Choosing an HVAC contractor is an important decision that you shouldn’t make without doing some homework to make sure you’re making the right choice.
First, choose a contractor who will ask you about your wants and needs and then listen to you. With that noted, they should be able to offer 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 squeeze you in? Will your contractor pull a permit on every job? Doing so will ensure 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 top-of-the-line performance.
Here are a couple other questions to help you make the best choice while finding 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 demonstrated their knowledge in the HVAC industry by passing real-world and throrough tests created by a committee of industry professionals. 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 intense 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. Call 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 view 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 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 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 upon on positive word-of-mouth, so if someone you trust stands by 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 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 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 better 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 find an HVAC contractor is right now, before something occurs with your system. Get your furnace checked out while it’s working normally and arrange your yearly maintenance.
Your family’s health, comfort and safety is our business at Forster Heating in Auburn. Our HVAC experts would be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Call us at 530-885-8081. We look forward to becoming your partner in keeping your system running safely and efficiently.