Choosing an HVAC contractor is an important decision that you shouldn’t decide upon without doing some research to make sure you’re making the correct choice.
First, choose a contractor who will ask you about your wants and needs and more importantly, listen to you. With that information, they should be able to show you up to four options from which you can select.
When they schedule your installation, is it when you want 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 something you can do yourself and a successful installation requires a contractor that is skilled in many areas, from load calculation to piping and a bunch of steps in-between. You could get the best system, but if it’s not installed correctly you may not get the best performance.
Here are a few 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 non-profit certification organization for HVAC technicians. Certified technicians have verified their knowledge in the HVAC industry by passing real-world and specialized tests designed by a committee of industry professionals. NATE-certified contractors have met the highest industry standards for knowledgeable installation and service. NATE certification will provide you peace-of-mind knowing your contractor has finished rigorous professional training.
Do they have references or referrals?
A professional HVAC company should be able to provide you with a list of recent customers that you can talk to and confirm the quality of their company’s work. Chat with 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 serious about their work 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 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 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 gathering quotes from a contractor. The reason a lot of 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 in your interest 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 choose an HVAC contractor is right now, before something happens to your system. Get your furnace inspected while it’s working normally and arrange your routine maintenance.
Your family’s health, comfort and safety is our business at Watts Electric & A/C Inc in Columbia. Our HVAC pros would be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Call us at 601-736-7362. We look forward to becoming your partner in keeping your system running safely and efficiently.