Looking for an HVAC Contractor
Is your HVAC system showing signs of age? You likely have to replace it in one or two years’ time. Otherwise, you just need to ensure it keeps running nice and smooth using 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. Thus, you need no less than a licensed and experienced contractor, as well as an insured contractor who keeps you safe from liability when there’s an accident on the job. Because not all HVAC experience is the same, however, take time to know about your specific prospect’s 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. 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. Remember, each system and manufacturer is unique, and you want no less than a technician who has the right knowledge and training for optimal 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.
When you talk to client references, you can get those important feels as to how your potential relationship with the contractor can play out. Make sure those calls will be productive enough by asking the right questions. For example, did the contractor finish the job on time and on budget? Did they clean up their mess after the installation and did they respect 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.