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Good HVAC contractor website

This is certainly not a category that I would normally pay much attention to, but in this case I was impressed by a contractor and I think they deserve kudos.  Don’t get too excited, it’s just an HVAC contractor and there’s nothing fancy about their site but it delivers exactly what I need where so few others can.

I recently was looking for someone to help with some relatively major HVAC work at the new house.  We needed to change some ductwork in advance of the basement renovation, put in a new furnace, AC, thermostat, and run a gas line for the BBQ.  Simple enough to get competitive quotes, but how the heck am I going to set the baseline?  Some things I needed to figure out before I got the quotes:

  1. Do I want high efficiency or mid efficiency?
  2. What is the cost difference between the two?
  3. What is the yearly savings between the two?
  4. What other features should I be concerned with?
  5. How noisy is the thing going to be?

For the most part I’m focusing on the AC right now, because the furnace can wait until the fall.  I searched high and low, I found some answers but they are based in the US which is a very different climate than Toronto.  I posted on an HVAC website looking for some input.  Add to that I had now talked to one contractor who convinced me that high efficiency was a waste in our climate, but at the same time the government is telling me it’s a must in our climate.  Most of the websites I found were heavily biased, either trying to get you to buy something or trying to convince you to save energy.  What I really needed was data, unbiased comprehensive data that would help me answer the question.

Via a google sponsored link, I stumbled upon airworks.ca, which was the answer to my prayers.  The airworks website allowed me to:

  1. Compare brands beside each other, including important details like compressor type and noise level measured in decibels, and most importantly price.
  2. Get a breakdown of how to estimate the cost of running an air conditioner in my area and compare efficiency levels.
  3. Request a quote (although I did it by phone because I’m on a tight schedule).

Simple enough stuff, but surprisingly very few people do it.  I think that contractors are scared that if they are transparent about their product that they will not get the opportunity to meet with you face to face and really make the sale.  An understandable concern, but for me an invalid one.  I value transparency, and will even put a premium on it.  I want you to be unbiased about brands, I want you to give me your opinion on my situation backed up with reasons, and ultimately I want you to let me make the decision based on data.

Mark, one of the airworks owners, came out yesterday to do a quote.  I found him to be as transparent and honest as his website, and we put together a quote that worked for me.  He would not have gotten my business without that website, and I made sure he knew that they had done a good job.  Now I may eat my words in a few weeks, but I honestly feel good about the money I am about to spend.  That doesn’t happen too often for me.

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