler inside the home. The thermostat is also inside. As you call each company, remember that HVAC technicians will come inside your home to inspect, repair, or replace equipment. You want to make sure your family is safe around these employees.
Making the Introductory Phone Call
Now you will call the three companies on your final list. In your first phone call, let the company representative know that you’re searching for the best HVAC company to provide services at your home or business. Tell him or her that you have a few questions to ask before scheduling a service or estimate call.
Ask About Company Credentials and Employee Checks
Ask the representative:
- If the company is licensed and insured
- How long the company has been in business
- How they screen their employees
- What background checks employees go through to work for the company
Set Up a First Visit
This visit may be for a service call or to get an estimate. The service you need done will determine what happens in the visit. Air conditioning repair, furnace maintenance or furnace repair may happen on the same day; larger jobs such as ac replacement or new ac installation will be quoted during this visit and completed later.
You may wonder if you should set up a service call with all three companies. Yes, you should, especially if the visit is to get an estimate. Having three estimates will give you more information about each company as well as prices to compare.
Things to Note During the First Appointment
Be observant during the first appointment. Note the following:
- Did the technician arrive promptly?
- Was the company truck marked?
- Did the technician wear a uniform with a photo identification badge?
- Did the photo on the ID badge match the person who showed up?
You may feel like you’re obsessing over details, but remember, this person is coming into your home. He or she represents the company with whom you hope to do business for a long time. You want a company that’s professional and diligent in assuring customer safety and protection.
What to Ask the AC Technician
The questions below pertain more to larger air conditioning projects than to smaller ones. You may choose to ask all the questions or just some of them.
- If my job requires permits, will you pull those?
- Tell me about manual J load calculations and if I can see them.
- How will you verify that my system is the right size for your J load calculation?
- When you inspect ductwork, do you check for leaks?
- How long is your work guaranteed for?
- Tell me about your guarantees and if they carry any exclusions or limits.
- Are system parts that you install covered by manufacturer warranties?
- Does warranty work carry any limits?
Understand the Basics of Your AC System
You don’t need to be a master air conditioning tradesperson, but it is nevertheless good to understand the basics about your HVAC system, especially when interacting with a technician. (Remember, HVAC stands for “heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.” Most central air conditioning systems include heating and ventilation components.)
Besides knowing generally how your HVAC system works, you should also know what brands and models of equipment are in your home. Keep track of their installation dates and maintenance dates.
The Cooling System
What kind of cooling set-up do you have? Air conditioners come in different kinds of systems. Some of these systems are the air conditioning split system, ductless air conditioning, central air conditioning, mini-split system, heat pump, or geothermal ac unit.
Two-part or split systems have two equipment components, one located inside, and one located outside. The indoor air handler includes a furnace and an evaporator coil, usually on top of the furnace. The compressor sits outside and contains condenser coils, electrical components, and a fan.
The Heating System
Heating systems vary in their setup and fuel source. Some heating systems are more popular in certain geographic regions than in others. The availability of fuels influences what sources are used from one area to another.
Heating systems include furnaces, geothermal units, boilers, and heat pumps. Fuel sources range from gas and fuel oil to propane and electricity.
Ventilation has to do with indoor air quality and the management of airflow, purity levels, etc. Ventilation systems comprise air filters, ductwork, and purifying components.
Ductwork carries cooled or heated air from the air handler out to all the rooms of the home or building. Ductwork gets dirty inside over time and develops leaks. An air conditioning company will clean ductwork and repair leaks.
Air filtration systems need attention too. They can get dirty or stop working. One of two kinds of air filtration systems are found in most homes: either mechanical or electronic. The first kind of system traps and holds pollutants in filters. The second kind doesn’t have filters. They work by electrically charging pollutant particles and attracting the particles to an oppositely charged surface.
Make a note of what kind of air filtration system is in your home or building and when it was last cleaned or serviced.
Final Words About Finding the Best Air Conditioning Contractor
Your air conditioning system plays an important role in keeping your indoor temperatures comfortable. Be proactive about taking care of it.
To do that, you need the services of a reliable air conditioning contractor. In this article, we’ve provided tips on how to identify and vet local HVAC contractors.
We’ve also described the basic components of an HVAC system.
Find a good air conditioning company that can take care of your home for all the years that you own it. Schedule annual maintenance visits, and when you notice any problems, call the air conditioning contractor. Stay on top of your system, keep it functioning optimally, and it will serve you for many years.