Tips & Resources
Whether hiring an HVAC company for repairs, maintenance or installation, choosing the right people to do the work in your home is as important as choosing the right equipment. Even the best HVAC system will not work efficiently or effectively if it is not properly installed or serviced.
Look for these 10 qualities in order to choose a great HVAC company.
Choose an HVAC technician that has experience in the brand you are purchasing. Many equipment manufacturers offer special training and education so the technicians who install and service their equipment are experts and understand all the nuances of the system. That training also qualifies the technician to make sure you are purchasing the equipment that is best for your home.
NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certification is a designation of excellence that HVAC professionals earn through experience and continuing education. Obtaining NATE certification requires passing rigorous exams and it must be updated every two years to reflect up-to-date knowledge of innovation, practices and technology in the industry. National Comfort Institute (NCI) offers cutting-edge training and coaching programs.
Checking licenses and insurance for any contractor that comes into your home is a good consumer practice. HVAC technicians are required to be licensed by the state to show that they have the proper training and expertise to work safely and meet industry standards. Reputable contractors carry insurance that protects both the company and the customer, and will not hesitate to show you all necessary documentation. Be sure to check that names and dates are accurate and current.
Experience includes both organized training as well as on-the-job training. The longer a technician has worked in the industry, the more likely he or she has encountered a wide variety of problems that needed to be resolved and can apply that knowledge to getting your job done right the first time. While longevity is not a guarantee, it is an indication that the company is doing good work.
Check both references supplied by the company as well as unsolicited online reviews. Ask people you know and trust for referrals. When checking references, ask about how the company works. Were they professional and courteous? Did they communicate well? Were there any surprises? Was the work completed on time and within budget? Are you satisfied with the work? Would you hire them again? Also, confirm that the company has a physical location.
An in-home evaluation is necessary to properly choose heating and cooling equipment. A knowledgeable, trained contractor will calculate many factors to properly size the system including square footage; R-value of the insulation; the number, size and orientation of windows; the condition of the duct system; and the customer’s preferences. This can only be done with an on-site inspection.
The contractor should provide a detailed, written estimate of all work and/or what is being installed. Be sure to have any questions addressed before signing a contract.
Many manufacturers and municipalities offer discounts and rebates for the purchase and installation of energy-efficient equipment. Be sure to ask what is available.
Ask your HVAC technician about efficiency when choosing equipment or deciding on repairs. Factor in energy cost-savings over the life of the equipment as well as the initial cost. Choose the most efficient system you can afford.
Understand the warranties and how to keep them in force, and ask about maintenance agreements.