There are over 367,900 jobs for heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration technicians in the US. When your HVAC stops working, however, you only need to find the one best suited for the job.
Don’t choose the first person you find. Instead, know how to properly vet an HVAC contractor. With these tips, you’ll learn how to choose an HVAC company best suited for your needs.
Keep reading to discover the six crucial factors to look for when choosing an HVAC contractor.
1. Licensing & Experience
Before you find an AC installer who provides high-quality work, you need to make sure they have the proper paperwork in order. This includes their:
Though it depends on where their business is located, an HVAC contractor usually required a license through the state, municipality, or county. Sometimes, the state will also require a certificate that indicates the company passed the necessary exams and technical HVAC training.
Check the National Contractors or the Contractor’s License Reference Site. There, you’ll find the specific requirements for your state. You can also check to determine whether the contractor you’re considering is licensed.
Next, check for their contract license surety bond. This bond is needed as a precaution against unfair dealings. It’s also a form of financial insurance in case something goes wrong between the contractor and client.
Bonding is also a necessary prerequisite for the HVAC company to receive their license. Again, it helps to check your state’s requirements to determine if the bond is mandatory.
The bond amount varies depending on local requirements for your area.
Lastly, check to see if the AC installer has worker’s compensation insurance. The insurance will protect you in case an employee is injured on the job. It can also protect you from accidental damage.
Once you verify that the company has the proper licensing, look into their experience.
In some states, an HVAC contractor will need at least five years of experience before they can obtain their license.
How long an AC installer has worked in the industry doesn’t necessarily indicate their quality of work. Ask about the certifications the HVAC contractors have, such as a certificate through the North American Technician Excellence. This certificate indicates the technician has up-to-date knowledge and training in their field.
Ask about the brands the HVAC contractor is familiar with as well.
Are they trained to handle the brand you own? Every system and manufacturer is unique. You want to make sure the local HVAC companies you’re looking at have the experience necessary to provide you with the help you need.
2. References & Referrals
As you begin developing a list of local HVAC companies, ask if you can speak with their previous clients.
Other homeowners can tell you about their experience with the HVAC contractor you’re researching. While you speak with them, ask if the:
- Job was completed on time
- Cost was as expected
- Contractor respected your property
- HVAC company tested the system after it was installed
You can also check online for ratings. Consider looking at Angie’s List, the company’s Google My Business listing, or the Air Conditioning Contractors of America.
These websites and previous clients can give you a better idea of the company’s reputation.
It’s also important to find an HVAC contractor who is responsive and available. An overbooked HVAC company could take weeks before they get back to you. If it’s the dead of summer or winter, you’ll want an HVAC company to make repairs as soon as possible.
By finding a responsive HVAC company, you’ll have the peace of mind and reassurance they’re available to help.
Heating and cooling your home can account for 50% of your energy use.
When learning how to choose an HVAC company, it helps to search for a company that keeps efficiency in mind. Look for a company that prioritizes energy-efficient equipment, including Energy-Star rated models.
An HVAC contractor who understands your efficiency needs will make sure your unit is working at its best.
Otherwise, you might end up paying too much for your energy bill and the HVAC contractor’s visit.
5. Rebates & Special Offers
Your HVAC system can become a major expense without proper maintenance.
During your search, see if the contractors provide ongoing maintenance services. They might also have specials for the month. Check for these rebates and special offers before choosing a contractor.
6. Consumer Ratings
You can also check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to check an HVAC contractor’s consumer rating. The BBB will let you know if customer complaints were filed against any of the local HVAC companies you’re considering. If there are complaints filed against the company, keep searching.
You can also contact your local BBB office to learn more about the company you’re considering.
7. Review the Contract
During this process, make sure to keep all your correspondence in writing. Sometimes, it helps to email the company instead of calling them directly. That way, you can keep a written record of everything that’s said, including pricing promises.
Before you choose a contractor, make sure to review the contract.
Don’t rely on any verbal promises. Instead, make sure all quotes and bids are sent to you in writing. You can then file these quotes away for reference later on.
Before signing the contract, make sure it verifies the details you agreed to. This should include:
- Details regarding scheduled work dates
- A breakdown of labor and equipment costs
- Payment due dates
- Deadline for the completed project
Again, make sure to have these details in writing. If verbal promises don’t show in the contract, look for a different company.
Find Your Perfect HVAC Contractor Today
Now that you know exactly what to look for during your search, you’ll well on your way to finding the perfect HVAC contractor. With regular checkups, you can ensure your HVAC is working at its maximum efficiency.
Want to make it easy on yourself? Contact our HVAC team today to get started!