How to choose an HVAC contractor.
The HVAC contractor selection process is critical for continued, efficient system performance. Like how you shouldn't leave open heart surgery to anyone but a heart surgeon, you shouldn't leave the life of your heating or cooling system in the hands of someone who may not have the necessary qualifications. While your life may not hang in the balance with HVAC system installation, it is still an expensive purchase that can have costly consequences if done incorrectly. Not to mention, high-efficiency, iQ Drive® system require additional installation finesse in order to perform to the highest performance standards. In fact, we have training and certification processes in place that ensure a contractor is equipped with the right tools and information to install these smart systems. We make sure to distinguish these contractor from the rest with our iQ Drive badge. If your HVAC contractor is iQ Drive certified, this badge should be displayed on their website and on their dealer locator page.
However, in addition to the badge, there are certain things to look for when going through the heating and cooling contractor selection process.
Professional contractors tend to stand
out from the rest for the following reasons:
- They ask about your home comfort experience to ensure that you are getting everything you want and need to improve your system.
- They ask about your family's allergies, dust problems, and other indoor air quality issues, and they offer solutions to these problems.
- They will correctly size your air conditioner, heat pump or furnace using a Manual J Load calculation. When sizing a system, rule of thumb doesn't work.
- They have a good reputation with the Better Business Bureau.
- They keep up-to-date on the latest training and includes NATE certified technicians.
- They offer financing options for homeowners.
- They back their installation or service with maintenance plans and/or labor warranties.
There is more to contractor selection than just looking for positives. There are also some definite red flags to look for during the process.
- They give you a quote over the phone or on the back of their business card.
- They don't take your entire central HVAC system into account. A quality contractor will make sure to inspect your ductwork as well.
- They give you the lowest bid. Many quality heating and cooling contractors have to charge more because they take your entire system into account, take their time and make sure that your system is installed correctly. They are also responsible for keeping up-to-date on the latest best practices and equipment training.
Yes, installing new, high-efficiency heating and air conditioning equipment can be costly. But, it is not beneficial to try and save on overall costs by skimping on installation or simply choosing the HVAC contractor that gives you the lowest bid. Knowing how to choose a contractor is one of the best things you can learn during the purchasing process.