How to Find the Best Furnace Installer in Minnesota
Choosing a competent furnace installer who knows that he/she’s doing is important.
An installer doesn’t just unpack a box and plug it in. No, they:
- Find the right furnace size. A furnace that’s too small won’t heat your home. And one that’s too large will turn on and off frequently, ruining your comfort and increasing energy bills.
- Help you select the right features for your home. Based on what’s most important for you, your installer will help you select features like blower speed (single-, two- or variable-speed) and burner type (single-stage, two-stage or modulating).
- Install and calibrate the equipment. Unlike most products, furnaces can’t just be installed and plugged in. They must be carefully assembled and calibrated to work safely and efficiently for years.
- Stand behind their work. If something does go wrong, you want a company that will be there to come make it right.
That’s a lot of important work! So you need a furnace installer you can really trust. But how do you find a great one? Like this...
1. Collect a large pool of companies
Start by collecting the names of some potential furnace installers in your area. There are a number of ways you can do that...
Ask for recommendations from friends
You probably know someone who’s used a furnace repair and installation company. Ask around. You could even post on social media and ask for recommendations from your Facebook friends.
Use the ACCA’s contractor search
That Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) is the professional organization for heating and air conditioning companies. They promote professionalism and help write the design standards. They also have a nifty contractor search that lets you find ACCA furnace installers in your area.
Search the internet
You could just google “furnace installer Hastings” (or your city name). This will get you a lot of results, but it may be difficult to judge who’s good and who isn’t.
Important note: Be wary of online services that take your information and tell you that they’ll put you in contact with multiple “trusted” furnace installers in your area. Most sell your information to anyone who will pay for it. And many of the best HVAC companies don’t participate in them.
2. Narrow your list down to the top 3(ish)
You should now have 5-7 furnace installation companies that you know serve your area. Now it’s time to do some preliminary research and eliminate a few to get your list down to 2-3.
Visit their website
Do they even have a website? Does the site look professional? Can you find clear information about their services, guarantees, and processes? Do they belong to the Better Business Bureau (BBB)? A well-designed website shows professionalism and that the company is in it for the long run, not just a quick buck.
Check online reviews
Definitely look at online reviews. But don’t put all your weight on them. Lots of positive reviews doesn’t necessarily mean the company is full of angels. Also, don’t rule out a company just because they have negative reviews. Read the actual reviews and see how/if the company responded. Did they try to make bad situations right or did they get defensive?
Weigh your friend’s recommendations
Don’t forget about the companies your friends recommended. Those reviews should hold more weight than the reviews from anonymous and unknown people online.
3. Get an estimate from your top 3(ish)
Select a few (3 is a good number) of your top companies and call them to set up a free estimate.
During the estimate, a good furnace installer will:
- Ask you lots of questions. About your home, your comfort level, what’s most important to you in a furnace, etc.
- Analyze your current home. They should be performing a heat load calculation. This requires lots of measuring and calculating.
- Look at your duct system. Ducts are part of your heating system. A good furnace installer will also consider any duct repairs that need to be made.
- Present options. After hearing from you and looking around your home, the installer will present you with different options.
Use this opportunity to ask the furnace installers questions, also. Here are a few that the Comfort Institute recommends, along with our explanation:
- How many years has your company been in business? You want someone who’s been around for awhile. It shows they’re more likely to be around in the future, should a problem arise.
- Are you licensed in Minnesota to do heating and air conditioning work? Don’t hire a non-licensed HVAC company!
- Do you carry both general liability and workers compensation insurance? If you hire a contractor without insurance, you may be liable for any accidents that happen on your property.
- Are you a member of a national trade association? Which ones? Membership shows they’re a committed professional and not a fly-by-the-night company.
- Do you have a permanent non-residence place of business? What is the street address? The best furnace installers have a physical location for their warehouse. Check out the address later in Google Maps to make sure it’s not a house.
- Can you can provide names and phone numbers of satisfied customers in my city? These are references that you can check up on later.
- Do your service technicians wear uniforms & ID badges? Shows professionalism.
- Do you offer 24-hour emergency service? In case you need help in the middle of a frigid winter night.
- Do you have a refund policy if I am not satisfied? What happens if you’re not satisfied? Good furnace installers have a process for this.
4. Compare, check references and select the winner
Almost done! Though this can be the most difficult part. It’s now time to select a winner.
Check their references
Call the references they gave. Ask about things like the company’s professionalism, timeliness and follow up as well as how satisfied they are with the company.
Now you need a way to compare each of the companies you talked to. This ACCA checklist (PDF) is a great way to do that. It has a list of each of the things a good furnace installer should have talked to you about as well as grading criteria.
Select one and get that new furnace!
Pick the one that offers the best quality installation and product for your home at the best price.
Get a free estimate and interview us
If you’d like a free in-home estimate from the area’s best furnace installer, contact us today. One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning serves Hastings, Minneapolis and the surrounding area.
Check out some of these other great resources on finding the best furnace installer:
- How to Choose a Contractor - American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)
- 17 Things NOT To Do When Choosing A Contractor To Replace Your Old Equipment - Comfort Institute
- Step by Step: Finding the Right Contractor - ACCA