Looking for an HVAC Contractor
Do you have an aging HVAC system? You may have to get a new one in about 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
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.
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.
On top of that, know if they carry your brand and whether they have technicians who specialize in it. Keep in mind that every system and manufacturer is unique, and only someone with the right knowledge and training can give you 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. After the evaluation, you should receive a written and itemized quote that includes all costs, warranties and energy efficiency rates, making it easier for you to compare one contractor’s estimate with another’s.
Avoid the trap of choosing an HVAC contractor simply because they are the least expensive. If you get an offer that is way below standard – and this applies to most products and services you’ll ever pay for – be suspicious as there will most probably be catch.
By speaking to client references provided by an HVAC contractor, you can get a bird’s eye view of your potential relationship with them. 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 Background
Check with the Better Business Bureau to know what complaints are registered against your prospective contractor. Online reviews and ratings can also be helpful, but stick to reputable third-party consumer websites.