Choosing an HVAC contractor is a big decision. Your comfort system is a significant investment, and picking a contractor from the yellow pages is like choosing a name out of a hat. Perhaps you think that it is best to go with one of those big, nationwide or multi-state firms. They spend millions each year on advertising to make you think that the big companies are better. However, that is actually a myth. In reality, bigger is NOT always better when it comes to HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance. Consider these seven reasons why a local firm may actually be the best choice for your next project.
- Locally owned small business – A smaller firm is more likely to have a good culture driven by a local hands-on owner(s), be more personable, know the area well, and know the climate. Local firms are also more likely to give back to the community.
- Superior Customer Service – A locally owned shop lives and dies by their customer service skills. Talking to a real person who is local makes all the difference. If you have a question, you can get an answer quickly because you are not talking to a call center across the country that never interacts with technicians. Speaking of technicians, they are also going to be locals ready to help with your problem. That kind of customer service is hard to get from a big chain.
- Local Expertise – When you’re dealing with a local company, you’ll get local expertise. This is very important when it comes to HVAC. You are not talking to a call center across the country who doesn’t understand your weather-related emergency. Everyone from the owner to the technicians live around here. Why choose a company based across the country? Choose local.
- Less Likely to Subcontract – While it is not always the case, sometimes the big guys will subcontract to other firms to complete the jobs for them. If you have a problem later, it can make it harder to get the issue resolved. Working with a smaller firm means a quick resolution and you know who is standing behind the job.
- Easy to Check References – When you’re checking references, make sure you check local references. The crew doing the job for a national firm will not be the same from one metro area to another. It’s much easier to check references for a smaller company.
- Better Value – Remember those millions in advertising costs and franchise fees mentioned above? That money has to come from somewhere–it is often passed on to the consumer in the form of higher costs. Whether it is a company-owned location or a franchise, they have a lot of overhead (for you) to pay for. A local firm may wind up being a much better deal for you in price, customer service and quality.
- The Companies Work with Your Local Utilities – A local company is more likely to work well with your local utility providers to meet their guidelines and standards. Local companies are relationship focused and want to make sure your system is installed and perfectly calibrated for optimum performance, reliability, and efficiency. This will save you money and help keep you and your family comfortable.