Now that winter is upon us, there’s a better chance you’re going to call someone about your heater. You may need a simple tune-up, or maybe you run into some bad luck and need a repair for your heating system. That’s when you have to consider what contractor to call to help you out.
You may see some larger names and national brands out there. And, they’ll probably do a good job. A few fly-by-night operations may crop up, too. We’re not as crazy about those, and we’ll explain why later.
End of the day, there are some benefits that you can only get from using a local company. Someone with a long track record in your town can offer some advantages that others can’t.
Let’s take a look at why you should consider a local company for your HVAC work.
A Local Contractor Benefit is Local Connections
Sometimes, an HVAC job isn’t just about knowing about a heater or air conditioner. It could also be knowing who else can handle other things that need to get done. Maybe there’s an electrical problem, for instance, or you need a wall put up or taken down. One local contractor benefit is the local connections to help make that happen.
That may not seem like a big deal at first. But, think about what a headache it is to find just the right person for the job. Now you have to start that process over again.
That means asking around, getting references and checking for certifications. Then, you still have to hope you made the right choice.
But here’s the thing: Local contractors know each other. If someone goes in and there’s something outside of their expertise, they know who to call. That saves you a lot of time and hassle.
Local Contractor Companies Know The Terrain
And no, we don’t mean Wharton State Forest outside of Atco or the Pine Barrens in Pemberton.
Instead, we’re talking about the kinds of buildings and houses in those places and the towns around them. Most times, local contractor companies know what to expect before they even get to your home.
The more you work in a specific area, the more you find out about it. It’s common for HVAC contractors to know how the houses are laid out and what kind of equipment people used to buy.
At the same time, they’ve also seen some of the same problems over and over again.
That means they’re ahead of the game when it comes to doing the job. They have less research to do and fewer questions to ask. When you’ve got a company that’s been in the business for decades in your neighborhood, you can feel more confident that they’ll know what they’re doing.
Great Local Contractors Have Great Reputations
Everyone knows or should know, that any local contractor worth their salt will be well-known in the community – and for the right reasons. You should always look for recommendations, great online reviews (ahem, like ours) and referrals from friends, family, and neighbors.
Sometimes, that’s a little tricky with a national, or larger brand. They have the marketing budgets to really pump themselves up. And, when they’re doing a whole lot of work, sometimes it’s trickier to really spot when there’s a problem that could affect you.
It’s a different story with a locally-based company. When they’ve been in the business for a while in your hometown, they’ll leave a great paper trail. It’s a lot easier to get those local references you need. And, if there’s a problem, you’re more likely to spot it quickly.
Now, that brings us to some companies you’ll want to avoid — and how to spot them.
Avoid HVAC contractor scams
Look, we can’t tell you to go with your local HVAC contractor if we didn’t warn you about what could go wrong. Sadly, not every contractor – in this business or any other – is always on the level. So, here are some ways to avoid a bunk company or, even worse, a scammer:
- Make sure they’re not a fly-by-night outfit
- Check their certifications
- Look online for reviews and red flags
- Make sure you can reach them easily
First of all, make sure they have real presence! A van with signage on magnets or cheap decals don’t count. That just means they can switch out their name, and you’ll never find them again. Another red flag is if they ask for the money for the job up front.
You usually see that in other trades. But, it’s not entirely unknown in the HVAC world.
Next, make sure they’re bona fide. You want to know a company’s techs are licensed and certified. And, the company should be bonded and insured.
That’s the professional stuff. How about their track record? Look them up on the Better Business Bureau and online review sites like Google and Facebook. Do people sing their praises? Or, are there just a bunch of problems?
While you’re online, look for them directly. Do they have a website? How about social media? If you call, do you get someone on the phone, at least a receptionist?
Look, we have nothing against a local handyman who wants to make a living. But the truth is, those guys can get overwhelmed with work pretty quickly.
All of a sudden, they’re not calling you back. Or, they’re rushing through a job because they’re behind schedule. And, if they’re not registered as a business, or if they’re a really small outfit, there’s not much you can do if something goes wrong.
So, yeah, it’s not just that you want a local HVAC contractor. You also want a good local company. Fortunately, we’re out there. And, we’re ready to help you.
Are you looking for a local HVAC contractor with a great reputation and long history in the area? Contact us at (856) 272-7000, and we’ll gladly provide you with anything you need to feel confident working with us.