Selecting an HVAC contractor is an important decision that you shouldn’t decide upon without doing some research to make sure you’re making the correct choice.
First, select a contractor who will ask you about your wants and needs and actually listen to you. With that noted, they should be able to present up to four options from which you can select.
When they set up 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 something you can do yourself and a successful installation requires a contractor that is skilled in many areas, from load calculation to piping and a bunch of steps in between. You could get the best system, but if it’s installed incorrectly you may not get the best performance.
Here are some other questions to help you make the best choice while researching your HVAC contractor.
Are they NATE-certified?
NATE (North American Technician Excellence) is the largest nonprofit certification organization for HVAC technicians. Certified technicians have proven their knowledge in the HVAC industry by passing real-world and throrough tests designed by a committee of industry authorities. 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 undergone rigorous professional training.
Do they have references or referrals?
A professional HVAC company will be able to provide you with a list of recent customers that you can refer to 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 view 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 work and will be able to offer referrals for previous work.
Another way is crowdsourcing referrals from your friends and neighbors or on your social media networks. These are usually the most beneficial 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 rely upon positive word-of-mouth, so if someone you trust stands by them it’s likely they’ll do great work for you too.
Are they properly licensed and insured?
Not all states require licensure for heating and cooling contractors, but practically all of them do. It’s easy to search online to find out if your state requires a license so you know whether or not to ask for one when getting quotes from a contractor. The reason most 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 problems.
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 goes wrong with your system. Get your furnace inspected while it’s running properly and schedule your routine maintenance.
Your family’s health, comfort and safety is our business at Three Rivers Heating & Cooling in Portland. Our HVAC pros would be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Call us at 503-213-4433. We look forward to becoming your partner in keeping your system running safely and efficiently.