If you’ve decided it’s time to invest in a new heating system and you’re like most, you’ve done some research. You’re familiar with the standard efficiencies and maybe even the difference between a single stage furnace and two stage-modulating unit. Maybe you attended the Vancouver Fall Home Show where you could explore some of the different brands and what heating systems they have to offer. Even with all that, has a clear choice emerged for you? In this blog, we’re sharing with you, the top five questions you must ask the companies who have quoted for you, along with the answers that you should be looking for to tell you if you’ve chosen the right plumbing and heating company!
Who’s Quoted For You?
Was “new heating system” due to failure on your calendar? With some warning, you might start by putting “best heating system replacement company near me” into Google. You might then engage and received three (or more) quotes from reputable heating system companies. I’d get one from my favorite local plumbing company to support my home community, and then I’d also ask a friend for a referral from a company that they’d had a good experience with. The company that sent me a flyer in the mail – just because they seemed cheap and I’d always wonder if I didn’t, I called them too.
Now, you’re probably looking at these quotes and wondering why the prices are so different.
Are you missing something? What could you ask to find out? And that is what this blog will answer for you. Here are the most defining questions you can ask, as well as the most common questions we get? As a bonus, I’m going to tell you the top 3 reasons our customers tell us they’ve chosen R&B for their new heating system. Spoiler alert, when they make their final decision, it’s never about the price!
Grants and Rebates
It seems that many prices come with the grant built into the pricing and some as advice that you’ll get additional money back at a later date. This can be the biggest difference in price. Make sure that when you’re comparing the prices, and you will, that you make that distinction.
I promised it wasn’t about the price and it isn’t. Yet, getting the savings from those grants is key. The potential to get the grant is something everyone can offer. What fewer do is give you the pre-filled applications, photos, and access to a submission process that is easy to follow. Ask your favorite furnace company, who does the paperwork?
You’ve quoted me on Good, Better, and Best, but what’s the right choice for my home?
This depends on many factors. The most expensive option for any home is only the right choice if you or your family will use all the features. If Wi-Fi control is not important to you, then you may not need the high-end controller. Is noise is a factor? Then you’ll want a super quiet unit. High efficiency as your highest priority will steer you towards units will best meet that. Are you planning a renovation, a teardown, or a move? Then you might not see that return on a larger investment either in terms of price or having that unit is adaptable to your future plans.
Often times, the ‘good’ option for a new heating system is all you need, and it’s really the best choice for many of our customers. The price difference will often be in the equipment cost, so a recommendation will always factor in the customer experience and not how much differential revenue there might be. What’s important is not only the price points, but really drilling down with our customer to identify which is the right choice for them. At R&B, we are more than happy to have those conversations with you.
What is the warranty on the units and what is the warranty process like?
The warranty that you get with domestic heating appliances like furnaces and boilers is often standard throughout the industry. Many manufacturers will also have optional warranties that you can buy to extend the regular warranty. Here’s what you need to know. It’s not necessarily the length of the warranty but what the warranty process is. Do you have to navigate these claims on your own, or does your service provider do it for you? Will the warranty process have clear entitlement advice that you can get in writing? Does your warranty require that you keep all service records for every year?
When you install a Carrier brand furnace with R&B and there is a warranty issue, we take care of you from beginning to end. We’ll start the warranty process, order the parts, make the claims, follow up on the credits and ensure you’re receiving all the money back that you’re entitled to. On top of that, Carrier provides buy-back and upgrade options for some furnaces that fail in that critical time between the end of the warranty and the end of the furnace life. This brings up the next question.
Who will service the units once they are installed?
At R&B, we do, and it’s important for a few reasons. Companies, who service what they sell, actually know the equipment. Think of an engine in your car. The assembly line can bolt it in to meet a standard, but it’s the mechanic who will ‘tune’ the engine to truly get the best performance out of it. For home heating, it’s the same – especially with boilers. Part of our installation process is completing a combustion analysis, and adjusting the gas pressure. Without doing that, it may be running in accordance with the manufactures acceptable ranges, but might not be achieving peak efficiency – which is what you paid for. Finally, (and most importantly!) your service technician installer will be able to resolve any faults. At R&B, all our installers are also the repair technicians.
The bonus of using a company that services what they sell (Hey, that’s us!) is for the service records. From installation and through each year of service, your maintenance and care will ensure that you’re getting longevity out of the equipment while meeting the terms of some warranties. Maintenance you’ll be able to prove.
What is your after sales customer care program?
There’s the “Taillight” care, that ends when you can no longer see the taillights of the installers van, or the “Customer for Life” treatment. Which would you prefer? Our after sales care program:
- Ensures that all equipment is registered with the manufacturer
- Provides all documentation necessary to access grants and rebates
- Contacts you on the anniversary of your installation to ensure that maintenance is booked
- Records equipment model, serial numbers and date of installation to ensure that you can easily call us up to order filters or check warranties
- Follows the address, AND the customer. We record equipment by address, but customers by name so we’ll always know who you are, and what our service history is with you. When you sell your home, the information can easily be provided to the new owner.
- Has IBC performance monitoring available. When you register with Wi-Fi system monitoring, R&B can respond to faults and errors remotely and often before you’re even aware there’s a problem, or experience the lack of heat.
Plus the bonus question. It’s a bit technical, but stay with me because it’s an important one! Actual Question by one of our customers:
“I live in the City of North Vancouver, and my current furnace vents through the chimney. I could use the extra space, and hope to remove it. Can you install my new furnace to vent out the side of the house instead?
Will I pass inspection? Or, what do you know about the code for my city?”
Each municipality will have their own modifications to the general gas safety code. This means that some will allow you to vent though an exterior wall, but the City of North Vancouver will actually require it to go up through the roof. Knowing which process is allowed and where will make the difference between passing and failing your installation inspection. And a company that ends up taking out a chimney to vent out the side when it must go through the roof, will only cause it’s customers to hit the roof!
Inspections take time, and deficiencies due to code anomalies, erode confidence and cause a bit of disquiet for customers.
Now instead of peering at the equipment, and pouring over the small print, we hope you’ll feel have a better idea of what you can ask your estimate providers to help you solidify your informed choice. And we look forward to serving you!