Picking an HVAC contractor is an important decision that you shouldn’t decide upon without doing some research to make certain you’re making the best choice.
First, select a contractor who will ask you about your wants and needs and actually listen to you. With that tidbit, they should be able to show you up to four options from which you can choose.
When they set up your installation, is it when you want it done, or when they can squeeze you in? Will your contractor pull a permit on every job? Doing so will ensure 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 number of areas, from load calculation to piping and quite a few steps in between. You could get the top-of-the-line system, but if it’s installed incorrectly you may not get top-of-the-line performance.
Here are a couple other questions to help you make the best decision while searching for your HVAC contractor.
Are they NATE-certified?
NATE (North American Technician Excellence) is the largest nonprofit certification organization for HVAC technicians. Certified technicians have demonstrated their knowledge in the HVAC industry by passing real-world and throrough tests developed by a committee of industry experts. NATE-certified contractors have met the highest industry standards for knowledgeable installation and service. NATE certification will give you peace of mind knowing your contractor has finished rigorous professional training.
Do they have references or referrals?
A professional HVAC company ought to be able to provide you with a list of recent customers that you can chat with and tell you about 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 provide referrals for previous work.
Another route is crowdsourcing referrals from your friends and neighbors or on your social media networks. These are usually 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 count on positive word-of-mouth, so if someone you trust stands by them it’s likely they’ll do great 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 getting quotes from a contractor. The reason many states require licenses is simply to keep 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 better to look elsewhere to help get around any potential problems.
When is the best time to ask these questions?
The best time to ask questions and pick an HVAC contractor is right now, before something goes wrong with your system. Get your furnace looked at while it’s running properly and set up your annual maintenance.
Your family’s health, comfort and safety is our business at Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling in Greater Richmond. Our HVAC experts would be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Call us at 804-302-6657. We look forward to becoming your partner in keeping your system running safely and efficiently.