Air Repair Lakeland: Hire the Right Furnace Repair Contractor in Lakeland
In case you live in a magical land where things are easier, you should know:
Hiring HVAC and furnace repair contractors can be hard.
You can’t put a price on peace of mind, right?
Wrong. You totally can, and it’s usually neither the cheapest nor most expensive option you can choose.
So for those of us in the real world, where money is tight and schedules are worse, how do you do about choosing the right guy for the job?
Air Repair Lakeland is going to boil it down to the facts for you. In the decades that we’ve been in this industry, we’ve kept up with all the changes in technology and business, and we’ve done our best to be the best.
That means the best advice, too. Even if you read this article and choose a different furnace repair contractor, we’re going to feel great. We’ll know that we helped you make a smart decision for your home.
Choosing the right furnace repair contractor can make a job sail right by, and keep the dent to your wallet as small as possible. Choosing a bad contractor can leave you with a bigger mess to clean up, and a lot less money to work with.
We hope, of course, that you’ll consider Air Repair Lakeland, but we’re not going to hard sell you. We’re going to tell you what matters and what doesn’t matter when choosing your furnace or AC repair service. We’ll give you a heads up on the kinds of red flags that should turn you away from a company, and the kinds of things that should put you at ease.
So whether you’re throwing a dart at a phone book like it’s 1991 or scrolling through Yelp reviews on your phone, the following information should leave you feeling more confident.
Plus, you can always call us at 863-777-5931 if you have more questions.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Hiring Furnace Repair Companies
- DO choose a company that works with your budget and doesn’t shy away from financial discussions.
Furnace repair contractors deal with budget concerns literally every day. That’s a huge part of our job, in fact. The financial burden can range from under $100 to over $10,000. That means that you can’t spare any time for a company who gets confused over your costs.
Make sure your contractor is willing to help you negotiate financial pitfalls. Make sure they talk to you about payment plans, loans, tax incentives, and insurance.
If they aren’t ready (and able) to have that conversation, find someone who is.
- DON’T choose a ac or furnace tune up company that gives you a quote, sight unseen.
This one actually surprises a lot of people. What’s wrong with getting a quote over the phone?
Well, actually, quite a lot.
Unless the job is extraordinarily simple and common, a contractor shouldn’t be able to give an accurate assessment at all. And even then, they should make certain that you’re aware that any estimate without inspection is just a wild guess.
There are thousands of parts in a furnace, and any furnace repair or furnace installation technician knows that a set of symptoms that could actually mean any of a dozen or more problems.
That’s why Air Repair Lakeland (and any reputable company) offers FREE in-person quotes. We’ll send a technician to your house to find out what’s going on and give you an accurate quote.
That’s the keyword: accurate.
- DO ask friends, family, and the Internet for help finding someone.
Your biggest advantage as a consumer in the Digital Age is the easy access to reviews. Sure, some reviews are bogus, but sites like Angie’s List, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau work hard to maintain fair, unbiased reviews of all companies listed on their websites.
That’s why third-party reviews are great. We could post a hundred testimonials on our website from past customers, but you won’t believe them unless you see them on a site we don’t own, anyway!
So do your research and read up. If you like their reviews online, then give them a call and get the ball rolling.
You can also ask your own social circles. If you know someone who had a furnace replaced or repaired in the last few years, find out who did the job. Find out whether your friend or relative was happy with the price and quality of the job.
Here in Lakeland, most of our customers come from referrals, in fact. We serve the entire Tampa Bay area, and our relationships tend to be long-term. We’re grateful for that, and we don’t take it for granted.
- DON’T let them skimp on the paperwork.
Contractors can be a folksy bunch. Like we just pointed out above, a lot of our customers stay with us for years. Eventually, they start to feel like friends and family.
That’s great, and we won’t ever say it isn’t.
Ever heard that saying about lending friends money? You know, the one where you shouldn’t do it?
The same principle applies here. It’s great to be on friendly terms with your contractor. We love our customers. We’re happy if you want to joke around and say hello and send us a Christmas card. That relationship is incredibly important to us.
On the other hand, we’re never going to forget that our job is to serve you as best we can. That means we don’t do handshake deals, and we don’t skimp on the paperwork.
Our industry is highly regulated. In Florida, licensed AC contractors have to report to the state and sit several exams before we are allowed to practice. We also have to apprentice to a more experienced contractor before we can work solo.
Our technicians have an average of 15 years of experience on the job, and our team insists on continuing education. That means we know what we’re doing and we’re learning how to do more.
We also maintain our licensing and insurance.
(A side note on insurance: it isn’t just for us. Our insurance policies also cover liability in case something happens on the job that we didn’t see coming. Our policy will cover damage to your property, as well as ours!)
Any AC or furnace contractor who doesn’t is a big waste of your time.
- DO make sure they’ve got a relationship with the community.
Contractors are, by definition, local companies. That includes local franchises or branches of larger companies. No contractor based in Los Angeles is serving customers in Des Moines, Iowa. That just isn’t the nature of our industry.
That’s why we are Air Repair Lakeland so that Lakeland knows they can count on us at all times. We know the Bay area, we know its climate, and we know what people living here need.
Your background research on any company should reveal whether they’re active in your community. Do they communicate openly, and dialogue with customers and potential customers?
Click a couple sites or make a phone call and you’ll find out. If they don’t, they’re not what you need.
Florida has got plenty of HVAC firms. Maybe we’ve got less furnace repair specialists than Vermont, but customers here aren’t hurting for choices.
You want to watch for the Fly-By-Night crews. That’s what we call guys who capitalize on your needs by throwing tools in a truck, making a Facebook page, and lowballing bids until they get work. They resell used equipment as if it were new, they do half-repairs or they cut corners.
Do. Your. Homework.
If you do, they’ll never get the chance to run their con game on you.
- DO strike a balance between innovation and experience.
We’ve been in business for a long time, and that’s good …
… but it’s not always good when a company says that.
Sometimes, “We’ve been in business for decades” is their way of telling you “We learned this stuff a long time ago, and that’s still how we do it.”
Listen: you want experience, but you also want education. Longevity will only take someone so far in an industry that changes and grows as quickly as ours does.
How do you spot an out-of-touch technician?
When you’re getting your quote for your furnace repair, watch for confusion around new technology. You can even ask questions about smart thermostats or other new innovations.
Be concerned by comments like “Oh, I’ve always done X, don’t worry about it.”
A ten-year-old furnace and a one-year-old furnace are related, but they aren’t the same. Any team providing furnace repair to Lakeland and the Bay Area should be adaptable and educated.
Make sure your contractor knows what the latest tips and tricks are, so he or she can use them when repairing your home.
- DON’T Settle
This is so important. Never settle. Always demand information, and be clear about your budget, your needs, and what you do and don’t know. If you’re feeling out of the loop or confused, ask for clarification.
If you want to know something, ask.
And if ever, at any point, a contractor can’t or won’t answer your question, get someone who will.
To schedule a FREE, no-risk furnace or AC repair appointment, call Air Repair Lakeland today.