Picking an HVAC contractor is an important decision that shouldn’t be made without doing some homework to be sure you’re making the correct 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 select.
When they set up your installation, is it when you want it done, or when they can fit you in? 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 a number of areas, from load calculation to piping and a lot of steps in between. You could get the top-of-the-line system, but if it’s improperly installed you may not get the best performance.
Here are some 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 demonstrated their knowledge in the HVAC industry by passing real-world and specialized tests designed by a committee of industry authorities. 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 should be able to provide you with a list of recent customers that you can refer to and confirm the quality of their company’s work. Call 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 look at 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 work 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 typically 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 almost all of them do. It’s easy to search online to find out 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 guard 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 issues.
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 looked at while it’s running normally and arrange your annual maintenance.
Your family’s health, comfort and safety is our business at Service Max Heating & Air Conditioning in Arlington. Our HVAC experts would be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Call us at 360-255-5857. We look forward to becoming your partner in keeping your system running safely and efficiently.