Hiring anyone to do a job in your home is stressful. It is hard to know what companies you can trust. It is also hard to tell if the contractor did a good job if you do not know much about what they installed or fixed for you.
It is important that you have an HVAC contractor that you can trust and feel comfortable with. Your HVAC system is most likely the most expensive piece of machinery in your home and it needs to be looked after properly. A mistake would be very costly and inconvenient.
Luckily, there are a lot of very good air conditioning contractors everywhere you go. The key is knowing what to look for in a good business and a good contractor. Here are a few tips to make sure you find someone who is going to help you out and make your life easier.
1. They Should Be Experienced
Experience is important in every industry. You probably do not want someone who was hired the day before to be working solo on your AC system. It is important you check how long a company has been in business and ask your contractor how long they have been in the HVAC business.
It is also important to remember that the HVAC industry is constantly changing. AC units get upgraded and redesigned every single year. You do not want a contractor who just started, but you also do not want one that is stuck in their ways.
Make sure your contractor has not been doing the same thing for their twenty years in the business. AC systems have changed drastically in the last twenty years so they absolutely should have changed methods and be up to date on new AC units. Experience is so important but so is the ability to change your ways.
2. They Should Be Transparent
Before you hire anyone you should ask for references. That goes doubly so for hiring someone who is going to be working on the most expensive thing in your home. Do not hire anyone who is not willing to give references and prove they are good at what they do.
Do not just ask for references and then assume they would not have given you bad ones. Make sure to call the references they gave you. There are a few specific questions to make sure you want to hire this contractor: did they respect the property, did they work in a timely manner, did they explain what they had done, and did they charge a fair price.
Knowing the kind of work they do is so important. You need to know you can trust people you are letting into your home and the best way to do that is to ask previous customers. Do not be afraid to ask for references and follow up.
3. Your Air Conditioning Contractor Should Be Thorough
Your HVAC system runs throughout your home. That means there are a lot of places your HVAC contractor needs to check to make sure everything is running properly. Your contractor should be looking at the outside of your home as well as the main system.
If you are having a new HVAC system installed and your contractor does not do a full home evaluation then you need a new contractor. There is no one size fits all HVAC system and your contractor should know that. There are so many factors that could change what sort of HVAC system you need and your contractor needs to take your whole home into account.
Aside from just square footage, they should look at windows, which way they face, and the R-value of insulation. It is important you hire a contractor who knows what factors they need to take into account before they begin any work. It is also a weight off of you to know that your contractor did their homework before they tried to sell you a new HVAC system.
4. Your AC Contractor Should Write Things Down
Do not trust a contractor who is willing to give you a positive bid over the phone. If they have not seen your system they should not be telling you a price. That is not the sign of a good contractor or a smart business practice.
Also, do not accept a verbal agreement. If the agreed-upon price is not written down then there is no agreed-upon price. A good contractor will write down or type out a solid bid and estimate so that you have it in writing.
It might seem friendly and polite to accept a verbal agreement, but a verbal agreement will not hold up in court if something goes wrong. A written estimate, bid, and agreement is mandatory before you allow someone to do work on your home. Especially an HVAC contractor who is going to be doing very important work in your home.
5. Your Contractor Should Charge You
It can be tempting to go with the lowest bidder. That is not always a bad thing if the lowest bidder also has great references and a good company. It can be disastrous if it was just you trying to save money.
Getting a badly installed HVAC system fixed or a cheap HVAC system replaced is going to end up costing you a lot more than hiring a good contractor would have. There are plenty of people who try to save money by hiring a cheap contractor and paying for an old HVAC system who would have saved money by hiring a good company.
Make sure the estimate they give you makes sense for the work they are doing. They should not be overcharging you, but under-charging can be just as dangerous. It is important to focus on good work and a reasonable price instead of the cheapest price you can find.
Your HVAC system is more than likely the most expensive thing in your home. It is important that you respect that and hire someone who knows what they are doing. Make sure the person you hire is experienced but not set in their ways.
Your contractor should be honest about the type of work they do and have clients that can back them up. They should also be thorough in their work and examination of your system. Probably most importantly, they should be willing to give you the price in writing.
A good HVAC contractor is going to be reasonably priced but probably not the cheapest you can find. It will save you money in the long run to hire a good contractor rather than a cheap one. These are just a few of the traits you should look for to find a great air conditioning contractor.