Selecting an HVAC contractor is an important decision that you shouldn’t decide upon without doing some homework to be sure you’re making the correct choice.
First, choose a contractor who will ask you about your wants and needs and more important, listen to you. With that information, 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 wish to have 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 something you can do yourself and a successful installation requires a contractor that is skilled in a variety of 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 some other questions to help you make the best selection while researching 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 created by a committee of industry experts. 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 completed in-depth 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 verify the quality of their company’s work. Chat with their list of references and ask about their project and if they’d recommend their work.
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 offer referrals for previous work.
Another route is crowdsourcing referrals from your friends and neighbors or on your social media networks. These are typically the most valuable 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 positive word-of-mouth, so if someone you trust recommends 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 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 gathering quotes from a contractor. The reason a lot of 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 concerns.
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 as usual and arrange your routine maintenance.
Your family’s health, comfort and safety is our business at Fire & Ice HVAC in Woodbridge. Our HVAC experts would be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Call us at 703-595-4157. We look forward to becoming your partner in keeping your system running safely and efficiently.