How To Choose A Contractor

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    How To Choose A Contractor

    Why should you care about which contractor you choose?

     

    By Hannah Brennan

     

    The right contractor for your home service systems can greatly change your home comfort. Aside from saving yourself thousands of dollars over time, a trusted contractor is necessary for long-term care for your most important home systems.

     

    Well, why should you care about the contractor you choose?

     

    The estimated lifetime of a modern AC is 15 to 20 years when maintained well. Make certain it will be with a trusted contractor. Not all contractors are the same, nor do they hold the same legitimate licenses, accreditations, insurance or education. Save yourself money and time later by reviewing your potential go-to HVAC company ahead of time.

    More than half of new heating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in U.S. homes do not perform to their rated efficiency as a result of improper installation, according to Energy Star. In fact, any sort of incorrect installation can cause a 30% reduction in performance, losing you money and time with your systems.

    Improper installation comes from lack of time, knowledge, or accreditation of contractors. Therefore, it is vital to recognize the credentials of your contractor and establish a strong professional relationship for future care.

     

    What should I look for in a contractor?

     

    We’ve created a checklist to help you organize and outline all the things to look for in a new contractor for home systems. Take a look at Malek Service’s checklist.

     

    Maintenance Plan

    Annual AC and furnace maintenance is essential to extend the systems’ lifetime and efficiency. Similar to a primary care provider conducting an annual check-up, preventative maintenance is an examination and tune-up of the system. If problems arise, your contractor can address them before it becomes a larger issue.

    Over time your home systems will deteriorate. However, with a company working long-term on your systems, they will be better informed on the history of your system. Most companies provide an HVAC maintenance plan, so find the best plan that meets your needs.

    Example: Malek Service Company offers a Total Protection Plan, including biannual HVAC tune-ups, no overtime charge for after hours emergencies, and $0 diagnostic fees bundled with an annual plumbing maintenance.

     

    After Hours Policy

    Emergencies don’t always occur during business hours. Therefore, it’s important to know your heating and AC will be taken care of. Inquire about your contractor’s after hours policy and pricing. 

    Example: Our Total Protection Plan members never have an after hours charge for emergency service calls, including holidays and weekends.

     

    Installation Process

    When it comes time for a new system, you’re going to want to know the exact process. Typically, a company will create an estimate of a new installation based on the size and needs of your home. 

    Does the company offer you multiple quotes based on the different installations available? If not, you could be missing out on a cheaper or more premium opportunity. 

     

    Financing Options

    Does your contractor offer financing? Typically homeowners have the options among bank-backed, manufacturer-backed or dealer-backed financing. Find out if your contractor has multiple options and their rates before signing off on any work.

    Example: Malek Service Company has multiple financing options available with approved credit like Wells Fargo, Greensky or Mosaic.

     

    Do they have the qualifications?

     

    Warranty

    An important question to remember when buying a new home system is what sort of warranty is granted? Ensure the company you choose documents and shares the exact timeline and extent of coverage. There are different warranties that can be implemented such as labor or parts over a certain period of time. Make certain you understand the details of the warranty, in case there are clauses that exclude the warranty if any other company does work on the system.

     

    BBB Rating & Accreditation

    Is the company accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB)? You can easily find their accreditation and rating on bbb.org by entering their name and location in the BBB search engine.

    Example: Malek Service’s rating on bbb.org:

    Malek Service Company's BBB rating and how to choose a contractor.

     

    Insurance

    Ensure the company you choose has liability insurance. This is used in cases of accidental injuries to people or property damage resulting from work by your HVAC contractor. 

    Malek Service Company has both liability insurance and workers compensation. This protects not only our customers, but our employees on the job, too.

     

    License

    Although there are different certification programs per state, to become a licensed HVAC contractor in Texas you must apply to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation first. From there, you must pass an exam, pay the license fee and show proof of liability insurance to obtain your license. 

    Every contractor should have their license readily available for you.

    Example: On Malek Service’s website, at the bottom of every page, we have our licenses clearly displayed:

    Malek Service Company's licenses on how to choose a contractor.

     

    What things are important to you?

     

    Reputation

    With the digital age it’s easy to find real customer testimonies of a business. Ask people you trust for referrals or search online on your own. We recommend using Google reviews for an accurate and unedited representation of customers’ opinions.

     

    Location

    Find a company that prioritizes what is important to you, whether you’re looking for companies that span the state or are localized. Big businesses might not be as focused on individual customer experiences as small businesses. However, big businesses might have more access to resources than their smaller competitors.

     

    Experience

    Experience comes with time. So, if you’re less interested in taking risks in your home systems, find a long-standing company with proven expertise in the business.

     

    Community Involvement

    If community involvement is important to you, find out if it is also important to your contractor. Check the company’s website and social media or ask directly if they are active in their community.

     

    The contractor you choose to install or care for your major home systems should be knowledgeable, reliable, and trustworthy. At Malek Service Company, we pride ourselves on our core values, including integrity, knowledge, and communication.

     

    Find out for yourself by contacting us today or scheduling an appointment with one of our Central Texas certified technicians.

    August 4, 2022