Before agreeing to any heating and AC repair services, you should always get a quote from the HVAC company or technician. This will give you a better idea of what to expect and what you’ll be getting. With that said, many people don’t really know what to do with a quote or what it is. They just see it as a piece of paper.
A quote is much more than that. It’s basically an agreement between you and the HVAC company or technician. This article will give you a better idea of how to evaluate your quote, so you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. You’ll also be able to better evaluate for yourself which St. Paul, MN company is offering you a better bang for your buck!
The Difference Between a Quote and the Cost
A quote isn’t necessarily the final cost that you’ll pay for the heating and AC repair. It’s important to understand the type of terminology used by HVAC companies. If you have a fairly large heating and AC repair job, it’s always a good idea to get as many pricing as possible from different companies. This will give you a better idea as to whether you are paying a fair price and as to whether any of the prices you see include unnecessary charges.
You may receive quotes, estimates are bids from local HVAC contractors. While these terminologies may appear to be the same on the surface, they actually mean very different things.
Both a quote or an estimate may not necessarily be the final price. An estimate or a quote is an approximate of how much the HVAC company or technician believes that the heating and AC repair will cost based on past experience and expertise. The final cost of the HVAC repair may be more or less; however, it will generally be within 10% to 15% of the estimate and quote. A bid, on the other hand, will usually be the final price.
Both a quote and a bid will become a contact once it is signed, so you need to be very careful when reading over these documents. Make sure that the document outlines all aspects of the project. If you sign a final price on a quote, that price will usually be the total cost.
Questions to Ask with an Estimate or a Quote
Before agreeing to any heating and AC repair, you should make sure that you fully understand what is involved with the estimate or the quote. This includes whether there are any other fees that you need to be aware of. For example, some companies may charge overtime fees if the project takes longer than expected. Overtime fees can rack up pretty quickly, especially if you have more than one contactor on the job.
Some other companies may include a travel fee that isn’t included in the estimate. This may include any time that is spent in traffic or the cost of gas.
What to Look for in a Quote
Many people don’t necessarily know what they’re looking for when they look at a quote. They’re only concerned about the final price that is on the paper; however, the details matter just as much. When you get a quote from an HVAC contractor for a heating and AC repair, you want to sit down and take some time to evaluate and dissect what is on the paper. Different factors can easily lead to a higher quote.
At times, a higher quote from one company may actually be a better bang for your buck due to the brands that they are using or due to the additional work that they are performing to ensure that your HVAC system will run smoothly for years to come! Let’s take a look at some of the things that you should look for in a quote below.
#1. The Type of Parts that Are Used
The type of parts that are used can make a huge difference to the overall HVAC system. When looking for heating and AC repair, you should look for an HVAC company that uses reputable brands that are built to last rather than aftermarket parts. Reputable brands are often able to offer some type of warranty on their parts. This means that you’ll be covered should the parts fail prematurely or if anything should go wrong.
In general, many HVAC companies and technicians will offer a guarantee on the parts as well, so you won’t have to go through the manufacturer. If anything goes wrong, all you have to do is give them a call and they’ll come fix the issue!
If you’re installing SMART appliances, you can also expect a higher cost. Some HVAC contractors will automatically upgrade outdated appliances and parts with SMART ones. These parts may be more expensive; however, they’re a lot more energy efficient. You’ll end up saving money in the long run.
#2. The Type of Unit That You Are Using
If you are replacing an entire HVAC system and unit, the type of unit that you are installing can also have a huge effect on the total cost of the heating and AC repair. For example, if you are going with a high-end unit or if the contractor will be working on a high-end unit, they may charge you a lot more.
#3. Whether the Contactor Offers a Guarantee or Warranty on Their Work
Although it’s surprising to some homeowners, warranties can impact the quote. Most HVAC companies will let you know what the manufacturer’s warranties are. These warranties will protect you from faulty equipment. As mentioned above, if you go with a more reputable brand, then you’ll likely have a better warranty.
With that said, some HVAC technicians also offer additional guarantees for the installations as well. If any heating and AC repair is needed, you’ll be covered. Some HVAC companies will ask you if you want to purchase additional warranties from them. In these cases, you’re basically paying for insurance.
#4. The Amount of People That Will Be Working on the Project and the Length of Time It Will Take for It to Be Completed
Take a look at the labor costs that are quoted in the price. Consider the amount of people that will be working in your home, their hourly rates and what they’ll be working on. You should always confirm that everyone who is quoted in the price is needed and that the contractor isn’t hiring anyone who may be unnecessary for the job.
Most quotes will include the amount of hours that the contractors expect the repair services to take. If you have several quotes, you can compare these hours to see whether what is being quoted is reasonable.
If you need the repair work to be done by a certain time, this may also be reflected in a higher quote because the workers may need to work longer hours or they may need to bring in more people to get the job done.
#5. Breakdown of Local and Federal Regulations
Depending on the type of repair work that you’re getting done, this may be rather important. A good quote will also include the cost of permits and also provide some information on the potential fines that you may face if you break certain local or federal regulations. The technicians will be able to back up why they recommend certain repairs or parts with local or federal regulations that apply to you.
#6. An Analysis of What Your Bills Will Look Like
This last bit might be a bit surprising, but almost every good HVAC company will also include a part in the quote that gives you a better idea of how your bills will look like after the repairs are completed or after the new installations are done. This part of the quote should also give you an analysis of what type of changes that you can expect to see in upcoming years.
If you are installing a new, more energy-efficient HVAC system, you’ll definitely want to go over this part of the quote. A SEER rating of 16 could mean that you’ll save up to $400 a year on your energy bills. With time, the new installations practically pay for themselves over several years.
#7. The Reputation of the Company
Many people prefer working with a reputable and experienced company because they are more likely to offer consistent work. They’re also generally more reliable. With that said, a high-end HVAC company may charge more for their name. They know that they deserve to charge a higher price because of all of the experience and expertise that they have and because of their reputation on the market.
Be Careful of Extremely Low Bidders
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you’re given an extremely low bid, there’s a good chance that the bidder is desperate for the job. That’s never a good sign. It could mean that they don’t have insurance or are not licensed. Never work with a company that is not insured. If they make any mistakes, you could be left in a pinch.
It could also mean that they do not have a good handle of the standards or policies involved with the heating and AC repair. These companies may ask that you have a grasp of the policies and they’ll only do the work. This may lower their fees because they have less paperwork to deal with; however, this could be potentially a huge headache for you.
A good HVAC contractor will make sure that the heating and AC repair that they complete complies with all of the standards. They’ll also navigate the bureaucracy of HVAC regulations for you, so you don’t have to worry about a thing!
Don’t Forget that You Can Always Negotiate!
A quote isn’t set in stone. At least, it isn’t until you sign it, which is why you can always try to negotiate the pricing with the HVAC company or technician. You can ask them to give you a discount on certain parts or you can ask them to charge you a little bit less on labor. You can always discuss your budget for the heating and AC repair with the contractors, so they know how much you’re willing to pay. A good company will try to work with you. Here, at Blue Ox Heating and Air, we offer financing plans for those who may be in a pinch financially!
Protect Yourself By Keeping All of the Paperwork!
The quote that you sign is basically legally binding. Protect yourself by keeping all of the estimates, quotes, contracts and additional paperwork provided to you by the HVAC company for the heating and AC repair in a folder. You can reference these documents regularly if any issues come up. These paperwork can also help you out should any issues occur during the HVAC repair. At the very least, you’ll know what you’re entitled to and what both parties agreed to.
Get a Quote from Blue Ox Heating & Air Today!
If you’re looking for any type of heating and AC repair in St. Paul, MN, give Blue Ox Heating & Air a call today at 952-213-3955. Our company was founded in 2013 by three families who have over 100 years of collective HVAC experience under our belts. We’re able to tackle even the toughest HVAC repair jobs with ease. We’re so confident in our work that we’ll refund you your money if you are not 100% satisfied with the work that we do!
All of our technicians in St. Paul, MN have gone through an extensive background check and are also drug-tested regularly. They’re licensed, insured and ready to help you with any heating and AC repairs that you may need! Rest assured that we’ll get the job done well! We offer affordable heating and AC repairs and high quality work that lasts!