There are many reasons why you may need to buy a new HVAC system for your home or business, such as older systems showing their ages or malfunctioning units that are beyond repair. If you find yourself in this situation, you may feel overwhelmed. Because well-maintained systems can last anywhere from 14 to 20 years, it’s highly unlikely that you’ve had to purchase a furnace or air conditioning unit in Portland before. Therefore, you may not be confident or knowledgeable enough to make an informed decision regarding a new system, which can leave you susceptible to being taken advantage of by dealers or contractors. Here are some key questions to ask:
How Many Years Have You Been in Business?
This is very important. HVAC companies, in general, tend to have short lifespans. Younger companies have a higher rate of failure due to reasons such as inexperience, poor customer service skills, or money issues. Those businesses that have survived, and thrived, for five years or more tend to be reliable, customer-service oriented, and skilled. Also, if you hire a firm to install a new furnace or air conditioning unit, you want to know that firm will be around to guarantee its warranties.
Are You Licensed and Able to Pull Permits?
There are a lot of contractors and businesses that are not licensed to work in the cities or states where they may work. Licenses are usually not universal—even if a contractor has a license to work in one city or state, he or she cannot use that license to work in another. And companies that are not properly licensed cannot pull city permits. Be sure your potential contractor has a valid license to work in your municipality. That way, you’ll know the work will be done correctly and legally.
Who Does the Work?
Less reputable companies that install commercial and residential HVAC systems hire out subcontractors to do the work for them; others may have a high turnover rate regarding their employees. When you decide to work with a company, you want to know that they’re the ones who are doing the work, and that their employees have been with them for years.