If you’re in the market for an HVAC professional, it’s important that you know what to look for before hiring the first company you find on the internet or in the phone book. While there are a lot of advantages to outsourcing HVAC services, there are also a lot of potential pitfalls when you’re working with an air conditioning company outside of their actual services. That’s why, from here, we’re going to walk you through what you need to be looking for and questioning any potential company. By the time you’re done, you’ll have the proper tools to properly choose the ideal HVAC company for you project.
* State License – The first thing you want to verify for any prospective HVAC contractor is whether or not they have a state license to operate. This verification is important because it verifies that they have met specific training requirements and that they are responsible enough to hold state license keys. The state may also require that HVAC contractors have passed a battery of tests, such as having sufficient knowledge in the operation and maintenance of residential heating and air conditioning systems. Additionally, HVAC contractors must pass an exam that covers everything from HVAC fundamentals to understanding modern safety codes.
* References – Before hiring a technician, HVAC contractor, or service provider, ask for references from previous customers. Be sure to ask whether or not the customers were satisfied with the work and service provided. If the technicians work for a company that has a reputation of poor customer service, steer clear. In addition, be sure to ask what kind of maintenance and repair the technicians offer. Sometimes, HVAC technicians are tied into companies that only offer installation services; it’s vital to know whether or not the HVAC contractor performs regular maintenance on the equipment.
* Repair Pricing – Before you sign any contracts, check with the HVAC contractor to find out their typical repair pricing. Be sure that the pricing is not based on hourly labor, but rather on the size and type of the HVAC system. For example, an HVAC contractor may quote a price that includes just the cost of labor to install an oversized air conditioning or heating unit. However, if the large unit is attached to the inside of the HVAC and requires wiring, ductwork, and other items that go beyond just the installation process, the repair pricing could be significantly more. Additionally, if your HVAC system requires routine maintenance or repairs, and you already paid a lump sum to acquire that HVAC, the contractor may tack on a percentage of the total cost to finish the job.
* Refrigerant Levels – Many HVAC contractors recommend a low refrigerant flow rate during the summer months. The problem with this recommendation is that low levels of refrigerant are harmful to the home. Over time, homeowners can suffer from the effects of high temperatures. High humidity levels can damage the wood framing of the home, and drywall can warp and crumble. These damages are avoidable with proper HVAC maintenance. A good HVAC contractor should have their technicians test the refrigerant levels in your HVAC before they issue a repair estimate.
* Standard Maintenance Routines – If your HVAC contractor does not follow a standard maintenance schedule, make sure they adjust their schedule accordingly. The most important factors that determine when your HVAC needs routine maintenance are the estimated energy usage, and whether or not the equipment has been sitting for a long period of time. The frequency of checking and adjusting the thermostat is part of the HVAC maintenance schedule. The technicians should also run a special test to ensure that the heating and cooling system is not leaking air. If the HVAC system does not have a leak, it does not need repairs.
* Special Services – When you hire an HVAC contractor, you will be given a free quote. This does not mean that they perform all the services on your request. Ask how many hours they are willing to work for you, and make sure you know what is covered by the estimate. For example, if they do not cover ductwork, water heaters, or ventilation, the entire bill will not be covered. Make sure you understand exactly what you are purchasing. If you hire an HVAC contractor that tries to sell you a new air conditioning system instead of working on your existing system, you will not get the full value of your money.
If you are ready to hire an HVAC contractor, contact some local businesses and ask them who they would recommend. Ask them about their experience and the type of training they have. Hiring an HVAC contractor does not have to be difficult. You want to find the best company that fits into your budget and will provide you with quality services. Hire a great contractor today!