Your HVAC contractor plays a crucial role in your home’s comfort, air quality and safety. Whether you are purchasing and installing new equipment, or servicing your existing equipment, consider these steps when making your hiring decision.
1. Ask about experience, licensing, certification, bonding and insurance.
Before you let someone work in your home, ask for all pertinent credentials. Reputable companies will gladly and readily provide documentation. Read and verify all information. Ask what ongoing training the company requires of its technicians. Ask how long he or she has been in business, and whether they do this work full or part-time.
2. Call references.
Ask for 3 to 5 references and then call them. Ask about the type of work that was done, how it was performed, and whether the person would hire the company again. Was the final bill in line with the estimate?
3. Check out the company’s online reviews in Yelp or Google Places.
If there are few or no reviews, or if the company is not listed, consider that a red flag.
4. Expect a home evaluation.
Many factors impact the optimal choice of a new furnace or air conditioner. A reputable HVAC professional will do a thorough home evaluation before recommending or installing any new equipment.
5. Get a written, itemized estimate.
A written estimate lets you know exactly what to expect: what work will be completed as well as what costs are firm and what costs may vary (and why). Having a clear estimate eliminates any confusion or unpleasant surprises when the job is done.
6. Obtain bids from at least 3 different HVAC contractors.
Lowest price isn’t always the best option. When comparing bids, in addition to overall cost, consider energy efficiency of the repair work or installation to be done, and the length of any warranties offered.
7. Look for contractors who are professional, prompt and courteous.
Ask friends and neighbors for contractors they have used and recommend. When getting an estimate, consider whether the technician was prompt, courteous, and professional before you hire him. Be sure he answers all your questions to your satisfaction.
Doing your homework in advance may take some effort, but you and your home are worth it. Taking these simple steps will help you choose the right contractor for your job and will greatly reduce the chances of something going wrong.