Selecting an HVAC contractor is an important decision that you shouldn’t make without doing some research to be sure you’re making the best choice.
First, choose a contractor who will ask you about your wants and needs and then listen to you. With that noted, they should be able to offer up to four options from which you can choose.
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 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 a lot of steps in between. You could get the highest rated system, but if it’s not installed correctly you may not get top-of-the-line performance.
Here are a few other questions to help you make the best decision while finding your HVAC contractor.
Are they NATE-certified?
NATE (North American Technician Excellence) is the largest nonprofit certification organization for HVAC technicians. Certified technicians have verified their knowledge in the HVAC industry by passing real-world and rigorous tests created by a committee of industry professionals. 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 finished intense professional training.
Do they have references or referrals?
A professional HVAC company ought to be able to provide you with a list of recent customers that you can chat with and confirm the quality of their company’s work. Call 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 be shown any customer complaints against a company. The ACCA is a nonprofit organization of more than 60,000 professionals and 4,000 businesses. Contractors found on ACCA are sure to be committed to their trade and will be able to give referrals for previous work.
Another option is crowdsourcing referrals from your friends and neighbors or on your social media networks. These are typically the most beneficial 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 rely on positive word-of-mouth, so if someone you trust backs 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 determine if your state requires a license so you know whether or not to ask for one when receiving quotes from a contractor. The reason many 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 in your interest to look elsewhere to help get around any potential issues.
When is the best time to ask these questions?
The best time to ask questions and choose an HVAC contractor is right now, before something happens to your system. Get your furnace looked at while it’s operating as usual and arrange your yearly maintenance.
Your family’s health, comfort and safety is our business at Street Heating and Cooling in Rapid City. Our HVAC professionals would be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Call us at 605-206-3915. We look forward to becoming your partner in keeping your system running safely and efficiently.