Selecting an HVAC contractor is an important decision that you shouldn’t decide upon without doing some investigating to make sure you’re making the right choice.
First, find a contractor who will ask you about your wants and needs and then listen to you. With that tidbit, they should be able to show you up to four options from which you can select.
When they schedule 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 sure 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 quite a few steps in-between. You could get the top-of-the-line system, but if it’s installed incorrectly you may not get ideal performance.
Here are a couple other questions to help you make the best decision while researching 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 verified their knowledge in the HVAC industry by passing real-world and specialized tests designed by a committee of industry professionals. 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 ought to be able to provide you with a list of recent customers that you can refer 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 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 look at the consumer ratings of an HVAC contractor and you’ll be shown 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 dedicated to their trade and will be able to provide referrals for previous work.
Another way is crowdsourcing referrals from your friends and neighbors or on your social media networks. These are normally 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 on positive word-of-mouth, so if someone you trust backs 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 practically all of them do. It’s easy to search online to see if your state requires a license so you know whether or not to ask for one when getting quotes from a contractor. The reason many states require licenses is simply to protect 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 in your interest to look elsewhere to help get around any potential problems.
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 happens to your system. Get your furnace looked at while it’s running as usual and arrange your routine maintenance.
Your family’s health, comfort and safety is our business at Tokay Heating and Air Conditioning in Lodi. Our HVAC professionals would be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Call us at 209-257-3156. We look forward to becoming your partner in keeping your system running safely and efficiently.