For several years now, the ‘big box’ companies have slowly edged out the Mom and Pop stores of previous generations.
Prior to this change, most small towns had busy main streets where local folks could buy their groceries, washers and dryers, furniture, etc. What’s more, people knew the shop keepers and their families, and they trusted them. Of course in those days, stores weren’t open at night or on Sundays, and maybe there wasn’t as much competition when it came to prices. But the confidence that buyers had when they made a purchase was one of the biggest advantages of the day. Today’s big box stores buy in bulk and, as a result, usually offer competitive prices. But when you think about it, these companies aren’t as concerned about the quality of the product, so long as a lot of it sells. And for major purchases, such as an HVAC product or system, the big stores often don’t service what they sell. The purchaser is forced to find an independent service company, some of which are very expensive and dishonest. Compare big companies that offer several types of products to an independent HVAC company that specializes only in heating, ventilating and cooling. Most likely the owner is a licensed HVAC technician who hires only certified technicians to sell and service the product. The professionals will come to your home for a free estimate, will be the person who makes the installation and repairs, and will almost always have the parts on hand when needed. And bigger isn’t always better when it comes to prices. The smaller company has much lower overhead than its bigger counterpart. So it’s always wise to shop around when making a large purchase, especially your heating and cooling system.