How Do I Choose the Right HVAC Professional?
Many homeowners have begun to explore do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvements or repairs, and DIY projects within the HVAC field are no exception. While DIY projects can certainly be learning experiences, they often end up being the kind of learning experiences that would have been a lot cheaper and safer with a professional on hand. Hiring a reliable, professional HVAC company to complete your needed repairs is smart and financially savvy, but we understand that it’s not always easy to decide who to hire. Read on for some tips to identify the best HVAC company for your needs.
Three Strategies for Hiring HVAC Professionals
Becoming an informed consumer can truly be a hassle, but it’s a sacrifice that will be worth the time investment. In order to feel confident that you have selected the best company to meet your HVAC needs with reliability and expertise, utilize these three essential strategies:
Seek out recommendations from people you know. Start with asking friends and family for recommendations. This strategy allows you to analyze everything from how reasonable the company’s prices were to the quality of their work and the professionalism they demonstrated.
When seeking information on HVAC companies from friends and family, be sure to ask the right questions. You might want to ask whether the company returned emails or phone calls in a timely manner, how much the quoted costs varied from the final bill, and what they thought of the service-people who completed the job.
In addition to talking with friends or family, consider this super helpful tip from Tom Silva, writing for This Old House: “talk with a building inspector, who’ll know which [contractors] routinely meet code requirements.”
While recommendations are crucial to the process of finding the right HVAC professional, without the right credentials, no company or individual is worth the risk. Once you have identified potential HVAC companies, request evidence of necessary certifications and licenses. Besides a current license, any HVAC professional should carry three important insurances: personal liability, worker’s compensation, and property damage coverage.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list to two or three companies, the US Department of Energy suggests that you request written, itemized estimates. They advise: “when comparing contractors’ proposals (bids), be sure to compare cost, energy efficiency and warranties. A lowest price may not be the best deal if it’s not the most efficient because your energy costs will be higher.”