How To Find An HVAC Contractor You Can Trust

It can be quite simple to find an HVAC contractor who is reliable, experienced, and accountable if you know the right way to look for them and the right questions to ask them. If you simply want the lowest-priced equipment, then you are not really looking for a trustworthy contractor, as you can always find a guy with a truck who can give you a low quote, but you also face the risk that something might go wrong, or not work properly, and you will be limited by the cheap quality equipment you have purchased.

Go to the contractor’s office in person. Since the HVAC equipment you are purchasing is a sizable investment, you would think people would make a point of visiting the office of the company to meet the people who work there. In fact, most people do not bother to do this. You can tell immediately when you walk into the office of a contractor whether or not they are professionals, or if the office consists of a showroom or simply a telephone number. We welcome you to stop in at our office to chat over coffee while you make your decision.

A trustworthy HVAC company has actual business costs; instead of simply operating out of a basement, they pay taxes to the government, have insurance and various certifications, they pay WSIB, and most of all, they exist to provide solutions to your needs for home comfort and will give you service and support for the lifespan of the equipment.

Good quality heating equipment will last on average for 16-22 years, while air conditioning equipment will last for 12-15 years, but North American HVAC contractors have a high failure rate, second only to restaurants, lasting an average of 2 – 5 years.

We have provided the following information on its website to help consumers:

How can I make certain that I am dealing with a reliable contractor, and what should I be looking for?

Ask the contractor these questions:

Which trade associations have they joined?
(The HVAC contractor should be a member of HRAI/HRAC and should be able to show a current sticker that proves it. Check with www.hrac.ca)

How long has the contractor been in business?

(Remember that most HVAC businesses only last from 2-5 years and yet many operators say they have 25 – 35 years of experience, but is it true? Our company has been operating continuously, and you can check us out online: visit website. It is important to check the way that information is presented. Even though the marketplace today is very tech-heavy, our business is very much a “bricks and mortar” company – a reliable contractor should have a real address and location for their office.)

What is the coverage for labor and equipment?

(Our installations always come with coverage for twelve months on parts and labor. After the twelve-month period, it will depend on the standard or extended warranty provided by the manufacturer or the specific plan you choose from us. Some contractors will claim they cover you for five or ten years for parts and labor, but you need to remember that HVAC contractors on average do not last very long.

Do they have service technicians working full time and have they been around long enough for you to be sure they will be there when you need them?)

Does the contractor carry liability insurance, and how much is the coverage amount?

(This will ensure that if there is a serious problem you will not be the one who must bear the costs. Usually, a reputable company will carry at least $4,000,000 of insurance coverage)

Does the contractor have a WSIB number and an up-to-date operating license to work in your city?

(A reputable business will have these licenses on hand and can show them to you and give you the registration numbers.)

Can you get a financing program from the contractor?

(Usually, a company must be vetted to provide these sorts of services.)

Is the contractor located out of town or local?

(A local HVAC contractor will generally be more knowledgeable about the common types of mechanical systems used in homes in your area.)

Can you get help in an emergency?

(If it is the middle of the night and your furnace stops working, call our main switchboard number at 647.931.6155, and our answering service will get a technician to contact you immediately.)

It is important to ask the contractor questions not only about prices, but also their experience, services, and knowledge of the neighborhood. We are not able to give out information about our other customers, but we can let you know where we have worked in your area.

You should obtain three written quotes from reliable HVAC contractors and be certain you compare apples with apples – a cheaper product is very different from a premium product…and with HVAC services, you get what you pay for. A written quote is not just a scribble, but an actual formal contract on letterhead. A low price does not always represent good value.

Who are the people you are going to deal with? Large companies can be hard to deal with as you may not get personalized service. A small HVAC contractor may be less able to handle your problems quickly during peak times, but we are committed to helping you find solutions because we rely a lot on getting referrals from customers. Our HVAC business is family owned and operated, and all the equipment we sell is equipment we put in our own homes and the homes of our employees, so we know what will work best for you.

Should You Replace Your Furnace With Your Air Conditioner?

It is obvious to all of us that it can be very costly to replace a furnace and an air conditioner at the same time.

However, your new air conditioner will only work at its rated efficiency if the furnace is replaced at the same time.

Unfortunately, there is a problem because the average furnace will last between 15 – 30 years, while the average central air conditioner is likely to last 15 – 20 years. A furnace will generally last longer than an air conditioner, perhaps twice as long.

Here we will explain why it is a good idea to replace the air conditioner at the same time you replace the furnace so that you can have a system that is properly matched. We will also tell you why you may not always wish to have both systems replaced at the same time.

Why the air conditioner and furnace should be replaced at the same time.

The fan, or blower, which is usually part of the furnace, will blow out the conditioned air into your house.

The blower is needed to create the right airflow, so the evaporator coil and the heat exchanger work properly at their rated efficiency. The blower will also push the air through the house.

A split air conditioning system has two basic parts:

  • The Outside Unit contains the (1) condenser coil and (2) the air compressor.
  • The Indoor Unit contains the (3) evaporator coil and (4) air blower/handler.
  • Both parts of the air conditioning units must be replaced at the same time if you have a split system, but you do not always need to replace the air conditioning units and the furnace at the same time.

The air conditioning system will use the furnace blower motor, so if the furnace is replaced at the same time, this will guarantee that the new system will work at its rated efficiency.

If you decide to install a high-efficiency air conditioner that has a SEER rating above sixteen, and you have an old blower in your existing furnace, your system will be mismatched and will therefore not work efficiently. It is possible to do some mixing and matching of systems, but this is not recommended if your furnace is more than fifteen years old.

If you replace the outdoor component while keeping your old blower, the system will be less efficient, it may have many problems, and can even fail prematurely.

Note: Always be sure to replace both parts of the air conditioning system (evaporator coil and condenser/compressor) at the same time. However, this does not mean you always need to replace the air conditioning and heating system at the same time.

Remember that replacing the furnace alone will cost you between $2,000 – $5,000. If you add a furnace replacement to your air conditioner replacement, the overall cost will be less, between $1,000 – $3,000.

When should you replace the furnace and air conditioner at the same time:

  • If the age of your furnace is over 15 years.
  • If the SEER on your new high-efficiency air conditioner is over sixteen.
  • If the installation of the air conditioning system is complicated.
  • If you want an HVAC system that you will not have to worry about repairs for a long time.
  • When you should not replace your air conditioner and furnace at the same time:

The only situation in which you should not replace your furnace at the same time as the air conditioning system is replaced is if your furnace is less than ten years old.

If you have a furnace that was installed less than ten years ago, you are probably fine to wait to replace it the next time you replace your air conditioner. This is because your furnace can last another twenty years, while your air conditioner will probably need replacement in ten or fifteen years.

Ask For A Free Estimate

You will have to make the final decision yourself, but the best way to proceed is to talk to a reliable HVAC contractor first. You will need to have a blower that can match your new air conditioning system if you want the system to be efficient, last a long time, and reduce the cost of your heating and cooling bills.