What to Consider When Looking for an HVAC Contractor
Do you have an aging HVAC system? You may have to replace it in a year or two. Otherwise, you just have to keep it great running condition by hiring the right maintenance services. In both scenarios, you’re going to have to hire an HVAC contractor, so be sure to consider the essentials before deciding which one to hire.
License, Insurance and Experience
With your HVAC system probably being the most expensive home equipment you have, it’s crucial that only fully qualified professionals touch it. Hence, you need a licensed contractor who has many years of experience under his belt and insurance that protects you from liability when there’s an injury or accidental damage. As the HVAC experiences of different contractors can vary, take time to ask your prospect about theirs.
Longevity by itself is no assurance of a good job, but it shows that the contractor is stable, and only good contractors achieve stability in the industry. In addition, ask your prospect about other credentials they may have, such as a North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification, which ensures that their education and experience are up to date.
Furthermore, ask if they carry your equipment’s brand and if they have technicians with specific training for it. Remember, each system and manufacturer is unique, and you want no less than a technician who has the right knowledge and training for optimal results.
If you’re planning on an HVAC system installation, your prospective contractor should thoroughly inspect your home before deciding on a heating and cooling solution that works best for you. At the end of the evaluation, they should provide a written and itemized quote where you can easily compare costs, warranties and energy efficiency rates with other estimates from other contractors.
Don’t make the mistake of hiring an HVAC contractor just because they are the cheapest. If something is offered at a rate way lower than standard – and this is true for most kinds of products or services – there’s always be a catch.
When you talk to client references, you can get those important feels as to how your potential relationship with the contractor can play out. Maximize those calls by asking the right questions. For example, did the contractor finish the job on time and on budget? Did they work clean and were they respectful of the homeowner’s property? Did they test the system after installation to ensure maximum efficiency?
Consumer Relations History
Check with the Better Business Bureau to know what complaints are registered against your prospective contractor. You can also look at online reviews and ratings, but be sure to stick to independent consumer websites for credibility.