When you need to have work done on your home, it is important to hire a contractor that is well skilled, knowledgeable and reliable. Unfortunately, not every contractor in the HVAC business fits this description and consumers can often find that they have hired someone to work on their home’s heating and cooling system and it ends up causing more problems than they originally had. When you need HVAC work done on your home, it is critical that you take the time to find and hire a reputable contractor.
The first mistake that many homeowners make is to assume that every contractor they find in the phone book or online offer a quality of service that is equal. The amount of experience and training that an individual contractor and their employees may have can vary greatly from one company to the next and some HVAC contractors do not value their client relations as highly as some others may. You not only want to look for a company that has experience and a commitment to quality, but one that also puts a high value on maintaining a good relationship with their clients.
A good first step to choosing an HVAC contractor is to ask for references from the people that you know. If a friend or family member has hired an HVAC technician in the past and had a good experience with them, that can be an indication that a contractor is worth hiring. This is especially true if the person referring the contractor had significant work done on their system.
A consumer should also try to know a little about a contractor before they hire them. Look into how long the company has been in business. A company with a long history of serving customers well is a good bet for doing work on your home. Look into their certifications. What type of licensing do they have? Do they belong to the ACCA? Do they hire NATE certified technicians? All of these things can be indications of the quality of the contractor and their staff.
While price is an important factor in this decision, you don’t always want to hire the cheapest service available. A less expensive contractor may not have skills and knowledge that are on par with the professionals that charge more and they might not show the same degree of diligence in performing their work. The least expensive service might be just as good as the most expensive contractor, but there are certain signs that can indicate how well a contractor knows their trade and how committed they are to performing high-quality work.
Making the call
The first step in hiring a contractor is making the initial phone call. When you make this call, you may want to lookout for some things that may indicate that they are less than reputable or that they might not have the highest standards of workmanship. Most of these factors will apply to larger more costly jobs like a furnace replacement or the installation of a central air conditioning unit.
If a contractor offers to quote you a price for repairing or replacing equipment without ever setting foot in the home, this could be a sign of trouble. To truly price most of the major jobs in the HVAC industry, the contractor will need to inspect the system and base the details of the job on certain factors that are unique to the individual home. A responsible HVAC contractor may offer to give a ballpark figure for the work over the phone, but they will insist on performing an evaluation before they determine the exact price of the job. If a contractor is not willing to spend the time doing the necessary diagnostics and home survey, either they don’t know enough about the trade or they don’t care enough to do the job right.
Get the contractor to offer you a written proposal with a detailed breakdown of the cost. You should be wary of any contractor that is unwilling to put the deal in writing or to provide you with details about the cost of the job. Having the proposals in writing will also help you to compare the different offers that are made by different contractors.
Your home heating and cooling system is one of the most important mechanical parts of the home. Maintaining these systems is important and having the work done by trustworthy, qualified technicians can make all of the difference. When work is done improperly, the system could breakdown before its expected operating life, it could cause malfunctions and it could make for a system that does not run efficiently.