10 Tips to Hire a Qualified Heating and Cooling Contractor
If you're looking to hire a heating and cooling contractor when you're doing work on your house, you want the best. Obtaining the right HVAC technician to come evaluate and complete repairs if needed takes the proper research. Fortunately, below you'll learn 10 tips to help you hire a qualified heating and cooling contractor.
Ask for Referrals
Ask around for contractor referrals from your family, friends, co-workers and neighbors. You could also contact your local trade organization to obtain names too.
Search for and find out about insurance and license requirements for your local contractors. You'll also want to know your current system's model and its maintenance history before you contact a contractor. Make note of any rooms that are uncomfortable for you which can help potential contractors know your heating and cooling requirements.
Look at Their Credentials
Most established heating and cooling technicians are certified. There's a certification program known as the HVAC Excellence designed for HVAC professionals that ensures their work quality through continuing education and validation. Ensure their certifications are up-to-date. Also, you can find qualified contractors through places like:
- National Association of Technical Excellence (NATE)
- Air Conditioning Contractors Association of America (ACCA)
- RESNET Energy Smart Contractor
Read Testimonies and Reviews
You'll want to consider reading up on some past customer reviews of HVAC professionals. You can typically find reviews on their website. You might also find reviews on online directories, including websites like Angi (previously called Angie’s List) and Trust Pilot.
Search for ENERGY STAR
Products that are ENERGY STAR qualified meet stringent energy efficiency guidelines the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets forth. They also provide long-term energy savings. Technicians should have the ability of showing you the types of savings you'd qualify for for ENERGY STAR cooling and heating equipment.
Gain Itemized, Written Estimates
When you compare different proposals (bids) from contractors, be sure you're comparing things like:
- Energy efficiency
A low price doesn't necessarily mean it's the best deal if it's not that efficient since it could mean your energy costs will be higher.
Check to See if they're BBB Accredited
The BBB (Better Business Bureau) is committed to helping consumers like you find reputable contractors. You'll receive a level of experience and professionalism when you hire a contractor who is BBB certified.
Expect a Home Inspection
The right HVAC technician won't suggest a unit that won't properly work for your house. Any suggestions they provide should come from their evaluation of your home's components like:
- Square footage
- Window insulation
- Duct System
- and more
Search for Discounts and Special Offers
Your home's cooling and heating system is one of the biggest purchases you'll make. You'll want to first check for any energy-efficient ENERGY STAR rebates for qualified cooling and heating equipment at energystar.gov. Then you can check sites like Angie's List and Yelp. You'll be sure to find some good deals in your area.
Request past customer references from contractors and actually call them. Inquire about the technician's service and installation performance and if they completed the job on time.
One tip you can follow to help save money on your air conditioning costs is to install a whole house fan. Whole house fans pull air in from your open windows and exhaust warm, stale air through your attic and roof. It offers you great attic ventilation along with whole home cooling. Whole house fans can be installed DIY, or you can hire a qualified contractor.