Choosing an HVAC contractor is an important decision that shouldn’t be made without doing some investigating to make sure you’re making the best choice.
First, find a contractor who will ask you about your wants and needs and actually listen to you. With that information, they should be able to show you up to four options from which you can choose.
When they arrange your installation, is it when you wish to have it done, or when they can squeeze you in? 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 a DIY job and a successful installation requires a contractor that is skilled in a variety of areas, from load calculation to piping and quite a few steps in between. You could get the best system, but if it’s installed incorrectly you may not get ideal performance.
Here are a few other questions to help you make the best selection 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 throrough tests designed 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 finished 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 talk to and confirm the quality of their company’s work. Chat with 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 read 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 serious about their work 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 typically the most valuable recommendations because they are coming from people you know. You’ll find out who to check out and which contractors to avoid. If you’re on nextdoor.com you can literally ask for recommendations from people right next door. Contractors count on positive word-of-mouth, so if someone you trust backs them it’s likely they’ll do good work for you too.
Are they properly licensed and insured?
Not all states require licensure for heating and cooling contractors, but practically 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 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 best to look elsewhere to help circumvent 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 running as usual and set up your annual maintenance.
Your family’s health, comfort and safety is our business at Tri City Fuel & Heating in West Columbia. Our HVAC professionals would be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Call us at 803-265-4208. We look forward to becoming your partner in keeping your system running safely and efficiently.