What is HVAC?
Tips for Hiring a Heating and Cooling Contractor
Like most people in the market for a new or updated HVAC system, you want to be sure to get the best workers for your specific project. Heating and cooling systems require a significant investment and should be installed by people trained and certified to evaluate the project and perform the work. How do you separate the professional contractors from the “here today, gone tomorrow” handyman?
Find out about license and insurance requirements for contractors in your state – and be sure you hire someone who holds a current license. [DEAN is licensed.] Before you call a contractor, know the model of your current system and its maintenance history. Also make note of any uncomfortable rooms. This will help potential contractors better understand your heating needs.
Ask for Referrals
Ask friends, neighbors, and co-workers for contractor referrals. You can also contact local trade organizations for names of members in your area.
Ask contractors for customer references and call them. Ask about the contractor’s installation or service performance, and if the job was completed on time and within budget.
The first question you should ask a potential contractor about your heating and cooling installation is, “How do you determine the size and type of equipment that should be used for my project?” The only correct answer involves a mathematical method, usually with a computer program, to determine heating and cooling needs for your specific home or building. By following an industry-wide standard for designing the right system to install in your home or building, the contractor you choose will use their professional training to install the right system for your needs.
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 manufacturer's specifications.
Get Written, Itemized Estimates
When comparing contractors’ proposals (bids), be sure to compare cost, energy efficiency and warranties. A lowest price may not be the best deal if it’s not the most efficient because your energy costs will be higher.
Get it in Writing
When you choose your contractor, be sure to sign a written proposal with that contractor before work gets started. It’ll protect you by specifying project costs, model numbers, job schedule and warranty information.