Something most of us tend to overlook is the efficiency of our A/C systems. Whether you’re installing, fixing, or updating your system, you want the best quality for the best deal. But it’s very easy to get overwhelmed when trying to figure out exactly what you need and if the pricing you’re getting is fair. It’s also too easy to hire the wrong company or a company that doesn’t have your best interest in mind. Hiring the wrong company could result in expensive fixes, repairs done incorrectly, or even spending money on a unit you didn’t necessarily need.
It’s easy to google “local A/C technicians”, click the first result, see what the company offers and prices their services at, and click “HIRE”, or “SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT.” But we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t tell you how important it is to do your research before you hire anyone. Although they are listed in no special order, the following questions are all crucial to ask before you sign on the dotted line and hire an A/C company for your next repair, maintenance visit, or system installation.
1. Will you inspect the entire system?
Making sure you are getting an accurate analysis of what is needed from the technicians is probably step one in hiring an A/C company. They need to do a thorough, detailed check of what needs to be installed or repaired. Depending on how old your home or building is, there is the potential for certain parts or pieces to be working improperly. The A/C technician should check the entire system before making any pricing or suggestions. This will ensure that nothing is missed and that the full scope of the problem is understood.
2. What are your hours and what’s the timeline for this project?
It’s helpful to know the timeline the A/C technicians have and how long they believe the project is going to take. This will allow you to make time in your schedule for one or more appointments along the way. It’s also helpful to ask up front who will be available to answer any questions you might have throughout the process. It’s important to keep communication channels open during the entire process, so you can stay updated on the latest status of the project.
3. Can you provide a written estimate?
This is one of the most important questions in the entire process. The reason is, if you don’t get a written estimate, the technician could go back on his or her word and try to charge you more the second time around, since there is no written proof of the first estimate. Of course, we’d like to think the best of everyone and hope that no technicians in any industry would do that. But unfortunately, it happens all too frequently. Keep yourself safe from shady business dealings with a written estimate that you and the technician agree to.
4. How long has your company been around?
Given the amount of time, work, and money that goes into installing or fixing an A/C system, you’d want to hire a company that has been in business for a good amount of time. You want a company that knows what they are doing and has experience when it comes to anything that could potentially go wrong.
5. Can you provide references?
Going along with the last question, if a company has been in business for some time, they should have references. And they better be references with positive feedback! Check their website to see if they have any past customer experiences written up. This is also a good time to check Google Reviews, Yelp, and their rating from the Better Business Bureau. If you can’t find any reviews or customer feedback, call the business and ask if they can specify high-quality work they have done previously.
6. Who are your technicians and what type of training/education do they have?
The technicians are ultimately going to be the ones in your home or business installing the A/C system. As a potential customer, you have every right to know if they are properly certified and educated when it comes to installing A/C systems. Unfortunately, there are some cheap companies out there that hire employees who aren’t actually certified and properly educated when it comes to installation and maintenance. Make sure this is not a company you hire or it might cost you BIG time in the long run. If you want to do your own research, look for A/C technicians that have a NATE certification. NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence, and measures a technicians real-world knowledge and professional competency.
7. Can I see a copy of your contractor’s license?
In most states, licensure is the law. On top of certain certifications and education, contractors need to be licensed to do business and have completed a trade school program. You should ensure that the contractor you’re looking to work with is licensed in the state of Arizona.
8. Which brands do you work with?
Ultimately, you want to hire a company that repairs and services multiple brands, meaning they use products from different companies based on the specific needs and requests of the customer. For example, if an A/C installation company is only using parts from one manufacturer, the cost of those parts might be too high for some customers, or not be the exact quality other customers are looking for. It’s key to hire a company that is versatile to the specific customer and project.
At Larson, we proudly service and repair all makes and models of air conditioner, and we specialize in installing Trane equipment.
9. Can I see the details of your liability insurance?
Make sure the company you use has liability insurance! This means in the unlikely event one of the workers (or you!) were to get hurt, an average A/C liability policy would potentially cover these costs.
If you are still unsure of your options before hiring an A/C technician, please don’t hesitate to reach us at (480) 428-0600. We can better answer your questions and would love to provide a detailed inspection and accurate pricing of your needs.