On the Level
The most important step in finding a good heating repair company is making sure they are on the level. This means they have all of their licensing in order. Every state has their own qualifications and requisites for becoming a licensed contractor. Make sure any company you’re considering has met those qualifications and can show you their active license as issued by the state. If you happen to live in a state where no such licensing is required, check to see if the company belongs to any professional organizations. These organizations have their own qualifications, which will at least let you know that someone considers this company a professional service.
In the old days, you had to ask around to find out what people thought of a particular heating repair company. There’s nothing wrong with doing that today, either, but it can be frustrating when it seems as though no one you know has ever hired such a contractor. The internet makes it easy to get this kind of information. Look around for customer reviews, but be wary of any that seem too glossy or opinionated in one direction or another. Reviews can be faked very easily- both by the company itself and the competition- so you need to keep a clear head about what you’re reading. You may also want to check with consumer reporting sites such as the Better Business Bureau to see if any customers have filed complaints.
In the end, trust your instincts. You don’t have to have your decision made by the time you call a heating repair contractor. In fact, you can learn a lot just by calling around with some questions. Judge the companies by how professionally they answer the phone and how friendly they are when you explain your situation. Let these businesses tell you with their actions how much they want your business. If they don’t, then there’s little reason to give it to them.