Selecting an HVAC contractor is an important decision that shouldn’t be made without doing some investigating to make sure you’re making the correct choice.
First, choose a contractor who will ask you about your wants and needs and then listen to you. With that information, they should be able to present up to four options from which you can select.
When they arrange your installation, is it when you wish to have it done, or when they can fit you in? Will your contractor pull a permit on every job? Doing so will make certain that it meets all of your local codes.
HVAC system installation is not a DIY job and a successful installation requires a contractor that is skilled in a variety of areas, from load calculation to piping and a bunch of steps in between. You could get the highest rated system, but if it’s not installed correctly you may not get the best performance.
Here are a couple other questions to help you make the best choice while finding your HVAC contractor.
Are they NATE-certified?
NATE (North American Technician Excellence) is the largest nonprofit certification organization for HVAC technicians. Certified technicians have proven their knowledge in the HVAC industry by passing real-world and thorough tests developed by a committee of industry professionals. NATE-certified contractors have met the highest industry standards for knowledgeable installation and service. NATE certification will offer you peace of mind knowing your contractor has completed intense professional training.
Do they have references or referrals?
A professional HVAC company will be able to provide you with a list of recent customers that you can refer to and verify the quality of their company’s work. Chat with their list of references and ask about their project and if they’d recommend their work.
There are also official sources online such as the Better Business Bureau and ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America). The BBB allows you to read the consumer ratings of an HVAC contractor and you’ll be shown any customer complaints against a company. The ACCA is a nonprofit organization of more than 60,000 professionals and 4,000 businesses. Contractors found on ACCA are sure to be dedicated to their profession and will be able to offer referrals for previous work.
Another option is crowdsourcing referrals from your friends and neighbors or on your social media networks. These are typically the most useful recommendations because they are coming from people you know. You’ll find out who to talk with and which contractors to avoid. If you’re on nextdoor.com you can literally ask for recommendations from people right next door. Contractors rely upon positive word-of-mouth, so if someone you trust backs them it’s likely they’ll do good work for you too.
Are they properly licensed and insured?
Not all states require licensure for heating and cooling contractors, but nearly all of them do. It’s easy to search online to determine if your state requires a license so you know whether or not to ask for one when gathering quotes from a contractor. The reason many states require licenses is simply to protect you from using a company that uses less than qualified workers.
If you live in a state that requires licenses and the contractor you’re talking to doesn’t have one, it’s probably best to look elsewhere to help circumvent any potential problems.
When do I bring up these questions?
The best time to ask questions and find an HVAC contractor is right now, before something goes wrong with your system. Get your furnace looked at while it’s running as usual and schedule your routine maintenance.
Your family’s health, comfort and safety is our business at 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning in Lake Forest. Our HVAC experts would be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Call us at 949-204-0859. We look forward to becoming your partner in keeping your system running safely and efficiently.