Prior to hiring a heating and air conditioning contractor, it’s important to conduct research to ensure you do not pay too much for a repair, replacement, or tune-up. Do not rely on a neighbor or friend to fix a broken furnace, heat pump, or central air conditioning system. It is not uncommon for unlicensed contractors to make small mistakes such as forgetting to connect a gas pipe or wire. To avoid a gas leak and a power outage, it’s imperative to choose a licensed technician to fix issues with your HVAC system. To help you find a qualified individual, we have compiled a list of 7 tips on how to hire a heating and air conditioning contractor.
Inspect the License & Certifications
A reputable HVAC company will be licensed and insured, so check their credentials on the company website or ask the receptionist in their office. A variety of states offer websites and tools that allow you to inspect the status of a heating and cooling contractor’s license. Depending on the city or suburb you live in, there may be additional certifications that each HVAC contractor is required to receive prior to being hired. If you have questions or concerns about local and national certifications, call your local state and federal representatives.
Furnace and air conditioning issues are often caused by cracked or malfunctioning natural gas lines, oil pipes, and drainage lines. Since the HVAC system in your house is integrated with your plumbing system, a majority of contractors will have an HVAC and plumbing license. In some cases, an HVAC technician will rely on a licensed plumber for help with issues they are not familiar with. On the other hand, technicians in various states and cities are required to obtain a plumbing and HVAC license prior to practicing in the field. Prior to hiring a technician, be sure to ask the organization what type of license they maintain.
Ask for Recommendations
An easy way to hire a qualified contractor is to ask neighbors and friends who they have had good experiences with when they’ve needed help with HVAC issues. If your friends do not have recommendations for finding a licensed contractor, we recommend performing a search with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) to find licensed individuals in your area.
Find the Model & Maintenance History
Before you call a contractor, find out the model of your current system, and have your records handy to tell them about its maintenance history. Also tell them which rooms are uncomfortable, what kind of problems you’ve been having, and what your goal for their service would be. This will make it easy for them to confirm if they’re the best company for your needs.
Discuss An In-Home Evaluation
Once you find a heating and air conditioning contractor in your area, give them a call to confirm if they offer free in-home evaluations. The contractor should come to your home and inspect your system and your home since he or she will need to size a heating and cooling system based on your home’s size, level of insulation, and windows. A certified technician should also inspect your air duct system for air leaks and measure airflow to make sure it meets the manufacturers specifications. Do not hire a contractor that gives you a quote prior to performing an in-home inspection, this is a sign of inexperience. To avoid issues in the future with your system, we recommend declining his or her offer.
Check for Proof of Insurance
An improper heat pump or furnace repair may put your family at risk of a gas leak that causes carbon monoxide poisoning. Responsible HVAC companies will have general liability and workers’ compensation insurance to protect their customers and technicians. To avoid a legal issue and injury, do not hire a heating and air conditioning contractor that does not have liability insurance.
Ask About Energy Efficient Options
A contractor should be familiar with the latest ENERGY STAR certified furnaces and central air conditioning systems for sale on the market. ENERGY STAR qualified products meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and offer significant long-term energy savings. You may want to review ENERGY STAR’s Guide to Energy-Efficient Heating and Cooling before finding a contractor so you have an idea of what you’re looking for.
Get Proposals and Contracts In Writing
If you’re getting several bids, be sure to get all estimates written down so you can compare the cost of installation services, the energy efficiency of the equipment they recommend, and warranties. A low installation price may not be the best deal if the system is going to increase your energy bills. Once you hire a contractor, you will need to request a proposal that states the project costs, model numbers, job schedule and warranty information.
Heating & Cooling Services Near You
We are licensed and insured and will always thoroughly inspect your home before giving you an estimate. Our staff is familiar with the latest energy-efficient systems and will always put our promise in writing. We offer HVAC services such as furnace repair, air conditioning installation, heating system replacement, and air conditioning repair. Give our team a call by phone at (703) 543-9649 to receive assistance with an HVAC issue. We offer heating and cooling solutions in areas of Virginia such as Centreville, Arlington, Alexandria, and Reston. We look forward to hearing from you.