What to Consider When Looking for an HVAC Contractor
Is your HVAC system at least 10 years old? You likely have to replace it in one or two years’ time. 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
Given that your HVAC system is likely the most expensive equipment you have in your home, it’s a must that only well-trained 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. Since not all HVAC experience is created equal though, spend time asking your particular prospect about his background.
Although longevity by itself guarantees nothing, it does speak of stability, which indicates that the contractor is doing something right. You should also ask whether they have a North American Technician Excellence certification or any equivalent certification proving that they are current in terms of their education and experience.
On top of that, know if they carry your brand and whether they have technicians who specialize in it. Take note that every system and manufacturer is unique, and you want someone with the right knowledge and training to give you the best results.
If you want an HVAC system installed, a potential contractor should provide a thorough home evaluation to determine the best heating and cooling solution that works for you. After the evaluation, they should give you a written and detailed estimate that makes it easy for you to compare costs, warranties and energy efficiency rates with other quotes you receive.
Avoid the trap of choosing an HVAC contractor simply because they are the least expensive. 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 instance, were they able to complete the job within the deadline and the budget? Did they clean up their mess after the installation and did they respect the homeowner’s property? Did they ensure maximum efficiency by testing the system right after installation?
Consumer Relations History
Visit the Better Business Bureau website to find out the kind of complaints registered under the HVAC contractor’s name. Online reviews and ratings can also be helpful, but stick to reputable third-party consumer websites.