How to Choose an HVAC Contractor
Do you have an aging HVAC system? You may have to replace it in a year or two. Otherwise, you just need to ensure it keeps running nice and smooth using 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
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. 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. 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. 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’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. 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 hiring an HVAC contractor just because they are the cheapest. 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. 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 ensure maximum efficiency by testing the system right after installation?
Consumer Relations History
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.