Choosing an HVAC contractor is an important decision that shouldn’t be made without doing some investigating to make certain you’re making the correct choice.
First, select a contractor who will ask you about your wants and needs and then listen to you. With that tidbit, they should be able to present up to four options from which you can choose.
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 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 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 improperly installed you may not get top-of-the-line performance.
Here are a few other questions to help you make the best choice while finding 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 demonstrated their knowledge in the HVAC industry by passing real-world and throrough 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 undergone 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 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 check out 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 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 with 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 recommends 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 nearly 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 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 best 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 inspected while it’s operating properly and schedule your annual maintenance.
Your family’s health, comfort and safety is our business at Ilten's Incorporated in Cedar Rapids. Our HVAC pros would be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Call us at 319-208-3295. We look forward to becoming your partner in keeping your system running safely and efficiently.