Selecting an HVAC Contractor
There are several factors to keep in mind when selecting and working with a heating and cooling (HVAC) contractor. The following tips can help you make an educated decision and receive quality service:
- Ask for a certified HVAC technician. Keep in mind that not all states require certification.
- Your contractor should be licensed, well trained, and experienced to provide quality installations. Ask your contractor about his or her training, experience, and membership in contractor associations. Ask if he is insured and bonded.
- Good contractors own and use refrigerant recovery equipment and are certified to handle refrigerant in cooling systems. Ask for proof of certification if applicable to your state.
- Contractors should know how to properly size your home heating and cooling system (e.g., determine whether you need a two-ton or three-ton cooling system). Systems that have been sized properly to fit your home provide better humidity control, cycle on and off less frequently, and cost less than oversized systems.
- Your air conditioner or heat pump condenser should always match the indoor coil. Your contractor should replace both coils at the same time for maximum efficiency.
- Have your contractor select an install location that provides for ease of maintenance. Make sure the inside coil can be reached for cleaning. The air filter should also be easy to remove and should be cleaned or changed whenever it is dirty. (This can be monthly during peak season.
- Leave plenty of room for free air flow on all sides, and at least four feet at the top. Keep the area free of debris and shrubbery.
- Remember, the contractor who gives you the lowest bid may not be the best choice for you. Paying slightly more may get you better equipment and better service. Carefully evaluate a contractor’s proposal to ensure you get the equipment and service that best meets your needs.
- Ask about the warranty length, what it covers and if there are extended labor warranties available.