How to Select the Right HVAC Contractor


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 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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?

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22 thoughts on “How to Select the Right HVAC Contractor

  1. I really like what the article points out in tip number four about efficiency improvements. After all, if you’re going to hire an HVAC contractor, then you want them to be helping your home. Most good HVAC contractors will be happy to tell you about any options you might have regarding newer, more efficient HVAC systems.

  2. Lately, we have noticed some strange noises coming from our AC unit. We want to make sure it is repaired and well maintained for the summer. As you said, it’s a good idea to ask friends and neighbors for recommendations or use online research tools. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Getting a contractor that is fully licensed is a smart idea. Then you can be safe with your investment and can be sure they are credible. Something else to consider is to get an HVAC contractor that is available 24/7, so that you can get help in an emergency.

  4. You mention some great points about finding the best HVAC contractor near you.

    John Dunn |

  5. I really like the advice you give under tip number three about making sure that the HVAC contractor knows and understands the bigger picture. Technology surrounding air conditioning and heating has advanced by leaps and bounds over the last few decades and a good HVAC contractor should be able to explain that to you, They should be able to offer the latest in air conditioning projects and not something they pulled out of a 1970’s ranch house.

  6. I really like your list of things to look for in a contractor. You mention a lot of things that haven’t even occurred to me. I’m looking for a heating contractor to upgrade my heating system. I’ve just moved into a new house, and it’s always cold here!

  7. My heater seems like it brakes down all the time. It would be awesome if my heater would last all winter this winter. I doubt it though. I should probably start looking into repair men soon. I would love to be able to be warm this winter.

    Eliza Lawrence |

  8. Henry, great to see your comment, it wouldn’t hurt to self check the indoor and outdoor units each time you change the indoor filter (quarterly).
    I would definitely recommend having a qualified technician inspect both the indoor and outdoor units before the cooling and heating seasons.

  9. Most contractors recommend cleaning outdoor coils at least once each season – usually at the beginning of the cooling season when you start it up. You might need to clean the coilss more often if they are collecting a lot of pollen, dust or “lint” from trees and other sources in your area. Your contractor might have other thoughts about your particular situation but cleaning outdoor coils at least once each year would be a good place to start.

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