How to Choose 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 want to make sure that you keep it running nice and smooth by getting the right maintenance services. In either scenario, you’re going to have to work with an HVAC contractor, so make sure you study the essentials before you choose which one is best .
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. Because not all HVAC experience is the same, however, take time to know about your specific prospect’s background.
While longevity alone won’t guarantee a good job, it does indicate stability, and only good contractors achieve stability in their business. 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. 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 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.
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.
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 complete the job within the agreed deadline and budget? Did they take care of the mess following the installation, and were they careful not to cause any property damage? Did they test the newly installed system 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.