How to Choose an HVAC Contractor in Columbia02/19/2016Picking an HVAC contractor is an important decision that shouldn’t be made without doing some investigating to make certain you’re making the best choice. First, find a contractor who will ask you about your wants and needs and then listen to you. With that noted, they should be able to present up to four options from which you can select. When they schedule your installation, is it when you want to have it done, or when they can get to it? 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 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 not installed correctly you may not get top-of-the-line performance. Here are some other questions to help you make the best choice while researching your HVAC contractor. Are they NATE-certified? NATE (North American Technician Excellence) is the largest non-profit certification organization for HVAC technicians. Certified technicians have verified their knowledge in the HVAC industry by passing real-world and rigorous tests created by a committee of industry authorities. 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 undergone in-depth 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 talk to and verify the quality of their company’s work. Talk to their list of references and ask about their project and if they’d recommend them to you. There are also official sources online such as the Better Business Bureau and ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America). The BBB allows you to check out the consumer ratings of an HVAC contractor and you’ll have the ability to see any customer complaints against a company. The ACCA is a non-profit organization of more than 60,000 professionals and 4,000 businesses. Contractors found on ACCA are sure to be committed to their profession and will be able to provide referrals for previous work. Another option is crowdsourcing referrals from your friends and neighbors or on your social media networks. These are usually the most beneficial recommendations because they are coming from people you know. You’ll find out who to talk to and which contractors to avoid. If you’re on nextdoor.com you can literally ask for recommendations from people right next door. Contractors rely on positive word-of-mouth, so if someone you trust backs 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 practically 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 receiving quotes from a contractor. The reason most 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 best to look elsewhere to help avoid any potential concerns. When is the best time to ask these questions? The best time to ask questions and choose an HVAC contractor is right now, before something happens to your system. Get your furnace inspected while it’s operating as usual and schedule your annual maintenance. Your family’s health, comfort and safety is our business at Watts Electric & A/C Inc in Columbia. Our HVAC experts would be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Call us at 601-736-7362 or you can simply set up an appointment with us online. We look forward to becoming your partner in keeping your system running safely and efficiently.