Choosing an HVAC contractor is an important decision that shouldn’t be made without doing some research to make sure you’re making the right choice.
First, choose a contractor who will ask you about your wants and needs and actually listen to you. With that information, they should be able to present up to four options from which you can choose.
When they arrange your installation, is it when you want to have it done, or when they can get to it? 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 a do-it-yourself affair and a successful installation requires a contractor that is skilled in many areas, from load calculation to piping and a lot of steps in between. You could get the highest rated system, but if it’s not installed correctly you may not get the best performance.
Here are a couple other questions to help you make the best decision while finding 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 specialized tests developed by a committee of industry experts. 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 tell you about the quality of their company’s work. Talk to 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 look at the consumer ratings of an HVAC contractor and you’ll view 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 dedicated to their profession and will be able to give referrals for previous work.
Another route is crowdsourcing referrals from your friends and neighbors or on your social media networks. These are normally the most useful 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 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 nearly 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 many 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 avoid any potential problems.
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 inspected while it’s running as usual and schedule your annual maintenance.
Your family’s health, comfort and safety is our business at Fire & Ice HVAC in Manassas. Our HVAC professionals 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.