Everyone says that installation is more important than brand. How do I know which installer is better?
The first guy who gave me an estimate is from a medium-sized, licensed company that gets positive reviews from customers on an Internet message board for consumers in my area. But, the guy who came to my house was just an estimator/salesperson. He's not the guy who will install the furnace and ductwork. However, he seemed to know a lot, and he took down info for a load calc (number of windows, insulation, etc.)
The second guy is a one-man, licensed operation who does the work himself. He was referred to me by a contractor who is remodeling my bathroom right now. The contractor does excellent work, and he speaks highly of the HVAC guy. When the HVAC guy came out to my house, he seemed like a good guy and seemed to know his stuff, but he did not do a load calc. He looked around the whole house, took some measurements under the house and asked about the square footage.
I'm not sure how to evaluate these two operations other than using gut feeling. If all else were equal, I'd rather give work to the little guy. Anyone have suggestions?