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Things to Look for in an HVAC Technician

When it comes to cooling or heating repair or installation services, hiring the right technician matters. Keep in mind that HVAC equipment is a significant investment, so you need someone who can do the job right the first time. A properly-installed, efficient HVAC system means lower utility bills, improved indoor comfort and savings from foo-frequent repairs.

To help you choose a technician for your HVAC needs, here are things to look for:

License & Insurance

Most states require HVAC companies to get a license. Some states even require contractors to pass tests and have technical HVAC training. You can check the license requirements in your state, or if your potential contractor is licensed online, on the Contractor’s License Reference Site and National Contractors.

You should also look for a contract license surety bond, which is something you can use in case the outcome of the job isn’t what you agreed on or something goes wrong during the project. Contractors need bonding before they can get a license. However, you should still check with your local government to see if it’s a mandatory requirement. HVAC contractors must also have worker’s compensation insurance. This is necessary if someone gets injured accidentally while completing a job in your home.

The Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) website enables you to see how your contractor deals with their customers. You can check the consumer ratings of your technician on the website and see if there’s been any customer complaints against them. It will also allow you to check on how they’ve dealt with conflicts with past clients. Moreover, you can reach out to your local BBB office with any questions or concerns you may have.

Credentials

The contractor you’ll hire must have all the needed permits to accomplish the job. Determine if your contractor has experience with the maintenance, replacement  and repair of your existing system. Doing so can help prevent misunderstandings and technical issues.

When getting new equipment, do your research to determine which company specializes in your preferred brand or model. A reputable technician will walk you through the care and maintenance process. It pays to invest in a company that can install your equipment correctly and will teach you how to use it properly to avoid costly repairs.

Reviews & References

Before hiring anyone to work on your home, make sure you’ve done your research. Check websites like Yelp, Facebook and Google for reviews. Take note of both the good and the bad. As much as possible, hire a company with a rating of A or higher with the BBB.

You can request references from your potential contractors and contact their previous customers. If someone you know has previously worked with them, it would help to ask how the AC installation or repair turned out. Choose a technician who’s known for superior workmanship and excellent customer service.

Home Evaluation

Think twice about hiring a contractor who refuses to pay your home a visit to take measurements and make a full evaluation. Such a company may not be reputable. Contractors must go to your home and assess your existing equipment as well as take measurements before providing estimates.

Once the inspection is complete, your contractor will determine which size and type of unit is best for your home. They’ll also check the condition of your duct system and insulation to see if these components require repair or replacement. Reputable technicians will take their time getting to know your home before the project starts to make sure they get everything correct.

Estimates

A good contractor will have no issues with providing clients with written quotes before the project starts. Estimates must be honest. accurate and fair. When you obtain an estimate, you won’t be surprised by unexpected expenses. Your contractor should explain the costs and fees written on the estimate before any work starts.

Experts recommend getting at least three estimates from different companies before settling on one. It’s not always a good idea to go with the lowest estimate if the company doesn’t have good ratings and reviews. You can save yourself money and stress by paying a higher upfront cost for quality workmanship. Before signing anything, make sure you’ve carefully read the written proposal and that costs are explained well.

Written Contract 

You should keep track of all correspondence in writing, beginning with the initial consultation. It’s sometimes better to reach out through email instead of calling the contractor directly. With emails, you can keep better track of what they’ve told you.

However, you shouldn’t count on promises. Require your contractor to provide all quotes and proposals in writing so you can have them for future reference. Before signing a contract, make sure that the document includes every detail about the dates on which the project will be completed. It should also contain a detailed breakdown of labor and material costs, payment due dates and the deadline for project completion.

ENERGY STAR® Products

Energy-efficient products can help reduce your heating and cooling costs. An HVAC unit that meets the energy efficiency guidelines established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is better for the environment. When getting a new heater or air conditioner, look for the ENERGY STAR® seal. A skilled technician can give you an estimate of the cost savings you’ll see over time for every model. This will allow you to determine the best long-term option for your home.

Special Offers

You can enjoy savings by working with a company that provides special offers. Don’t hesitate to contact your HVAC technician and ask about the current deals they have. In some cases, rebates are available on qualified ENERGY STAR-certified equipment. Because an HVAC system is a major investment for homeowners, look for specials and rebates that will help keep costs down. Your contractor should discuss all details about rebates, warranties and other options that can save you money.

Turn to Royal American Heating & Cooling for quality AC repair and installation services. Our experienced team is here to provide you with the best HVAC solutions. Call us at (708) 480-9676 or fill out our contact form to learn more about our services.

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