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Buyers Tips

Heating & Cooling

When choosing a heating service contractor, consider the following:

Obtain 2 or 3 bids from licensed contractors. Bids for extensive repair or replacement of heating systems should be submitted in writing. Estimates should always include a full description of the services to be provided. If the system is to be replaced, the estimate should include a full description of additional work required for the installation of ducts, registers, and electrical wiring, and repair of adjacent surfaces.

Compare more than cost when examining the bids. Check the size of equipment each contractor recommends. Ask each contractor to explain how the estimate of the required heating capacity and equipment was determined.

Check the warranty offered; what does it cover, for how long and who will honor it? Read the contract thoroughly and understand it before signing. Always keep copies for your records.

Find out if a service contract is available providing you with an annual furnace inspection and maintenance. Check your owner's manual for details on routine maintenance you can perform.

Always ask for identification from any individual claiming to be an inspector or a representative of a utility company.

Finally, always check the company's BBB report.

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