How do you choose an HVAC Contractor?
Posted on June 18,2015
Baby it’s warm inside!
It is 6:30 PM, and you have just returned home from a grueling day at work. You are ready to relax, but as you walk through the front door, you are greeted by a stagnant kiss of humid air. Your A/C has bit the dust and the temperature inside your home will soon exceed the thermometer reading outside. Who do you call?
If you grab a phone book or peruse the Internet, you will be greeted by ads from dozens of HVAC companies, all clamoring for a chance to service your air conditioner. As you read the advertisements, certain slogans or offers might catch your eye. One company offers “Free Diagnostics.” Money is tight and this was an unexpected repair, so saving money upfront sounds like a win for the pocketbook. Another company advertises that their rates stay the same no matter what time of day you call. It is late and your call will be after hours, so this might be a better choice, allowing you to avoid overtime charges! A third company announces they can be at your home within the hour and yet another states that if they are late, you will not have to pay a dime. Ohio has been socked by a record heatwave for weeks and air conditioners are failing left and right. You know most companies are booked solid. It sure would be nice to get someone out fast, or at least to schedule service with a company who is motivated to show up on time. But is it a bait and switch?
How do you choose an HVAC Contractor?
What offer caught your attention? When you are hot, uncomfortable, and at the mercy of a total stranger to find and fix the problem that stands between you and comfort, what are you looking for? What matters more, competence, cost, or credibility? For many of us, when forced to make a decision we didn’t plan for, the prospect of saving money can heavily influence who we look to for help. In the HVAC industry, many of the offers thrown out to lure in customers seem appealing, but, in reality, they aren’t as good as they sound. In fact, many offers, like those stated above, come with hidden or buried fees, fuzzy stipulations, and escape clauses.
At Watkins Heating & Cooling, our commitment is to provide skilled, trustworthy technicians who can service and repair your HVAC system. We promise to provide fair, honest, up-front prices and we will never trick you with a gimmick. We live out our vision, mission, and values and we believe our work supports these statements. We honestly believe that if we have the best technicians, fair pricing, and honest business practices, we will win your loyalty for life and referrals to your friends and family. Here is how we do it…
Our technicians are hand-picked for their built-in integrity. For several of our techs, their integrity forced them to leave their old jobs because of pressure to lie to customers. Our techs are paid by the hour, not a heavy commission structure. We drill into our people to always seek the best interest of the customer and to do the right thing. Great people means you can trust our technicians for straight-up honest advice.
At Watkins Heating & Cooling, we have served our Dayton community with honesty and integrity for 20 years. We constantly shop around for the best prices on parts so we can remain competitive and offer fair prices to our customers. We do not offer free diagnostics and then recoup those fees by inflating our repair prices or requiring all “recommended repairs” be made in order to receive the “free diagnostic.” Honest pricing means you get what you pay for. No bait and switch pricing. No hard-to-believe offers followed by hyper-inflated gotcha furnace repair prices.
Learn more at Why Watkins.
Buyer Be Ware!
If you find yourself in need of a contractor, be sure to ask questions, and do your homework. If a company is offering free services or discounts, ask what if any terms have to be met before booking a call or signing a contract.
Thoroughly read through customer ratings on places like google, yelp, citysearch, etc. Don’t just look at the overall score or simply read the top few comments. Scroll through the entire feedback history. Look for a trend of complaints and poor ratings. A company with 40 ratings might carry a high score, but if you read through the comments, you may discover a pattern of problems buried among the glowing and sometimes “suspect” testimonials. Every company deals with an occasional customer who can’t be satisfied, but unhappy feedback should not be consistently found in the ratings of a reputable company.
Not every company is out to scam you, but it is always good to follow your gut. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Get a second opinion when a compressor or heat exchanger has been condemned, or the tech is telling you you need to replace your system. (See our blog on heat exchanger scams). Most companies offer free sales calls for equipment replacement, and an extra hour of your time might save you thousands of dollars!
BBB ECLIPSE AWARD
After two-years of reviewing and refining our processes, the Dayton BBB awarded us with the Eclipse Award for Integrity in the 21-70 employee category.
TRANE COMFORT SPECIALIST SINCE 1999
In 1999, Trane started a program to spotlight dealers with a deep commitment to customer service, continuing education, and excellence in business development and selected Watkins as Charter Members. Now with nearly 20 years in the program, we are among the most experienced Trane dealers.
BEST PLACES WORK WINNER
Our employee engagement survey placed us among to best companies in Dayton. We believe this is because we work with Great People, provide career training, and foster strong family values.
How can you be sure a technician knows his stuff? Look for the NATE badge! NATE tests our HVAC technicians to certify the highest level of technical expertise.
C12 GROUP MEMBER SINCE 2008
Christian CEOs building great businesses for a greater purpose.
GREEN BUSINESS OF THE YEAR 2014
Our commitment to environment responsibility earned a great recognition from the Springboro Chamber of Commerce in 2014. Our green efforts include our solar-powered headquarters in Springboro, a growing fleet of hybrid service trucks, an ever increasing recycling program, and close partnerships with our local utilities to extend rebate programs to our customers.