Hiring an HVAC contractor isn’t a popularity contest. It means you can’t just choose the one who has the most colorful name or reputation in town. There are so many different factors involved in order to guarantee that the one you eventually choose is the best one. Because there are so many of them out there, you need to double the effort in scrutinizing your prospects.
Doing your homework is the trick, but how you should be doing it is something you still don’t know, which is why you’re reading this article. Anyhow, we have all the things you need, so just sit back and read all our tips, courtesy of a couple of good sources from the web.
According to Buildings.com, in the article called “6 Tips on Choosing a HVAC Contractor,” a homeowner who needs a contractor for the repair, installation, or maintenance of an HVAC system first needs to figure out where to look for them.
Where Can I Find an HVAC Contractor?
Check the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA). This non-profit organization is comprised of more than 60,000 professionals and 4,000 businesses in the indoor environment field and energy services. ACCA helps customers who are looking for quality contractors find reputable businesses amid their members. These businesses are sure to be in good standing and able to provide a number of referrals for previous jobs.
Another option is Angie’s List, a consumer review and rating website, where anyone can check whether the company or contractor they are about to hire is trustworthy and performs high-quality work. Services and companies are graded on a scale from A to F, and the reviews go into many details such as cost, professionalism, meeting contract agreements and deadlines, and more.
A third option that often seems to work better than any official review platform is asking around for recommendations and referrals. Ask your friends, neighbors, and colleagues who work in the same field as yours, even ask family members. Those who are usually within your circle of trust won’t mislead you.
The Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a very helpful if you want to double check the consumer ratings of an HVAC contractor. The website shows whether there have been any customer complaints against the specified company. Contact your local BBB office with any inquiries you may have.
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The biggest luxury for a homeowner like you who resides in the U.S. is the presence of the BBB, which really is very helpful when it comes to confirming the identity, reputation, and history of all kinds of home improvement and building contractors. So if you are looking for someone who will handle your HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance needs, never forget to check with BBB.
Moreover, ASM-Air.com has more specific tips along with some warning signs, in the article called “How to Choose an HVAC Contractor – 7 HVAC Tips You Must Know.”
Be wary of an HVAC contractor that gives you a bid or an estimate over the phone.
Just as no two automobiles are the same, no two air conditioning units are the same. Be wary of any HVAC contractor that tries to give you an estimate or a bid over the phone. There are far too many factors to take into account that a technician cannot see over the phone: How is your ducting? Are there the proper amount of registers per room? What type of insulation do you have? What type of windows do you have?…and a dozen other factors…and after all of that, a trained HVAC contractor will then do a Manual-J calculation for your air conditioning system. None of this can be done over the phone, so again, if someone gives you a bid over the phone, they are either inexperienced, or are trying to gain your business without using the time and gas required for a visit. When they get there, also be wary of anyone who gives you a bid without properly surveying your house. A real contractor will crawl in your attic, crawl spaces and walk around the entire house. If they don’t do this, then they aren’t properly inspecting your house for their Manual J calculation.
Be careful of any HVAC contractor that replaces your old air conditioner with the same type of unit as before.
The average air conditioning unit lasts 10-15 years. Is a 1990 Toyota Tacoma the same as a 2005 Toyota Tacoma? It is the same with your air conditioner. A properly trained HVAC contractor will recommend several options to bring your home up to date, and increase the efficiency of your home. If they try and sell you an older model, they are likely trying to unload some of their own inventory. It is pretty rare to have the exact system you need for your home just lying an a warehouse, and no not all AC units are the same. In fact, choosing the proper size is far more important than the make and model.
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We believe that you shouldn’t even consider someone who hands you out the estimate over the phone. It is impossible for them to give you an accurate quotation without first taking an actual look at your home and how everything is set up. So the best thing to do is ask them to come to you and do the estimate.