LAYTON -- In the heating and air- conditioning business, where consumers put their trust in a professional to tell them whether repairs or a replacement are necessary, it's important customers feel comfortable with their choice.
Robert Love, of Robert Love Heating and Air Conditioning, recommends a few things when looking for the right company, especially because the industry requires so few certifications to enter the field.
One industry certification that is recognized nationally is the North American Technician Excellence, so customers can ask for a NATE-certified technician.
Any reputable company, Love says, will also be a member of the Rocky Mountain Gas Association. A consumer can also check the Better Business Bureau, but Love suggests looking beyond just the rating to see what complaints, if any, are associated with the company.
For Love, though, his love of the business that started 23 years ago is what drives him to make sure he deals with his customers with integrity. What started as a small shop and Love as the sole employee has grown to 23 employees who assess people's heating and air-conditioning needs.
Given that the average age for a furnace is 17 to 18 years, many houses may be in need of a new furnace, although Love has seen some 40-year-old furnaces still in use.
However, the older a furnace is, the higher the risk for safety hazards, such as heat exchanger cracks that allow carbon monoxide to enter the house, according to Love.
Ideally, homeowners should have their furnace checked annually and have a carbon monoxide detector installed in the house.
"It's like wearing a seat belt -- people can drive for 50 years with no seat belt without any problems," Love says. "Most people will be all right since most furnaces aren't dangerous, but there are some fatalities, so it is really important to have carbon monoxide detectors."
Only 30 percent of the homes Love and his employees go into have carbon monoxide detectors.
When it comes to heating versus cooling, the heating and air conditioning businesses spend more time with furnaces because Top of Utah residents heat their homes seven to eight months a year, compared to three to four months of cooling. However, with swamp coolers becoming a thing of the past, more homeowners are starting to add air conditioners, Love says.
"Swamp coolers are still cheaper to run, but as technology improves, the cost of air conditioning continues to go down," Love says. Additionally, swamp coolers won't work on a muggy day, he says, and can be undependable.
Darren Peterson has worked with Love since 1982. Even though Peterson has been deployed several times with the Air Force Reserve, Love has held Peterson's job, so he can attest to his boss's integrity. In fact, he has even seen his boss go back to fix a job even though the owner was unaware of the problem.
"I could go to other companies, but I've watched how he tries to take care of people even it if costs him," Peterson says. "His utmost priority are his customers as well as his employees."
This is a periodic series profiling businesses featured on the Utahfindit website, www.uthafindit.com. For more information on the website, contact Laura South at 801-625-4346 or firstname.lastname@example.org.