Professionals recommend that you have your heater maintained once a year to ensure it is in top working order. This not only guarantees it will reliably turn on and keep your house warm, it also helps you save money on your gas and electric bills. An inefficient HVAC unit can cost you much more than you think, so schedule an annual checkup with a reliable contractor. Here are some tips on how to find the right one.
Talk With People You Know
Check with people you know to see if they have had heating maintenance performed at their home lately. For those who have, ask them if they liked their contractor and were satisfied with the work. Get the contact information and license number of all contractors who received rave reviews from your family, friends, and coworkers.
Check Out Review Websites
Speaking of rave reviews, check out the popular review websites to grab some additional names of highly rated contractors if necessary. People are quick to write a nasty review if a contractor’s work was not adequate, so you can find out whom you should weed out, and get some additional names and contact information of those rated five stars.
Contact the State Licensing Board
All Wilmington heating contractors must be licensed. With your list of contractors and their license numbers in hand, contact your state’s contractors licensing board. You can either call them or go to their website. Run a check on each license to ensure each contractor carries the proper bond, license classification, and insurance. Make certain there are no complaints filed against him or her.
Narrow Down Your List
Call each contractor and ask him or her for references. Cross those unwilling to give you references off your list. Keep those willing to give you references on your list. Once you’ve obtained this information, call the references and decide, based upon what they tell you, which contractors you’d like to contact for an estimate. Narrow your list down to three or four selections.
Interview the Contractors
Call the contractors and don’t be afraid to ask a ton of questions. Find out how experienced he or she is. Ask whether he or she has experience working with your particular HVAC model. Does he or she provide a written bid and will the work be guaranteed? Nitpick, as you want the job done right the first time.
Find Out Availability
Your final question should be, “When can you come out and perform the maintenance work?” If the contractor is busy, this is a good sign. The more people recommend a contractor, the more he or she is called, so one with a busy schedule means the contractor is in demand. If you plan your maintenance visit a few months in advance, a delayed visit shouldn’t be a problem.
Finally, the most important tip is to sign a bulletproof contract. Do not sign a written estimate and do not sign a contract that is vague. Your contract should list in detail all work to be performed, how much it will cost, the parts required, and the warranty guidelines. If everything looks in order and the contractor comes recommended, you should be good to go.