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How to Hire a HVAC Company - Comprehensive Checklist

by Stewart Unsdorfer

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A heating and cooling system provides comfort to your entire home. It is an extremely complex unit and requires indepth knowledge to install properly, but how do you know which HVAC company is right for you? 

Experience? Credentials? References? 

Truth is - all of these are important. But, here's the kicker: you should never use any single resource to determine your choice.

Because all of them matter.

And today I have something that will help you make a smart choice and hire a HVAC company best for you:

24 top questions to ask before you hire your next HVAC Company.

Bonus Offer: Download our How to Hire a HVAC Company Checklist as a PDF for free. Easily save it or print for reference anytime.

First, A Quick Recap… 

As a heating and cooling provider, I get some of these questions over and over again. The questions have been compiled for you to find a HVAC service provider that can do the job correctly. There is plenty of competition in the HVAC business but it is not difficult to find a qualified technician as long as you know what to search for. 

To narrow down your decision you can search a few companies online and comparison shop. Depending on the work you need done, look at the differences and similarities the businesses display. Not all HVAC companies or HVAC technicians are created equal.

5 Easy Steps to Take When Choosing a HVAC Technician  

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Step 1: Check Their Experience

For obvious reasons, technicians should have completed a few jobs. It's in your best interest to work with up to date and experienced contractors. Less qualified companies may not keep their employees or technicians current with the latest technology. This may cause you from having a newer or more current design.     

Step 2: Check Their Credentials 

Most established contractors are properly certified. The HVAC Excellence is a certification program for HVAC technicians that will ensure their work quality through validation and continuing education. All certifications should be up to date. You can also find qualified technicians through such organizations as:

You should also consider what the required licenses are for your state and if there are contractors that meet them. Liability insurance should also be used to compare technicians. Insurance will protect your property and workers if anyone gets hurt.

Which HVAC Certifications do Technicians Need? 

Step 3: Ask for Estimates  

Getting the best price is always good, but make sure you are getting the best service with that price. Ask for estimates from candidates and compare what each offers for their price.

You should only consider price after finding the most qualified. In the end it will save you money. 

Step 4: Check Their References 

Before a person gets hired at a new job, the employer asks for references. You should do the same with hiring a HVAC technician. It's often a great place to start with recommendations from friends and family in the area.

There are also online directories that list companies that are verified as good options.  

Step 5: Read Reviews and Testimonies

You should consider reading some reviews from past customers of technicians. You can usually find these on their website. Online directories may also post reviews. Good and not so good reviews can be the determining factor for which HVAC technician you choose.

Now for the goods...

How Do You Know a HVAC Company is Right for You?

Ask questions...

24 Easy Questions to Help You Hire the Best HVAC Company 

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1. Have you been in business very long?
(Note: Only an experienced contractor can do your installation correctly.)

2. Can I have your street address?
(Note: Don’t do business with contractors who refuse to give you their address.)

3. Are you licensed to do this type of work?
(Note: Your homeowners insurance doesn’t cover work done by unlicensed contractors.)

4. Do you have an office staff?
(Note: Who’s going to respond to your questions, comments, concerns, or complaints.)

5. Will you guarantee the price quoted will be the final price, even if you overlooked something?
(Note: Beware of a low initial price followed by price increases after the work has started.)

6. Will you guarantee my satisfaction?
(Note: Get this guarantee in writing.)

7. Is your company a drug-free workplace?
(Note: Ask to see their zero drug tolerance employee policy.)

8. Do you do a pre-employment back ground screening?
(Note: Keep previously convicted criminals out of your home.)

9. Are your technicians employees of your company or are they sub-contractors?
(Note: Stay away from working with companies that act as the middleman, selling your project to another company.) 

10. Will you clean up at the conclusion of each day’s work?
(Note: Many contractors do not include a thorough clean up as part of the job.)

11. Will you remove any old equipment and all debris from the premises?
(Note: Beware of “disposal fees” that get tacked on at the end of a job are a common hidden fee.)

12. Is there an extended warranty available?
(Note: A low price with a short warrant period can end up costing you more money.)

13. Do you place a high priority on warranty calls?
(Note: Many companies put warranty calls on the “back burner”, leaving you stranded.)

14. Will your technicians be in a company uniform?
(Note: Service people often bring others who don’t belong on the job site.)

15. Can you show me copies of your Worker’s Compensation Insurance?
(Note: Make sure the company you’re working with is protecting their employees while working on your property.)

16. Are permits and inspection included?
(Note: Avoid hidden permit and inspection fees.)

17. Do you provide a 33 point post installation inspection checklist?
(Note: It’s important to make sure your new system was properly inspected after the installation process.)

18. Do you offer a no lemon pledge and guarantee?
(Note: Make sure your protected from the installation of faulty equipment.)

19. Do you offer a lifetime guarantee on ductwork?
(Note: Make sure you hire a company that stands behind their work.)

20. Do you offer the option to with-hold payment until the job passes final inspection?
(Note: Make sure your installation process passes final inspection.)

21. Are there any rebates that I qualify for?
(Note: Only approved contractors can provide these rebates.)

22. Do you have an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau?
(Note: You’ll want to work with a business that puts their customers first and has minimal complaints.)

23. Does your company offer and on-going service contract and free maintenance reminders?
(Note: It’s best to work with a company that you can build a trusted long-term relationship with to keep your system running at peak performance year round.)

24. Is your company a member of ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America) and the AHRI (Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institue)?
(Note: It’s best to work with companies that are members of these organizations to ensure they are actively involved in the latest industry technology advancements.)

Video: 4 Tips to Avoid HVAC Scams

A HVAC contractor will play a crucial role in your home's comfort, air quality and safety. Consider these steps when making your hiring decision.

source: How to Hire a HVAC Expert

    • You want to find an experienced provider trained in your product/brand.
    • Repair or replace? Get multiple opinions. On a side note when it comes to answering this question, there is another set of questions to ask yourself:
      1. How old is your central air conditioning system?
      2. Did you consider your indoor air quality?
      3. Do you want a high-efficiency unit?
    • Check company's reputation before hiring.
    • Inspections can prevent unexpected breakdowns. (Get your furnace checked while it's running, before you encounter a problem.)

Conclusion

Use our checklist to help you choose a HVAC techician in your area. Do not forget to ask about warranties and satisfaction guarantees.

With so many resources available, you should be able to use these tips to find the best HVAC technician to service your home. It's important to get advice from an experienced professional who can evaluate your home and make proper recommendations for your unique situation. 

What things do you consider when hiring a HVAC contractor?

Let us know your experiences in the comments below.

blog author

Stewart Unsdorfer

Stewart has been in the HVAC business for more than 25 years. He is a state licensed heating and A/C contractor, as well as being certified in design, fabrication, layout and installation of forced air heating / cooling systems.

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