Ensure that the weather inside is never frightful
No matter how snowy or sunny it is outside, it’s always a comfortable 72 degrees in your home, thanks to your trusty HVAC system. Hiring an experienced, knowledgeable furnace repair or duct cleaning company can protect the life span and efficiency of your HVAC system and protect you and your family from potentially dangerous mistakes. Read on to learn seven tips you need to know before signing on the dotted line with a new HVAC contractor.
1. Understand Your Needs
It's wise to research your HVAC system before you start cold-calling companies for quotes, so you can better explain what needs to be done and understand the terminology.
Read about common furnace issues and their causes if you need your furnace repaired. If your home has a boiler system, be sure to mention that when you call companies. Not everyone has a boiler system, and some professionals aren't equipped to deal with one.
Learn about your system's model, and gather the maintenance receipts to share with your HVAC professional so they know about its history.
2. Review Their Credentials
Licensing requirements for HVAC professionals vary state by state, so look into what your area requires before you confirm the company’s credentials. Typically, you should confirm that the company only hires workers who have completed a nine-month certificate-granting program and ideally have also completed an apprenticeship, which calls for supervised, on-site work.
Additional certifications that HVAC professionals seek include:
Specific certification by the manufacturers of the equipment they use
North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification
HVAC Excellence Certification
HVAC Quality Installation Specification
EPA Section 608 Certification
In addition, HVAC companies should have insurance that protects them in case their workers get injured on the job and in the case of any property damage.
3. Check With Family and Friends for Referrals
You’re not the only one with an HVAC system on the block, so it can’t hurt to ask around and see which company your neighbors, family, and friends have hired. This is a great way of getting a sense of the company’s pricing, work style, and availability.
4. Ask for References
Once you’ve found a few HVAC repair pros near you, ask them for their references. Call previous clients and ask them about the contractor’s work quality, project turnaround time, and if they stuck to the budget.
5. Ask the Right Questions
In addition to asking for references, here’s a quick list of questions to ask any HVAC company.
6. Plan a Home Evaluation
To give you an accurate quote, especially for a repair or new installation, many contractors will want to inspect your current system and home to assess the situation and your particular needs. A smart HVAC pro will look into your home's indoor air quality, insulation, and moisture levels and check for any potential leaks. The contractor will then write a report about what repairs or maintenance tasks should be done, whether it's a small task such as patching a leak to a complete overhaul or reinstalling the system.
7. Compare Proposals
Compare proposals from your short list of contractors. Proposals should come in a written estimate, including cost, warranties, payment schedule, project timeline, and any applicable service offers. In addition, any good contractor should be willing to offer a 100% customer service and product guarantee.
Why Hiring an HVAC Expert Is Important
Hiring an experienced, vetted HVAC expert is essential so you can get the job done right the first time and know that your heating and cooling system is in trusted hands. Improperly done work can damage the air ducts or degrade the life space and efficiency of the furnace. In addition, any professional working on this crucial home feature should fully understand how the HVAC system connects to the rest of the house so they don't create additional problems, such as with electrical connections.