Have you been dealing with a malfunctioning heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system for a while, and you have stressed out already? Do you seem to drown in the endless sea of tips and advice for choosing the best HVAC contractor?
You are not alone! Every 8 out of 10 homeowners feel this way too. However, there is nothing as timely as assessing a practical and trustworthy guide to helping you out of the dilemma. If this is you, you should pay extra attention as this article contains ten practical tips to help you choose the best HVAC contractor.
Conduct an Extensive Research
It is vital to conduct thorough research as you want to be sure that you are hiring only professionals you can bench on. The first mistake most homeowners make when hiring an HVAC contractor is that they do not take the time to validate their expertise.
You need to make sure your research covers all the details you need, so you rely on whoever you are hiring. HVAC systems are expensive, so you want to be sure that the company you hire has an HVAC license, insurance, and an approved permit to work in your area. Insurance saves you from being responsible for any harm, damage, or casualty that may occur while the contractor is on the job. A license shows that the contractor has a permit approved by the state to work in your area.
The requirements needed to certify an HVAC contractor differ from state to state, so you may need to stick to considering the general national certificate. Conducting extensive research also means you may need to conduct background checks and request reports of drug tests. Since he would be coming into your home, you shouldn’t take any chances.
A perfect place to get started to check out Better Bureau Business for a list of approved HVAC companies.
Ask Your Friends and family and Families For Referrals
A part of your homework is talking to your family and friends for referrals. Asking them will significantly help, primarily if a contractor has previously worked with them to install or service their HVAC systems.
People trust word-of-mouth better because they get a firsthand review from someone they know. If they had a great experience, they would gladly tell you about it. However, if none of your friends and family members have ever worked with an HVAC contractor, you may have to go online. Social media platforms are valuable tools for asking for recommendations. You may decide to check the company’s website for real-time reviews from their previous clients. Since you don’t know them personally, you can be sure that there would be no biased reviews due to personal relationships with them.
Google search for HVAC contractors around you, and you will get numerous results at your disposal. Going on Facebook groups and Twitter spaces to ask for recommendations and reviews will come in handy; you should try it! Be on the lookout for positive comments and top ratings to be on the safer side.
Get to Know The Specifications of Your Equipment
Before you finally hire a potential HVAC contractor, you should familiarize yourself with your current system (if you already have one).
- How many times have you serviced your system before then?
- What is the serial number of your HVAC system?
- What kind of brand is it?
You should prepare every information about your HVAC system to make its servicing more efficient. If you are buying a new one, it will also come in handy since you are familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of your current one. Knowing this will help you make a better choice if you need your HVAC contractor to get you a new one.
An experienced contractor must have worked with old and new models of HVAC systems; providing accurate information and asking for possible solutions will give you insights into the expertise of your potential contractor.
Request Past Reviews and References
Another tip you will want to utilize is requesting past reviews. Once you have a potential contractor in mind, reach out to him and ask for customers’ reviews.
If you are hiring a professional from an HVAC company or a freelance contractor, you can contact his previous customers and ask about his performance and work ethic for a proper evaluation. Make sure you ask relevant questions, and don’t be shy to leave any stones unturned. You should be able to trust that your contractor will deliver with or without supervision. Getting reviews helps you remove or continue with a potential HVAC contractor, thus, making the selection process easier.
Prepare For an In-house Evaluation
Not everyone understands the importance of an in-house evaluation. Any experienced HVAC contractor knows he can’t just recommend any type and brand of HVAC system without assessing your home. Besides evaluating the current state of your previous system, he needs to put other factors like the age of your home into consideration. The stress is worth it if you enjoy the best fit HVAC system for your home.
Ask For A Written and Detailed Estimated Cost
Getting a written and understandable estimate is essential. You don’t want to underspend or overspend above your budget. You can ask two or three HVAC contractors for quotes so you can always compare to make the best decision. Doing this will help you narrow your search criteria according to your budget and preference. Most quotes are free, so you shouldn’t worry about extra charges.
Although you should ensure that you study and understand the quotes, even to the minor details, don’t always go for the lowest price. Compare the costs and years of warranty smartly to enjoy the investment. These days, professional HVAC contractors utilize HVAC estimating and invoicing software for accuracy, professionalism, and the best customer experience.
This software makes it easier for them to send accurate estimates, which helps you stay within your budget. Hence, you should only agree to the most energy-efficient heating and cooling system.
Ask For Energy-Saving Recommendations
Many professional HVAC contractors will only recommend ENERGY STAR-qualified air conditioning systems. Products from ENERGY STAR are verified to be energy efficient by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. This is an effort to contribute to using environmentally friendly and energy-saving products. Not only are they safe but also cost-effective in the long run. It can be a way to test your potential contractor since most professionals are aware of this regulation.
Make Enquiries for Possible Special Offers.
Knowing how expensive purchasing an HVAC system may be, it wouldn’t be so bad to get the same quality for a discount. Special offers may seem tempting but don’t jump right into them; you want to ensure you avoid scams as much as possible.
Ask your potential HVAC contractor to check out some for you, or you can make inquiries from your local utility company for possible special offers and discounts. Be sure only to purchase energy-efficient heating and cooling systems.
Watch Out for Red Flags
While the process goes on, you should pay attention to subtle warning signs. A professional contractor will only request for the completion of the agreed fee after he gets the job done and you are satisfied. If your contractor insists on full payment before he even commences the installation, it should be a red flag.
Please ensure you are comfortable before appending your signature on the contract and giving him full access to your home.
Review Contract for New Installations
Although some may offer a verbal agreement, it shouldn’t be a basis for choosing your ideal contractor. Before you can select the best HVAC contractor for the installation of your cooling and heating system, it is essential to make sure there is a signed contract. The contract should contain the cost of the system and its installation, years of warranty, and the timeframe for completing the job.
Do not sign an agreement you are confused about; always check back with the contractor for clarifications before you append your signature. The written contract doesn’t always have to be limited to new installations; you should also include a written bid for repairs or replacements.
There should be an understanding of the terms and conditions on both ends so you can protect yourself if any controversy arises.
Inspect the Completed Work
Inspecting the completed work is a routine yet crucial task you must carry out. Inspect the newly-installed HVAC system before the contractor leaves, and ask him to walk through the operation process until you are familiar and satisfied with how it works. You should also ask how to maintain the system and how frequently you should service it.
Now that you know all you need to do, choosing the best HVAC contractor should no longer be an ordeal; these practical tips will help fix your HVAC system job in no time.
Would you rather spare yourself some essential time to focus on pressing tasks while being assured of a satisfactory job? Kindly reach out to our team of certified and professional HVAC contractors to enjoy the best-quality heating and cooling air conditioning installations and repairs.