Selecting an HVAC contractor is an important decision that you shouldn’t decide upon without doing some research 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 information, they should be able to show you up to four options from which you can select.
When they arrange your installation, is it when you want it done, or when they can get to it? Will your contractor pull a permit on every job? Doing so will ensure 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 number of areas, from load calculation to piping and a bunch of steps in-between. You could get the best system, but if it’s not installed correctly you may not get top-of-the-line performance.
Here are a couple other questions to help you make the best selection 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 proven their knowledge in the HVAC industry by passing real-world and specialized tests developed by a committee of industry professionals. NATE-certified contractors have met the highest industry standards for knowledgeable installation and service. NATE certification will offer 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 verify 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 have the ability to see 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 committed to their work 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 typically 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 count on on positive word-of-mouth, so if someone you trust stands by them it’s likely they’ll do reliable work for you too.
Are they properly licensed and insured?
Not all states require licensure for heating and cooling contractors, but almost 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 receiving 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 better to look elsewhere to help avoid 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 happens to your system. Get your furnace inspected while it’s operating as usual and schedule your yearly maintenance.
Your family’s health, comfort and safety is our business at West Michigan Heating & Air Conditioning Services in Hudsonville. Our HVAC experts would be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Call us at (616) 319-1436. We look forward to becoming your partner in keeping your system running safely and efficiently.