Which Heating Company Should You Choose?

Technician talks with homeowner while working on furnace - Thomas & Galbraith Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing

How do homeowners find a heating contractor near me in Cincinnati, Ohio? Homeowners need the assurance of a reliable contractor if they experience heating problems. In cold Ohio winters, your heater needs the best care possible. Though the quest to find a good contractor seems hard, with the right tools the decision is easy.

Thomas & Galbraith provides homeowners with the best tips to choose a heating contractor. Even if you’re new to the city, we let you know the best ways to find a trustworthy contractor for your HVAC needs. When winter rolls around, you want someone at the ready in case of emergency heater repairs, so be sure to follow these tips!

Locate A Heating Contractor Near Me

Word-of-mouth helps those looking for a heating contractor near me. More often than not, the people around you have experience with contractors in the area, so they know where to find the best technicians. This is especially helpful if you’ve never had to deal with heater repairs before. Ask these people for advice to see what they know.

 

  • Talk to friends and family. First, ask your close friends and family members for their recommendations. Because you know they have your best interest in mind, their recommendations are usually spot on. They likely also have a better understanding of your budget, which helps when looking for an affordable contractor.
  • Ask neighbors. In addition to friends, try your neighbors! They live in the same place as you, so they know which contractors are well-loved by the neighborhood. Likewise, they know which contractors to avoid either through neighborhood gossip or first-hand experience.  
  • Seek help from community members. Lastly, ask people who are pillars of the community. Older residents likely know which contractors have been around the longest. These companies have more experience than other contractors. Additionally, older community members know which contractors to avoid at all costs. 

 

Some use search engines to find a good heating contractor near me, but this doesn’t always yield the best results. Reviews on the internet are not always reliable, so be cautious of customer testimonials. Some are honest, but others want to either boost or tarnish the reputation of the contractor with exaggerations. Always take what you read in these reviews with a grain of salt. 

Heating Contractor Trade Organizations

If you are new to the area, or just want another option to find contractors, trade organizations are a wonderful way to find heating companies. Across the country, homeowners use databases like these to find the right match for them. If you want to ensure the contractor you choose meets industry standards, look for them on these databases. 

 

  • Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC). The PHCC educates contractors on safe practices and ways to effectively communicate with customers. With branches across the country, PHCC is one of the largest trade organizations around. You find a great heating contractor near me with this service.
  • Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors of Ohio (PHCC Ohio). PHCC of Ohio follows the standards of the main branch. All of the same tools and resources are available to Ohio contractors through this organization. 
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB). More general than the PHCC, the Better Business Bureau helps homeowners find reliable contractors of all types. To find a good heating contractor near me, simply input your criteria and press search. A list of credible contractors pops up for you to look through.
  • Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI). AHRI is one of the oldest trade organizations in the country, which means this group has years of experience. They know the best ways to help contractors keep up with industry standards and they focus on environmental solutions to HVAC problems. 
  • HVAC Excellence. Unlike other organizations on this list, HVAC Excellence exclusively deals with contractors who already have their certification completed. HVAC Excellence helps these contractors achieve specialization in certain areas of HVAC. To find a heating contractor near me with expertise in a particular field, look through this database.
  • ENERGY STAR Program. For those concerned with the environment, browse through ENERGY STAR’s list of contractors. ENERGY STAR offers EPA certification to contractors. Technicians train in EPA standards to receive the certification. It allows them to handle and remove refrigerant. 

 

Heating Contractor Near Me & Estimates

Estimates are an important part of the process because they narrow down your options. Every heating contractor offers slightly different prices for every project, so an estimate allows you to plan for the cost before you commit to anything. 

  • Gather opinions. Don’t commit to the first estimate you receive. All contractors are different, which means they offer a range of prices. Consult multiple contractors to avoid any regret associated with a shotgun decision. Gut instinct tells us to go for the cheapest option first, but this isn’t always the best choice. Gather multiple opinions on your project to find the best heating contractor near me.
  • Make your appointment. Next, set up your appointments. In these appointments, contractors survey the site, diagnose the issue, and suggest solutions. Most of the time, these visits are short and to the point. However, make sure the contractor understands your concerns. If they take the time to explain the issue to you, they are likely a good choice. 
  • Discuss options. When they figure out the problem, they propose some solutions. Some are easier and more cost effective than others, but consider all variables before you make a decision. Is the cheapest option actually going to fix the issue? A good contractor doesn’t try to sell you the cheapest option. They make sure the job is done right and work with you to keep things budget-friendly. 
  • Receive estimate. Finally, the contractor gives you the estimate for the project. Be sure they specify the cost of the equipment, labor, and project in their estimate. If you don’t ask, or they don’t know off the top of their head, call their customer representative. They help you with the cost of each element of the project. 

Heating contractors and other HVAC specialists usually offer free estimates. It’s bad business practice to charge for estimates. If a contractor wants to charge you for the estimate, look elsewhere. You don’t need to waste money on an estimate when plenty of other contractors offer it for free.

Additionally, be careful with your final choice. Of course, homeowners want the lowest price possible, but other factors are just as important. A good heating contractor near me works with the homeowner to solve the problem with the heater and provides payment options to keep costs low. 

Look for These Credentials in a Heating Contractor Near Me

Homeowners need to know what to ask their contractors. Contractors need to meet certain requirements, but homeowners don’t know those requirements. Ask your contractor about these things to make sure they practice industry standards.

 

  • Contracts. Homeowners want to know the details of the project and how much everything costs. Contractors offer contracts to ensure both parties are on the same page. Service contracts, in particular, ensure the homeowner receives regular maintenance visits to avoid emergency repairs from the contractor. 
  • Payments. One of the markers of a good heating contractor near me stems from their willingness to accept a wide variety of payment plans. Homeowners on a budget want to make sure they understand how much they need to pay and when they need to pay it. Contractors with experience are clear with their payment plans and make sure the homeowner understands the terms.
  • Experience. Contractors with experience know how to take care of their customers. Figure out how long your contractor has been in business. If they are new, they don’t have the same expertise as older contractors because they have fewer experiences in the field. 
  • Brand Availability. It’s common for contractors to work with one or two brands exclusively. If you want a certain brand, limit your search to contractors who specialize in those brands. 
  • Estimates. Again, free service estimates are good business practice in the industry. Those who charge for estimates likely practice other bad business methods. When you have the option for a free estimate, definitely take it.
  • References. A good heating contractor near me has a number of references for you to look through. In the best case scenario, you are able to contact these references to ask their opinion. Be wary of companies who hide their references. You want to know they are happy to connect you to past customers.
  • Insurance. Heating contractors with insurance are the ones to look for because it means you have coverage if problems occur during the repairs. If someone receives an injury, or if a problem with the project happens, insurance makes sure you don’t have to pay for the damage. Good insurance covers you, the workers, and the contractor. 
  • Bond. Insurance and bonds are different. A bonded contractor allows you to receive reimbursement if the job is left unfinished. The money goes towards a new contractor to finish the job. 
  • License. Lastly, and most importantly, contractors must have a license. Nothing good comes from a heating contractor without a license. Though the prices are often lower than contractors with a license, there is no guarantee the job ends in success. Ask yourself, “Does this heating contractor near me have a license?” If not, go elsewhere.

 

Thomas & Galbraith: The Best Heating Contractor Near Me

The hunt for the best heating contractor near me is easier when you have this article to reference. Overall, make sure to commit to a contractor who has your best interest in mind. If they listen to your concerns and take them into consideration, you’re in good hands.

Thomas & Galbraith in Cincinnati, Ohio provides that kind of service to homeowners like you. Whenever you need heating repairs, give us a call. We offer free estimates and schedule your visit on the phone.

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