Central air conditioning and heating can seem like a fairly straightforward system when it comes to installation, but in reality there are a lot of calculations and inspections that have to be done to get an HVAC unit installed properly. There is never a one-size-fits-all installation that can be done, you have to carefully pick the right central air and heating system. So just as importantly, you need to do your homework on the contractor you hire to install your system. It’s often tempting to look for the contractor who offers the lowest rates, but if they don’t get it right the first time they install the system, you could be paying a lot of money for repairs or replacement very quickly. So when hiring a contractor there are four questions you should ask before asking for a quote.
1. Ask Them What Certifications They Have
If the contractor has a website, you can check to see which certifications they hold or else ask them over the phone. Each state has their own certifications and insurance laws for HVAC companies according to the information posted on ENERGY STAR, a government-authorized agency that rates HVAC systems that meet its energy efficiency requirements. And while it should not be the only certification you check on for the contractor, you can also check their Better Business Bureau rating to see where they stand.
2. Ask If They’re A Part Of Any HVAC Contractor Organizations
While asking about the right certification and ratings certainly is a start, the contractor will have even more credibility as part of a contractor Organization. One such organization is Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), an organization whose members include some of the most notable contractors. Organizations like ACCA usually have strict membership requirements and standards that their members adhere to. However, not being a part of one of these organizations doesn’t disqualify them from servicing your home.
3. Ask Them For Customer References
Sometimes it’s reassuring to have the words of other customers who have hired the contractor. Friends and coworkers may be your first checks, but you can ask the contractor themselves for any notable customers such as commercial companies that they’ve serviced. If they’re reluctant to give references, you should probably shop for another contractor. You can ask their references questions such as how long it took to install the system, how invasive their work was, if the system is still running reliably and if they were easy to get along with and answered all questions or concerns along the way.
4. Ask Them About The Steps To The Home Inspection And Installation
According to Sea Coast Air Conditioning & Sheet Metal, Inc., one of the most telling factors about an HVAC contractor is to know that they’re going to install a system that meets all the specifications of your home and power, or that can properly replace a unit that’s already installed in your home. You don’t want to them to simply promise that they’re going to install the smallest and cheapest unit, or the biggest most powerful unit because that could cause issues of constantly running, or stopping and starting all the time. You’ll want to know that they’re going to measure your home properly and pick just the right size. You should ask about where they’ll need to inspect and which areas of your home will be taped off while under construction. You should also check on their warranty terms and see if they offer monthly or annual service plans to make sure your system is running at peak efficiency level and maximizes its life.