Choosing An HVAC Contractor
It would be easy for us to recommend you to just use our services. We would like to offer a list of pointers for choosing an HVAC contractor.
Licenses, certificates and Insurance:
- Check a contractor's license. Does the contractor have any license at all? Is yes, is it a C-20? (Meaning a contractor that the CLSB has judged competent in the field of Heating and Air Conditioning).
- Is the contractor EPA certified? (This means that the contractor is authorized to handle refrigerants).
- Is the contractor a HERS rater? If not, what is his actual knowledge of Title 24 requirements?
- Is the contractor insured? What are his policy limits?
- Does the contractor carry a worker's compensation insurance? If not, the contractor cannot hire employees. He/she can subcontract the work to another licensed contractor and then you need to investigate this new contractor.
Is the written contract clear, explicit and wholly inclusive?
- Does the contractor provide a written estimate? If yes, how much information is really been provided? Ask about brand, model number etc. Beware of efficiency values "up to" and ask what is the actual efficiency of the proposed equipment.
- Does the contractor ask for a down payment? If yes, does it exceed 10% of the contract or is it more than $1,000)
- Does the contractor offers to pull a city permit when submitting a proposal for the installation of a new furnace or condenser? If not, the contractor may not follow Title 24 code or local regulations.
Professionalism and Care
- Does the contractor show up as planned and arrive on time?
- How experienced is the contractor? Years in the trade, testimonials.
- How experience is the technician(s) who will be doing the installation? Years in the trade, testimonials.
- What are the policies and procedures the contractor uses to protect the floors and walls while doing the installation?
- Does the contractor specialize in installations? If so, how many installations to date has the contractor performed?
- Does the contractor also provide service and maintenance for the systems that are installed? Contractors that focus on system installations only, and are not well versed regarding regular maintenance and repair do not often pay attention to details which are critical for the short and long term servicing and repairing the new system. This may cause you serious problems and additional costs. Keep in mind that warranties require your HVAC systems to be maintained on a regular basis in order to remain valid.
Is the contractor knowledgeable?
- Does the contractor keep replacing different parts without fixing the failure? While in some cases, a specific failure can cause other parts to fail, it is rather rare that two parts fail and if they do, they must have a logical connection.
- Does the contractor explain his diagnostic? Does the contractor answer all your questions and concerns?
- Does the contractor justify in writing and explain to you completely why your air conditioning and/or heating system needs to be replaced? Is the justification/explanation more than "your Air Conditioning and Heating system is old and rusty?"