So your air conditioner or furnace is in need of repair, and you need a qualified HVAC specialist. But with so many contractors out there, how do you find the right one? And how do you ensure that the specialist you choose is qualified and reputable?
Here are some warning signs to watch for in your search for a specialist to repair or maintain your home’s HVAC systems.
They’re not licensed
Most states require a special license to conduct professional HVAC repair. Before you hire a specialist, make sure you check their credentials. If they have a license, you know they’ve met basic standards and been trained to properly install and repair HVAC systems according to your state’s building codes. To get a license, applicants must have minimum on-the-job training which is often 2-5 years of working with HVAC systems. You can find a database of contractor license links for state and local governments on Angie’s List.
They don’t have experience with HVAC
Heating and cooling systems are very complex; it’s extremely important that the specialist has ample training to deal with the safety issues involved in heating and cooling systems (including electricity, natural gas, refrigerants and oil).
They don’t have insurance
Make sure you hire an HVAC specialist that is fully insured and bonded. Reputable HVAC contractors have sufficient liability and workers’ compensation insurance to protect you financially if something goes wrong. When in doubt, ask to see proof of insurance.
They don’t have sufficient or good references
One of the best ways to find a good HVAC specialist is through referral from a friend or acquaintance. After getting a recommendation, conduct additional research on the company’s qualifications and experience. You can also ask the specialist for references from former clients. Call one or two of these clients to get their feedback. Alternatively, search the internet for testimonials from previous customers.
They don’t offer a contract or details in writing
It’s very important that your contractor provides details about the job in writing before they begin work. These details include the cost of all fees such as labor, equipment, future upgrades, dates that work will be performed, and payment due dates. Making these details clear up front will save hassle down the road.
They offer strange or suspicious payment terms
A specialist who requests a large down payment, the full fee upfront, or payments in cash should be a red flag. The best companies don’t ask for money before they begin work.
It may also be a cause of concern if the contractor makes a very low offer. An inexperienced specialist might offer a low amount just to get your business. Trust your instincts; there are many reputable and trustworthy specialists out there. Additionally, if you apply for financing or use a payment plan through the HVAC company, make sure you read the fine print.
Hitting the nail on the head
When you research HVAC specialists, you’re looking for someone you can call and depend on for years to come. That’s why it’s important to conduct your research now and find a reputable name who works at a high professional standard and offers a fair price.
Good luck finding an HVAC specialist in your area! Your thoughts and comments are welcomed below.