BBB tips for hiring a heating contractor


By John North - Contributing columnist



The weather is starting to get cooler, and your furnace might need to be inspected or updated. Buying an HVAC system is one of the biggest expenses for a homeowner. There are three components to think about when buying one: initial price, operation costs, and cost of repairs and maintenance.

Now that most people are working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, HVAC systems are working harder than ever. And, it’s always a good time to inspect your system before turning it on the first time. Therefore, heating contractors are in high demand. Don’t be surprised if a contractor can’t get to you right away.

Finding the right heating contractor can be hard. Here are some tips from the Better Business Bureau to make the process less stressful:

• Do your research. Know the ins and outs of the different types of units you can get. Some questions to ask: Will it do the job? Will it meet your needs now and in 10 years? What’s the repair history? And, will it fit your budget? Look for energy star products which offer long-term savings on energy costs.

• Find the right company. Find one that sells the type of unit you’re considering. Make sure the contractor is properly licensed, bonded and insured.

• Get recommendations from family and friends.

• Get references from companies. Contact each and ask about the service received.

• Compare prices and services. Get written quotes from all the companies you’re considering. Avoid contractors offering a price without looking at your current system. Consider each companies’ repair, maintenance or replacement costs. Quotes should explain the service to be provided and materials to be used. Don’t pay everything upfront. Work out a payment schedule and don’t pay in full until job is done to your satisfaction.

• Understand the follow up. See if there is a free call back for any problems you may have after your new unit has been installed. Is a service contract offered which provides once-a-year service to make sure your system is still running properly.

• Review the warranty. Make sure you understand what the conditions are. Look at your old warranty to see if repairs and replacements are covered.

For more information about hiring a heating contractor, visit bbb.org or call 937-222-5825 or 800-776-5301. BBB can provide a list of BBB accredited businesses in the industry. You can also check out contractors’ business profiles, which feature the company’s complaint history, share verified customer reviews, tell if it’s BBB accredited or not and much more.

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By John North

Contributing columnist

The writer is the president and CEO of Better Business Bureau serving Dayton and Miami Valley.

The writer is the president and CEO of Better Business Bureau serving Dayton and Miami Valley.