How To Select a Heating | Cooling Company

By: Brian Schutt  |  November 17, 2010

Becoming a smart shopper for technical services is a skill you develop over a lifetime. If you’re not lucky enough to already “know a guy”, what’s the process you go through? While many people are paying for membership into services like Angie’s List, there are still plenty of people that venture into the world of Google searches and Yellow Page listings without knowing the first thing about what questions to ask.

So, assuming if you’re here, you already think Homesense is pretty great.  But, let’s say you don’t know how extraordinary our technicians are, how reasonable our pricing is, and how much our customer service exceeds expectations.  I would recommend you ask these questions:

– What’s the name of the technician that is coming out to fix my problem?  How many years has he been in the HVAC industry?

(Many larger companies have technicians fresh off getting their EPA certification, which is not the same as being a quality technician.  Someone without experience will perform a diagnostic like someone without experience.  These young techs specialize in trying to upsell systems that don’t need fixed.)

– What is your hourly rate, and how long does a service call generally take?

(You should expect anywhere from $70 – $125 for an hourly rate.  Knowing a general expectation of time will put the pressure on the technician to give you answers more efficiently.)

– Before you perform any work to fix my system, will you provide a written estimate?  Is that estimate good for a certain amount of time?

(This is a big problem in any technical industry.  The technician uses terms you don’t understand to pull a solution seemingly out of thin air, to produce a quote that seems equally arbitrary.  Then has the audacity to tell you it’s only good while he’s on site.  As a homeowner I wouldn’t expect it, so Homesense won’t do that.  Our quotes are good for 30 days.)

If you know who, how much, and how long the estimate is good for, your expectations should be appropriate for what quality of experience you’ll have.  Be wary of any company that doesn’t happily provide this information.

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