Choosing an HVAC contractor is an important decision that you shouldn’t decide upon without doing some homework to make sure you’re making the correct choice.
First, select a contractor who will ask you about your wants and needs and more important, listen to you. With that tidbit, they should be able to show you up to four options from which you can select.
When they arrange 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 sure 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 a lot of steps in between. You could get the highest rated system, but if it’s installed incorrectly you may not get the best performance.
Here are a couple other questions to help you make the best choice 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 verified their knowledge in the HVAC industry by passing real-world and rigorous tests developed 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 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 confirm the quality of their company’s work. Chat with their list of references and ask about their project and if they’d recommend the company.
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 serious about their profession and will be able to give 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 check out 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 reliable 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 see if your state requires a license so you know whether or not to ask for one when gathering 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 better to look elsewhere to help circumvent any potential issues.
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 checked out while it’s operating normally and arrange your yearly maintenance.
Your family’s health, comfort and safety is our business at Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC in Ellsworth. Our HVAC experts would be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Call us at 715-318-6728. We look forward to becoming your partner in keeping your system running safely and efficiently.