United Service Specialists
Heating and Air Services from the HVAC experts at United Service Specialists. Everybody deserves a comfortable and safe home. If your home heating or cooling system should break down or stop working properly, it is important to have a company you can trust to perform the heating repair services you need quickly, reliably and with affordable prices. Schedule a service or maintenance appointment by filling out the form or by calling us at
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Follow this advice to find the best heating and air services in the College Park, MD area. After you’ve done your research; you will find that United Service Specialists is a top quality heating and air service that’s ready to help with all of your heating and air service needs.
Here’s how to identify a heating and air service company who will do the best job, will be the easiest to work with, and will provide reliable service. More important, here’s how to avoid picking one of the many Heating and Air Services who might take shortcuts at your expense.
1. Don’t Assume That All Heating and Air Services Are “Pretty Much The Same”
All Heating and Air Services are certainly not the same. In over 20 years of researching and solving home comfort and indoor air quality problems, and working with Heating and Air Services literally around the world, the researchers and trainers with Comfort Institute have witnessed an enormous variation in heating and air contractor competence and ethics.
Sad to say, a small minority are downright dishonest. Both NBC’s Dateline and CBS’s 48 Hours TV investigative news-magazines recently aired hidden camera sting operations exposing fraudulent heating-cooling Heating and Air Services. A number of the companies they called out either bent the facts, or committed outright fraud on national television. The Better Business Bureau ranks heating and cooling as one of the highest complaint generating industries.
Fortunately, the great majority of Heating and Air Services are honest. They work hard, and mean well. Unfortunately, most simply don’t have the business systems in place to properly serve the consumer.
Fortunately, there are some Heating and Air Services who are ethical, technically at the leading edge, and also have business and customer service systems in place that ensure high levels of client satisfaction. Invest the time to identify a good contractor. It will be time well spent.
2. Don’t Choose A “Fly-By-Night” Contractor
Heating and air conditioning is without a doubt the most complex home service trade. You cannot risk having an amateur or a dishonest contractor install your new equipment. For your safety, choose a contractor that has some substance. Ask all prospective Heating and Air Services:
- How many years has your company been in business?
- Are you registered or licensed by the state/province or city to do heating and air conditioning work?
- Do you carry both general liability and workers compensation insurance?
- Are your technicians certified to handle refrigerant gas?
- Are you a member of a national trade association?
- Do you have a permanent non-residence place of business, and what is the street address?
- Can you provide names of satisfied customers in my neighborhood?
- Do your service technicians wear uniforms & ID badges?
Before signing an agreement, insist on seeing copies of all certificates and licenses, and check to ensure they have no unresolved complaints with the Better Business Bureau.
3. Don’t Assume A “Name Brand” Dealer Is Automatically A Good Choice
Choosing a dealer for one of the best known national brands of equipment does not automatically guarantee you’ll get a contractor who understands the critical issues. Look first for one who recommends the Whole House Comfort Checkup procedure.
4. Don’t Choose A Contractor Who Quotes A Price Without Any Diagnostic Testing
Automatically reject any contractor who proceeds to quote a price for replacing equipment (or promises utility bill savings) without performing, or at least recommending, these important diagnostic steps. He either hasn’t been trained about the problems that are likely lurking in your home and duct system and the importance of fixing them, or he doesn’t care. He may only be interested in selling you a metal box rather than truly solving your problems and delivering results.
Although this doesn’t make sense from a customer service standpoint, it’s an all too common attitude.
5. Don’t Ask If They Perform Diagnostics
When discussing your project with prospective Heating and Air Services, don’t ask if they will do or recommend the diagnostic steps described above. Wait and see if they bring up their importance. A good contractor will, a poor one won’t. Keep looking until you find one who recommends, offers — or even better, insists — on doing it the right way.
6. Don’t Be Misled By The Many Who Will Only Offer To Replace Equipment
Most Heating and Air Services will only offer to replace your old equipment with the same size (or a bigger one), without performing any measurements, inspections or diagnostic tests. However, recent government and utility company research states that most new systems are the wrong size, installed improperly, and attached to an inadequate existing duct system. As a result, they waste an average of one third of the energy purchased to run them.
7. Don’t Choose A Contractor Who Doesn’t Ask A Lot Of Questions
Many people mistakenly assume that pre-existing comfort, noise, dust or unhealthy air problems will be automatically solved by installing a new system. While these problems can be solved, just replacing the equipment won’t do it.
A good contractor is committed to 100% customer satisfaction. But to achieve this, he needs information. He knows that you and your family are the best source of information about these problems. He will always start by meeting with you and asking many questions: about areas that have been hard to heat or cool, about air that is either too dry or too humid, about how the old system worked (or didn’t work!), and about what you are looking for in a new system.
He’ll also ask if you are interested in reducing dust in the home, and if any family members suffer from respiratory allergies or asthma. A new system can often greatly improve the overall air quality in your home. This is especially so if duct and thermal envelope improvements are performed at the same time, and if the latest in air filtration and purification technology are built into your new system.
The typical contractor is only interested in swapping the metal boxes, and won’t try to help you take full advantage of this unique opportunity.
8. Don’t Put The Learning Burden All On One Spouse’s Shoulders
Since everyone’s perception of comfort and indoor air quality is different, it’s very important that all the adults who live in your home participate in the initial interview and inspection. For one thing, the Whole House Comfort Checkup consultation, testing and inspection process is very visual. Everyone really needs to see it and have their questions answered.
9. Don’t Try To Evaluate Your Options When You Are Tired Or Distracted
These days at least one and often both adults in many families have to work outside the home. It’s tempting to ask if the Heating and Air Services can come by after work, or on a weekend.However, we recommend that all adults who will be involved in the decision invest the time to meet with your consultant during the day, when everyone is fresh and able to focus on the issues, and ideally while any children are at school or otherwise being cared for. A common compromise is to go into work a bit late or come home early.
Keep in mind that a good contractor will recommend a Whole House Comfort Checkup. This is an in-depth inspection and consultation, that typically requires about two hours. It is not just a quick visit to drop off a bid. A contractor who understands all these issues is really a Comfort and Indoor Air Quality Consultant.
10. Don’t Choose A Contractor Who Doesn’t Explain Your Options
A lot of Heating and Air Services think that consumers are only interested in a low initial price, and so they quickly bid on the cheapest, least efficient product that will get the heating or cooling back on. Although they may not mean to, they usually end up shortchanging the customer. Monthly utility bills stay high, comfort is compromised and unhealthy indoor air problems remain unsolved.
A good contractor understands his professional responsibility to advise you of your options, and won’t presume to make these important decisions for you. After going over what you want, and what has been learned about your home and duct system, a good contractor will use his professional judgment and experience to make a personalized proposal. He’ll be able to explain his reasons for the recommendations. Together you’ll come up with the right solution.
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