Installing a new HVAC system in your home is a major investment, not just in terms of money but also when it comes to your comfort and well being. If you want to make the most out of your investment, you need to work with a reliable HVAC contractor. They will be:
- Helping you choose the right HVAC system
- Handle the installation
- Provide maintenance and repair services
Without professional help, you could invest in a system that is not worth its price or is not fit for your needs. You could have the system installed in a part of your home that limits its performance. Moreover, installation and servicing by the wrong party could void the warranty and cause you to spend a fortune on maintenance and repair.
You need to find a contractor that is widely experienced, well-reputed, and reliable. Unfortunately, there are quite a few contractors out there claiming to be the best in the business. How do you choose the right one?
Look up the ones in your area and compare them starting from a few important qualities. The one that has them all and inspires your confidence is the one you should turn to. Here are the qualities you should look for:
7 Important Qualities of a Reliable HVAC Contractor
1. Is Licensed, Certified, and Insured
Professional contractors have no problem providing proof of their licensing and insurance. You want the one you work with to hold a North American Technician Excellence certificate and carry liability insurance. If they have further proof of their expertise and professionalism, that’s even better but these are the minimum you should ask from the contractor you work with.
The certification is the guarantee that the contractor you work with received adequate training and possesses the necessary knowledge to safely install and service the system. The insurance guarantees that if something goes wrong during the installation (any type of damage to the HVAC system or your home), the contractor will cover all losses.
2. Provides Free Cost Estimates
Your quest for a reliable contractor will probably get you to a couple of companies with excellent background and reputation. To choose between them, the best solution is to have their technicians come to your home to assess your needs, make recommendations, and/or at least provide a cost estimate.
Some contractors do that for free. Others charge for the service. You want to work with the ones in the former category. This way, you can assess who inspires the most confidence without spending any money. Generally, experienced and knowledgeable contractors have no problem providing cost estimates and free assessments.
3. Has Considerable Experience in the Business with the Type of HVAC System You Want To be Installed
HVAC systems are expensive. If they are not properly sized and installed, they will not function properly, they will overload your utility bills, or fail to ensure the air quality and thermal comfort you aim for.
The best way to protect your investment and make the most of it is to work with an experienced contractor. They should have at least five years of experience and a few hundred customers served. Before hiring them, check for how long they have been on the market.
Also, each type of system and each brand have their own particularities. You want to make sure the contractor you work with is authorized to install and service the particular type of system you are interested in and has considerable experience doing it.
4. Excellent Reputation and Former Client Feedback
Sometimes, licenses, certifications, and experience are worthless if the contractor does not care about their clients’ needs and interests. Installing an HVAC system can be an invasive experience, so you want it handled by someone discreet, responsible, and considerate.
To make sure the contractor you have in mind fits the profile, check the feedback they received from their former clients. You want all or mostly positive feedback. No feedback probably means a lack of experience. Negative feedback is a sure sign that you should keep looking.
5. Fair Pricing
Your budget is limited and you worked hard for your money. You want to spend it wisely, and that means paying a fair price for any services you hire, including HVAC installation and/or servicing. Your quest for the best HVAC contractor should take into account pricing.
While settling for the lowest price is never a good idea and could end up costly and dangerous, paying more than necessary is not a good option either. The best strategy is to ask for quotes from several contractors and compare them while taking into account the other qualities listed here.
6. Properly Equipped and Up-to-Date with Technology
From the tools and equipment they use to estimate client needs and install HVAC systems to the HVAC software they use to schedule jobs, invoice customers, and manage their business, you want your contractor up to date with technology.
If they are not, how can you expect them to install and service smart HVAC systems, connect them with other systems in your home, and give you full control of various settings and functions? In the era of technology, working with non-tech-savvy service providers could be dangerous.
7. Availability and Flexibility
Finding an excellent contractor is not enough if they cannot help you when you need them, where you need them. As you review candidates, make sure the one you hire is available at the times and dates when you are. They could be already booked, or they may not even work at those hours.
If you’re going to contract maintenance and repair services as well, you want your contractor to be available 24/7. There is no telling when an emergency occurs, and the last thing you want is to be left freezing in the middle of the winter or sweating your heart out or suffocating in the heat of the summer.
Now that you know what to look for in a reliable HVAC contractor, finding the best one for your needs should be easy.
Marie Erhart is a Success Manager at FieldPulse, creators of field service software that lets you run your entire contracting business from a single app. She works with contractors to help them grow their business using best practices.