“Honey, I think the furnace isn’t working. Can you get a hold of the company listed on the furnace to get that fixed?”
Does this sound familiar? This conversation gets played out in hundreds of homes in West Michigan during this time of year. And we get it; just calling the number on that sticker is an easy option. Furnace repair is not something you think you want to wait on.
But can I let you in on a secret? Those furnace stickers are the lowest of low-hanging fruit in the heating and cooling industry. There is an all-out sticker war going on where every company that comes in the door does their best to peel off their competitor’s sticker and slaps their own company logo on(I’ll admit we at Baumann & DeGroot even took time to find stickers that were dang near impossible to peel off). So take a look at that sticker on your furnace but before you make the call (even if it’s us) we want to give you some insider advice:
Do Your Own Research
The typical thought when you see one of those stickers on your furnace or water heater is: “[Insert company name here] must have installed it, and they know the equipment. If it was good enough for the previous homeowner, it is probably good enough for me.”
Press pause. Assuming that the company the last homeowner chose is the right choice is putting a lot of faith in someone that you don’t know (unless you bought your home from a friend or loved one).
Take a little bit of time and do your own research. Grab your phone and do a search for “heating and cooling near me”. Read some reviews of actual people who have used services in the area. Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few places (and we hope we’re in the mix) now it’s time for tip #2.
Get a Second Opinion On Your Furnace
Now that you have your research, be sure to get a second opinion. You’d be surprised how big a price difference there can be between many companies. That is where 2nd Opinion came from. We were tired of seeing so many HVAC companies getting away with overcharging our neighbors. If you get a quote from another company, Baumann and DeGroot will do a free one-day estimate so you have a comparison. We don’t even have to come to your home to do it. In some cases, we have seen folks save up to 60% on their heating and cooling systems. Learn more about 2nd Opinion and submit your request for a quote at baumannanddegroot.com/contact-us/request-a-quote/
Utilize Escrow When Purchasing a Home
Our last tip is for those who are planning to purchase a home soon. Don’t forget to ask about the HVAC and water heater. We get called a lot from realtors and home inspectors that note old or faulty equipment in their inspections. The home’s sellers need to get something in that is safe and new (and usually cheap). Most sellers in this situation will opt to put in the easiest and cheapest units to be cleared for inspection.
If you are a buyer in this situation, your hands-down best decision is to request that the buyer put the dollar amount of the cheapest option into an escrow account. Then, you as the new homeowner can use that money and work with a company that you trust and is going to offer you more than builder-grade equipment to better heat and cool your home.
At the end of the day, there is plenty of amazing local heating and cooling companies that do a wonderful job at fair pricing, and I have a ton of respect for them. But there are also some that I have seen do a poor job and cut corners while overcharging. At Baumann and DeGroot, our first priority is you and your home. We hope these tips will help you the next time you are in need of furnace, air conditioning, or water heater solutions.
For more information feel free to check our our blog, or our Facebook page. There is also this great article on, What to Do if Your AC Unit Is Freezing Up?
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