The choice of a contractor is an important decision and shouldn’t be made quickly or without due diligence. Finding a contractor who can become a real partner in the maintenance of your home’s HVAC equipment can be invaluable for years to come.
Where to find HVAC Contractors?
It’s always a good idea to ask your friends and neighbors if they have recommendations for contractors they like and trust. Many contractors rely on positive word of mouth to help grow their business, so if someone you trust is willing to back them, chances are they will do good work. There are also several online research tools, such as Angie’s List and association sites such as www.acca.org that provide listings of licensed and reputable contractors.
What to Look For?
Once you’ve identified a contractor, here are five helpful things to look for during your first meeting to make your choice a little easier. We recommend talking to at least three contractors to find the best fit for your situation.
- Do they know your system? The contractor needs to have the proper permits, and have experience with the kind of system you are using or want to install. Also make sure to get bids in writing and get guarantees on bids and work to be performed.
- Is the contractor fully licensed? Licensed HVAC contractors are tested on a wide variety of areas, from basic refrigeration components to piping. Using a licensed contractor will not only protect your investment, it will protect you against liability issues. Reputable contractors won’t hesitate to show you their credentials if you ask.
- Do they understand the big picture? A good contractor will be familiar with advances in technology, in order to better recommend choices to customers. You’ll want to consider environmental issues, safety, and money-saving options. In addition to quality equipment, you’ll need help with installation decisions.
- Do they recommend efficiency improvements? Did you know good contractors can also inspect your ductwork, change air filters and clean off your condenser unit? Many times simple maintenance issues can lead to significant cost savings. Go with a contractor that wants to help you understand maintenance and the right way to improve your cooling system
- Do they listen to you? A good contractor will take the time to fully answer your questions and make sure you understand their recommendation. You don’t want someone who is trying to rush off to the next job leaving you confused.
What things do you look for when hiring a contractor?
Advice From the Field: Q&A with Contractor