Know what to look for in an HVAC contractor
The best HVAC experts are experienced technicians who are courteous, prompt and treat you professionally.
When it comes to scheduling any sort of service work for your residence or your business, it makes sense that you want to know that the person coming to do the job is highly experienced and trained in the work you need done. When it comes to installation, or any service on an HVAC system, there is no exception to this fact.
Just because an HVAC contractor is popular, or a company is affordable, doesn’t make that the right contractor for your particular job. It’s important to do your homework and to ensure that the HVAC company you choose is a right fit for you and your needs.
Licensing – Required Professional Requirements
In most states, HVAC contractors are expected to be licensed but, there are a few who could be working without valid licenses. If you aren’t careful, you could hire an unlicensed individual who may do a shoddy job. That won’t just lead to high energy bills but, it may also put you and your family in harm’s way.
For an HVAC contractor to receive their license, he or she must have at least two or three years of experience. In other cases, the minimum is five years. This is because experience is needed for one to be competent in all heating and cooling elements like the refrigerant, electrical wiring, airflow through the heating duct and combustion system. Understanding of these systems will keep your home safe and comfortable.
Without experience, a disruption in the functioning of the home ventilation system and the exhaust system can lead to fatalities. To be safe, ask for valid licenses. If shopping online, you should look through the contractor’s website to see if they have a license from the state. You may also want to confirm if they have a license from the municipality.
In addition to the HVAC license, does that person hold a plumber’s license? The latter is important because cooling and heating works involve installation and repair of pipes supplying natural gas or oil.
Pro tip: HVAC companies are required by law to hold the minimum level of bonding or insurance to get a hold of an HVAC license. With the insurance, you’ll know that any professional working in your home carries liability insurance to protect you in case of an accident.
How About Estimates?
It’s important that your HVAC contractor give you an estimate before they begin work, so you know what to expect and there aren’t any surprises later. Because of the high cost of HVAC equipment repair, installation, and maintenance, you want to get the best deal.
It’s not enough to have a verbal agreement. Make sure you get the estimate in writing, and that it’s signed. Along with the estimates, ask for the overall scope of the works, the details of the works and the completion date.
Another thing to keep in mind is while it is not rare to require a deposit on larger projects (especially for commercial settings), your HVAC contractor should not ask you to pay for the whole job up front. You should also obtain information about the payment schedule, if applicable.
Are Rebates & Tax Credits Available?
Is the type of heating and cooling you are installing or repairing qualify for a rebate or a tax credit? Since HVAC equipment is a costly affair, any incentive by the federal government is welcomed.
Maintenance Service Contracts Offered?
Before working with a service company offering HVAC services, get a service contract program. The contract will give you peace of mind.
What Brands Do They Deal With?
Whether you are planning on buying new equipment or repairing the old ones, you should be sure that the company carries the brand you desire. You should only hire a company that specializes in your preferred equipment brand.
Do They Have the Right Training?
Ask your prospective HVAC professional about the level of training they’ve had. Most companies require some level of technical degree from a vocational school. These types of programs hone in on the latest advances in HVAC technology, EPA regulations, and standard maintenance and repair.
Also ask if they’re familiar with your existing HVAC system. If you’re on the lookout for a new unit, you’ll want to make sure that your technician is qualified to service that brand.
Check Their Credentials
It’s a wise idea to ask your HVAC company for their business license and insurance information. Do not assume that because they’re in a uniform and drive a commercial vehicle that they have what it takes to service your HVAC systems.
Double check with your local licensing office to confirm that the business you’re choosing has an up-to-date license. You can also verify their insurance policy is up to date by calling the insurance company and finding out what is covered. Although we all try our best to prevent them, sometimes accidents do occur, and when one happens it’s important to know that your HVAC company will cover the costs.
Check Their Reviews
Nothing is a better indicator of good service than if previous customers have positive things to say about the company. Check the company’s customer reviews. Generally speaking, if a company has a decent reputation in the area where you need service, it’s going to be reflected in the reviews.
Finally, another suggestion for checking to see what others are saying is taking a look at reviews with the Better Business Bureau.
Authorized Trane HVAC Dealer
It’s time for you to be comfortable and improve your home’s overall energy efficiency.