How to Choose an HVAC Contractor
Is your HVAC system at least 10 years old? You may have to replace it in a year or two. Otherwise, you just want to make sure that you keep it running nice and smooth by getting 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. Therefore, you need a licensed contractor, who will have several years of experience in the industry and insurance that protects you from liability in case of an injury or accidental damage. As the HVAC experiences of different contractors can vary, take time to ask your prospect about theirs.
While longevity alone won’t guarantee a good job, it does indicate stability, and only good contractors achieve stability in their business. As well, ask your prospect what other credentials they may have, such as a North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification, which indicates that their education and experience are current.
Moreover, inquire if they carry your equipment’s brand and whether they have technicians who are specially trained for 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. 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 choosing an HVAC contractor on price alone. If someone is charging way below the usual – and this goes for most products or services you’re considering – you can bet there’s a catch.
Talking to client references provided by your prospective HVAC contractor gives you a picture of your potential relationship with them. To make those calls productive enough, ask the right questions. For instance, were they able to complete the job within the deadline and the budget? Did they work clean and were they respectful of the homeowner’s property? Did they test the newly installed system to ensure maximum efficiency?
Consumer Relations Background
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.