How to Choose the Right HVAC Contractor

How to Choose the Right HVAC Contractor

When it’s time to hire a contractor for your home’s heating, air condition, and ventilation system, there are some important things to consider.

Whether your existing system needs maintenance or if you’re considering replacing part or all of your system, here are some tips for hiring an HVAC contractor.

Is the Contractor Licensed and Insured?

In Texas, HVAC contractors must be licensed by the Texas Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors Advisory Board, a part of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

Licensing is important because HVAC technicians work with gas, electricity, and refrigerants, and those are things that you don’t want an unqualified person fooling around with in your home.

You can ask to see the contractor’s license and proof of insurance.  A reputable contractor won’t have any objection to providing that for you.  

If the contractor can’t or won’t show you his license or insurance certificate, run away as fast as you can!

How Experienced is the Contractor?

How long has the contractor been in business?  Does he have a recognized and established business with a real “brick-and-mortar” location?  Beware of contractors who operate from a post office box number.

Does the contractor have experience with different makes and models of heating and air conditioning systems?  Does the contractor keep up with newer models or is he trying to fix new equipment using old technology?

Will the Contractor Come to Your Home to Quote New Equipment?

A reputable contractor will not try to select and quote a new system over the phone.  He needs to know the square footage of your house or area to be heated/cooled, the condition of your ducts, and all the other factors that go into selecting a system for you.  A good contractor will come to your home and assess all the elements that determine what the right system for you is.

Will the Contractor Put It in Writing?

A professional contractor won’t expect you to make a major purchasing commitment on the basis of a conversation and a handshake and a “we understand one another”.  He will provide you with a written quote.  

If you accept his quote, he will give you a written, legally-binding contract that includes full details such as the make and model of the equipment, installation schedule, warranty information, payment terms, and all other aspects of the agreement.  A reputable contractor isn’t afraid of leaving a paper trail. In fact, he wants everything in writing so there’s no misunderstanding.

How Available is the Contractor for Service?

Does the contractor have extended hours for service calls or are you going to get an answering machine when your system breaks down outside of regular business hours?

Does the contractor keep a good stock of commonly needed parts or are you going to have to wait while he orders parts in?  Does he have quick access to major parts that aren’t a regular part of his inventory?

Who is the Contractor Sending to Your Home?

Does the contractor send only his own certified employees, or does he sub the work out to someone else?  Good contractors will send only their own employees to your home because they want to maintain their company’s quality and service standards.  They don’t use subs whose performance is out of their control.

Check the Reviews.

If you know someone who has used the contractor, ask them about their experience with them.  Online reviews that you find on Google are a good source of people’s honest opinions. Google reviews are not “filtered” (especially according to whether a contractor is paying them for their services, unlike some other review sites) and Google also tries to make sure that fake reviews don’t get published.  Check the reviews on the contractor’s web site.  

There are good contractors and, unfortunately, some not-so-good contractors out there.  Find a reputable contractor who cares about his customers and backs up his service and products.

For repairs and maintenance to your home’s HVAC system or for new equipment supply and installation, you can count on the trusted professionals at Forney Air.  Call us at (214) 924-9745.

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