When you need A/C repair for Carrier, Goodman, or any brand for that matter, in or around Orlando, doing it yourself is usually not an option. That’s why it is a good idea to hire a qualified, A/C repair company. So who do you choose when it comes time to pull the trigger on a repair?
Here are 5 pro tips to helping you choose the right company for your next air conditioning repair:
1) Check to ensure your ac repair contractor has an up-to-date Florida license
Here in Orlando and all of Florida for that matter, air conditioning contractors are required to maintain a license by the state. Go to the Florida contractor licensing website to verify and and confirm their state certification.
Licensing does not guarantee great service or quality work, but it does provide an assurance they are within the guidelines and are properly licensed to perform ac repair work and obtain permits for system replacements.
Before you allow a contractor or his/her employees on your property it is very important that you confirm their liability insurance as well. If their policy is not up-to-date with adequate coverage, you are placing yourself at unnecessary risk for personal liability in the event of an injury while they are on your jobsite.
2) Check ac repair reviews carefully
In the air conditioning industry our reputation is based on what our customer say about us, not what we say about ourselves, period. Personally, I never hire a home services contractor without first checking their online reviews.
And I try and confirm that the reviews I'm viewing are independently verified . Review fraud is all over the web but once you get used to reading reviews it is not difficult to spot the ones that are fake.
Many authority sites like Yelp, Google and others employ strict algorithms that help prevent review fraud to ensure the reviews are not only accurate, but truthful as well.
But don't expect perfection when it comes to 5 star reviews. As an ac repair contractor myself for many years, I have tried to build a customer satisfaction culture within my organization but we aren't perfect 100% of the time either.
I know that every now and again we will get a less than perfect review. But, it is the way you handle a dissatisfied customer that really matters.
Look for responses from the contractor to the reviews (good or bad) as this is a certain indicator of how involved the company is in terms of making sure their clients are satisfied in the end. A lack of a written response to a negative review is a huge red flag to me.
If you see a negative review that goes unattended, you may want to keep looking. Take advantage of the experience of other homeowners just like yourself to ensure you make a smart choice next time you need an air conditioning repair company for your home or office.
3) Get A/C repair quotes in writing
When it comes to what appears to be a simple repair, it's always best to get it in writing. Be sure to ask if there could be complications that may increase your cost unexpectedly.
In the air conditioning industry, unforeseen complications can sometimes occur. The age of your A/C system has a lot to do with mitigating the risk of any given repair, as older systems carry a greater risk of something else going wrong.
And make sure you understand this risk along with the warranty on the part and the labor if the new repair should fail for some reason.
4) Check out your Orlando area A/C repair company carefully
As an air conditioning and heating repair contractor for many years, I know that if a deal appears too good to be true, it probably is. Here in Orlando, the contractors with the best skills and training rarely work for the lowest rate.
The guys (or girls) that work for wages rarely, if ever, have what it takes to keep up with the ever changing technology of today's more sophisticated air conditioning systems.
For some contractors, cutting corners is a way of life but the initial cost of a cheap, poorly completed repair can soon double or triple when you have to call again to do what should have been done the first time.
5) Ask your friends, family, and neighbors for referrals
While I feel that online reviews are the single best indicator of quality service, asking your friends and neighbors for recommendations is a very close second. Sometimes you may not find anyone that can give you a reliable recommendation but more often than not you can.
Be sure to talk to the company on the phone before you make your final decision as this first impression can be a great indicator of things to come.
The best source of new business for my company has always been referrals from happy and satisfied customers. Once you hire them, be sure to let them know that you will happily refer them to others as long as they do a great job, arrive on time, and keep their word.
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Michael Haines is a veteran A/C contractor and founder of the largest and oldest e-commerce site in the heating and air conditioning industry. His HVAC websites have served 10's of thousands of customers.