How to hire the right HVAC contractor

Making sure you hire the right person is very important when it comes to hiring a heating and air conditioning contractor. You have to remember that you are inviting that person into your home and you are trusting him/her to be honest and fair when it comes to repairs and costs. That’s why you have to make sure you’re hiring the right person for the job.

Hiring the Right HVAC Contractor

1. Know What You Want
Before calling any service company, be knowledgeable about what you need done in your home. Take some time to study up on your heating and air conditioning system—know the make and model of your current system and the maintenance history. If you have any extra issues (i.e., uneven cooling in your home), write those down to include when you call the customer service representative.

2. Ask for Recommendations
You trust your friends’ opinions about your hairstyle, so why not trust their experience with a contractor? Ask friends, family members and co-workers for who they use and their experience. Check reference sites like the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List and Yelp for reviews and other customers’ experiences.

3. Check License & Certifications
You can typically see a company’s licenses and certifications on their website, and those are more than just a bunch of fancy initials to add to their resume. Knowing that your heating and air conditioning technician is certified by groups like NATE means your technician has passed quality and knowledge standards that you want in your home.

4. Expect a home evaluation
The contractor should spend significant time inspecting your current system and home to assess your needs. A bigger system isn’t always better; a contractor should size the heating and cooling system based on the size of your house, level of insulation, and windows. A good contractor will inspect your duct system (if applicable) for air leaks and insulation and measure airflow to make sure it meets manufacturers specifications.

5. Get written, itemized estimates
When a technician comes in for a service call, the cost for repair and/or installation can easily add up quick. Get all estimates in writing, and ask that the technician is specific in writing equipment needs and prices.

6. Get a Second Opinion
If something doesn’t seem right to you, don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion by another company. Have their technician look at the same problem and get their estimate in writing so you can compare. Ask questions as to why one thing might cost differently from one estimate to another.

7. Get it in ink
Sign a written proposal with a contractor before work gets started. It will protect you by specifying project costs, model numbers, job schedule and warranty information.