How to Choose the Right HVAC Contractor?
When you replace your HVAC system, the type of unit you get is only part of the decision-making process. You also need to choose a reputable HVAC contractor to install it for you. Without a good contractor, you could end up with a poor installation, which can make your system run inefficiently. It wastes energy,breaks down more frequently, and will often wear out sooner. A poor contractor also may not take the time to size your unit properly, which can lead to all sorts of problems with your home comfort.
That it's essential to choose a high-quality contractor with a good reputation and the knowledge and skills to do the job properly. How do you find such a contractor? Here are a few things to look for.
Licensed, Bonded, and Insured. First, check to make sure your HVAC contractor has the proper license and/or certification to do the job you’re hiring them for. Then, make sure they’re bonded. That protects you in casethere’s any problem with the work, such as damage to your property during the installation case there's. The bond will take care of any unforeseen costs not directly related to the completion of the job. Finally, they should be insured. And protects you. Insurance protects them. If they should be injured on your property during the course of the job, their insurance will take care of any medical expenses, so you don’t have to worry about being used.
Home Inspection. Before doing the job, the contractor should do a thorough inspection of your house. This includes determining the best placement for the unit, measuring your home to find the proper size for the unit, and inspecting your ductwork to ensure that it’s adequate for your system. Once the inspection is done, they should present you with a written, itemized estimate for the work they’re going to do, so you know upfront what’s going to be involved. Get several estimates and look at what they say they’re going to do, and how much they’re going to charge for the work.
References. Ask the contractor for a list of satisfied customers you can talk to, who can tell you what it was like working with that person/company, including the quality of the work, how long it took to do, and whether or not any problems arose and how the contractor dealt with them. You should also check sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, and the Better Business Bureau, to read reviews left by prior customers. Online reviews can be a bit of a mixed bag, and you can’t automatically believe everything they say, but they can make a good jumping-off point.
Energy Efficiency. Your HVAC contractor should be able to help you find the most efficient system for your home. That includes installing Energy Star certified equipment. It also means helping you find other ways t reduce your energy bills and get the most out of your system. Ask them for recommendations for saving energy, and keeping your new unit running at peak efficiency for as long as possible.
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