As we get closer to summer, you may need to find a contractor to help ensure your HVAC system is running in tip-top shape. A home’s HVAC system encompasses the furnace, condenser, fan, air conditioner, ductwork and more. It’s the most extensive (and oftentimes most expensive) combination of equipment in your home and accounts for almost 45% of your home energy usage, so it makes sense to find the right HVAC contractor for you.
Improper HVAC installation and maintenance not only interferes with your comfort, but it can also result in excess electricity usage, which also makes your AC system work harder and shorten its life. We suggest following these tips when selecting an HVAC professional:
- Hire a licensed contractor. Although this may seem obvious, always make sure you’re hiring someone who’s licensed. In general, licensed HVAC contractors will have at least 4 years of experience under their belt, have taken a trade exam, will have a bond and are regulated by the state you’re in.
- Always call references. Ask your HVAC contractor to provide a list of customer references and call them. You’ll want to ask about the contractor’s work and if the job was completed on time and within the agreed upon budget.
- Ask for a written, itemized estimated. If you’re comparing bids from several contractors, make sure you have everything listed out and compare things such as energy costs and warranties.
- Look for rebates and other special offers. As one of the largest and most important purchases you’ll make as a homeowner, it’s a good idea to look for special rebates, incentives and offers on qualified cooling and heating equipment. Start by contacting your electric company to get an idea of what deals are available. After all, every penny counts!
- Check to see if you’ll need a permit. Building permits may be required for HVAC installations and modifications, and they’re typically issued by a local authority. This is especially true if you’re looking to get a new HVAC system installed, adding ducting or removing an entire system from your home.
- Be prepared for an inspection after the job is done. Your newly installed cooling and heating system may need to be inspected by a building inspector to ensure it complies with all necessary codes. This is a good thing because it serves as a quality assurance check on the work your contractor has done.