Thursday, 27 February 2014

Finding the right HVAC contractor

A heating, ventilating and air conditioning system is designed to suit our individual needs. However all of us take for granted the comfort provided by our central air conditioners, heat pumps or furnaces until something goes wrong and the unit needs to be serviced or replaced. When disaster strikes, you need a quality heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor who is knowledgeable, experienced and competent to do the job. Choosing the right HVAC contractor is almost like choosing a life partner because careful consideration is required.

It is very easy to fall victim to unskilled, even unethical contractors trying to make a quick buck from homeowners eager to restore their cooling systems. Hiring an unqualified contractor may result in the need for expensive and unwarranted repairs to fix problems created by them.

What you need is a quality contractor who knows not only to service your equipment but to design and install the right system for you in compliance with the regulatory and local codes of proper business and workers’ compensation insurance. He must be attentive to your problem, survey the area, reliable, fast, and courteous and most importantly must be abreast with the newest technology and developments, equipment and design procedures to ensure that you get not only an efficient system but one that suits your pocket. If you find one that cares for the environment too that’s a bonus you don’t want to miss. He must also recommend a planned preventative maintenance service to maximize the life of your equipment.

Before making calls in different directions, arm yourself with all the relevant information (brand and model number of the current unit, thermostat[s] and past service history. Knowing your home’s current situation gives homeowners a great place to start. Do remember to ask the contractor for references of customers. Better still ask around your family, friends and colleagues for firsthand experience or if they know someone that recently got some HVAC work done. Check if he comes with the required licenses, certifications and is partners with obligatory associations like NATE, North American Technician Excellence, it is the nation’s largest and most prestigious technical certification organization in the heating and cooling industry. Be sure to obtain bids from a few different companies and weigh what you are receiving with each price. Once you have narrowed it down to your top 3-5 choices, set up times for an in-home estimate. Post inspection and deliberation on the alternatives get a written estimate for the job. Don’t feel shy to ask about a guarantee. It must be written and should state clearly what is guaranteed, who is responsible for the guarantee and how long the guarantee is valid. Make final payments only when all work is completed to your satisfaction and pay by check never by cash. It's always a smart idea to purchase the most energy efficient HVAC system solution you can afford, so ask our contractor to run options by you. Leverage technology - review web sites like Yelp and Google but use caution. Check reviews but ascertain its credibility first. Most manufacturers will not allow poor contractors to be displayed on their web site, so that’s a good starting point. It is helpful to know if the company has a policy to show up on time or refund money.

Remember that not all HVAC contractors are created equal! So do not be afraid to be very diligent in asking questions because choosing the right HVAC contractor can mean the difference between an installation that goes smoothly and provides years of trouble-free comfort and one that winds up costing you thousands in wasted money and aggravation.

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