Top 5 Things to Look for When Choosing an HVAC Contractor

Aug 24, 2020

Top 5 Things to Look for When Choosing an HVAC Contractor

Do you have a HVAC system that is more than a decade old?  Is your HVAC system in need of repairs and showing its age? 

This may be the time to consider purchasing or repairing your HVAC system. But where do you begin? How do you find a reliable, competent contractor for the job? 

5 Factors to Consider in Your Search

Here are five recommended criteria to ponder as you seek out an HVAC contractor: 

  •  Licensing and Experience 

Because your HVAC system is likely the most expensive equipment in your home, you want to be sure that whoever works on it is extremely competent and reliable. In addition to having proper licensing as an HVAC contractor, a company should be able to hold a minimal level of bonding and insurance. The insurance protects you, the homeowner, in case of injury or accidental damage. 

Equally as important is asking about a contractor’s  relevant experience. While longevity is important, what is more relevant is stability in the industry. Inquire about certifications that the contractors and technicians possess.  Certifications should be from organizations like the North American Technician Excellence (NATE). This will indicate that a technician’s education and experience are current. 

When examining a technician’s training, especially consider handling of refrigerant and air balancing. Find out if the company’s technicians are certified to work with refrigerant. According to the Clean Air Act, individuals not appropriately certified should not be handling refrigerant. This carries even greater importance as the switch from Freon (R-22 refrigerant) to R-410A continues. 

Your HVAC technician must also be trained to test and balance installations for optimal efficiency and comfort.  If you are looking for an authoritative source, the National Comfort Institute’s certification in air balancing provides a standard for training that you, as the homeowner, should be cognizant of. 

You should also ask technicians if they are trained with the top industry brands. Keep in mind that each system or manufacturer is unique, and a top-notch consultant will ensure that technicians have had the appropriate training to optimize installations. 

  •   Home Evaluation

When you search for an HVAC contractor, be sure to have them offer a home evaluation to figure out the best heating and cooling solution.  During this type of home assessment, consider factors such as square footage of your house, R-value of insulation, how many windows there are and which way they face.  A potential contractor should examine the duct system for leaks, loose segments and insulation. Keep in mind that sizing of a new system ought not to be done based exclusively on square footage.  Instead, it should be contingent on calculations determined by data fed into industry software known as Manuals J – for cooling and heating loads), S – to ascertain the size of equipment, and D – for ductwork. 

After the evaluation, have a contractor give you a written, itemized estimate that will allow you to compare costs, warranties, and energy efficiency against the other proposals you’ve received. 

  •   References and Referrals

Always ask for referrals and references and contact them.  Inquire with them about whether jobs were completed in a timely fashion and within budget.  You will also want to know if the company was clean and respectful of living spaces, and if they tested the system after installation to ensure optimal operation.  Investigate potential contractors through the Better Business Bureau to find out about possible complaints. Be skeptical of great reviews with no details and complaints without specific examples. 

Also, ply your own social networks for information on HVAC contractors.  

  •   Rebates and Special Offers

As an HVAC system is a significant expense, seek out rebates on energy-efficient equipment, or ask your dealer about specials. 

  •   Efficiency

Having an energy-efficient HVAC system is very important when it comes to money savings and creating comfortable ambient temperatures throughout your home.  Ask a contractor about Energy Star-rated models. Energy Star is the U.S. government’s program for rigorously testing HVAC equipment for efficiency. 

Look to Apollo Heating and Air Conditioning for HVAC Installs and Repairs!

We offer considerable expertise and seasoned skills to our HVAC installs and repairs. Let us help you select the perfect air conditioning unit for your home so you stay cool this summer. 

Apollo offers the most knowledgeable and highly skilled team of service technicians in the HVAC industry!  Trust the company that has delivered award-winning residential and commercial service in the Tri-Cities for nearly 40 years!

We invite you to contact Apollo Heating and Air Conditioning by calling (509) 396-COLD (2653).