What to Consider When Looking for an HVAC Contractor
Is your HVAC system showing signs of age? 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 cases, you’ll need to hire an HVAC contractor, so make sure all the essentials are covered before you decide whom 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. 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. 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.
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 intend to have an HVAC system installed, find a contractor that will thoroughly evaluate your home before recommending the best heating and cooling solution. 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.
Avoid the trap of choosing an HVAC contractor simply because they are the least expensive. 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.
By speaking to client references provided by an HVAC contractor, you can get a bird’s eye view of your potential relationship with them. To make those calls productive enough, ask the right questions. For example, did the contractor complete the job within the agreed deadline and budget? Did they clean up their mess after the installation and did they respect 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 find out what complaints are registered with the contractor you’re considering. You can also look at online reviews and ratings, but be sure to stick to independent consumer websites for credibility.