You could live somewhere like San Diego, where thermostats don’t matter much. But you don’t. Which means you’ll occasionally need mechanical help to keep your home cozy or to replace worn-out equipment. To make sure your HVAC systems work when you need them, they must be properly installed and maintained—and you need someone to turn to when problems arise. And when you need new stuff, you’ll want to work with a company that offers the best possible advice and prices.

Our evaluations of area heating and air-conditioning services for quality and price will help you find a competent contractor. We also offer advice on how to evaluate equipment choices and deal with whichever company you hire.

Our Ratings Tables report important facts on area companies that received 10 or more ratings in our surveys of local consumers. We primarily surveyed Checkbook subscribers, but also invited other randomly selected consumers to provide ratings.

Our surveys asked customers to rate HVAC companies they used as “inferior,” “adequate,” or “superior” for several questions: “doing work properly on the first try,” “starting and completing work promptly,” “advice on service options and costs,” and “overall quality.” Our Ratings Tables report the percent of surveyed customers who rated each company “superior” (as opposed to “inferior” or “adequate”) on each question. The tables also report the percent of each company’s surveyed customers who rated it “adequate” or “superior” (as opposed to “inferior”) for “overall quality.” Click here for more information on our customer survey and other data.

Many area heating and air-conditioning services consistently provide high-quality work: Several companies were rated “superior” for “overall quality” by 90 percent or more of their surveyed customers. But our Ratings Tables also reveal that some customers get burned by shoddy service: some companies received “superior” overall ratings from only 60 percent or fewer of their surveyed customers.

Our Ratings Tables also show counts of complaints we gathered from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for a recent three-year period and complaint rates relative to the volume of work companies do. Click here for more information on reported complaint counts and rates.

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