7 Critical Mistakes Hiring a Heating Contractor
There are a lot of contractors that sideline, or even worse dabble, in HVAC-R. You might find your electrician trying to sell mini-split systems for example. The most common might be plumbers. We probably all see a lot of “John Doe’s Plumbing and Heating”. Even though plumbing involves hot water, heating and sanitary plumbing are two entirely different disciplines. HVAC-R is the most complicated and wide reaching discipline in terms of the breadth of topics an expert needs to master. This is a full time job, and there are even specializations within HVAC-R because the field is so complicated and demanding. You might get an attractive price from one of these dabblers, but you typically get what you paid for and you often pay the price in operating cost far longer than you remember the cost of installation.
If they can't spell "geothermal", do you trust them to install it?
This seems silly for many, but we all need to do some homework when making a major investment. You don’t necessarily need to select brands, but I would suggest that you have some ideas for what you want in terms of comfort. You should also have some ideas about what you don’t want and the reasons why.
Yelp, Google, etc. are great tools for researching the companies you will be hiring. But, perspective is everything and these services are rife with “errors”. Competitors, ex-employees, ex-lovers, you name it, can and will write a negative review on these services from time to time to try and steer results. The odd “legit” complaint is often a matter of not seeing eye-to eye or extraneous circumstances and the internet is NEVER the right place to hash out. It’s best to see if your friends or colleagues have anything good to say and try and contact references.
We do a lot of work for builders, and many times we aren’t able to meet with the building owner ahead of time and that is a shame. On the occasions we do, having the knowledge we do we are always able to help a prospective client make the right choices in HVAC-R systems even if it just means we solidify their existing preferences. We’ve had so many opportunities where we have been able to address customer concerns by steering them into choices they had not even considered (or had dismissed) and even saved them a lot of money in process. Do you have alergies? Sensative skin? Talk to us, talk is cheap!
I liken this to having the IRS do your taxes. It doesn’t seem like a good idea does it. So why would you trust the folks selling you fuel to make sure your equipment burns as little as possible? They might be good willed, but it’s clearly a conflict of interest. They will also be inclined to steer you back to the same fuels they sell when it’s time to replace your equipment for the same reason. An independent HVAC-R professional is the right resource for these needs just like an independent tax advisor is the right resource for doing your taxes.
I get it. I’m a Yankee at heart and prone to doing things myself to save a buck. I almost always shop around for the best deals, and you should too. That is capitalism. What I’m suggesting is that price should not be the primary decision criteria. Apples-to-oranges happens A LOT in this business and you typically get what you pay for. It’s astonishing how many times I’ve heard the “granite countertop” argument. And I don’t mean that figuratively. I’ve had countless clients choose less expensive solutions because “We have a limited budget and if it means we can’t get the granite countertop we’re not doing it”. This is the definition of short-sighted. As you can see in our $/BTU calculator, opting for even a high-end propane system over a Geothermal system can cost you on the order of three times as much per year to run. Your granite countertop can often be bought three times over in just 10 years with the cost of operation savings.
I’m joking, but then again I’m not. All kidding aside, there are a lot of great HVAC-R companies in the area. However, you will find none like us. We are a unique offering, a unicorn in the business. We would be ecstatic to share with you in detail what makes us unique and different beside the wealth of knowledge we offer up here on the general site. Contact us today and apply for access to our VIP section of this website for in-depth details and offers available only to our customer.