Do you need to hire a new HVAC contractor? If this is your first time hiring a heating and air conditioner professional, take a look at some of the questions you should ask in order to find the right person for the job.
Does the Contractor Have the Correct License?
While each state differs somewhat in professional rules and regulations, every local area has some form of licensing procedure for HVAC contractors. Why is a license important and what does it show the customer? An HVAC license:
- Demonstrates the contractor’s experience. An inexperienced contractor with little hands-on or on-the-job training won’t have the ability to accurately evaluate, repair, or replace complicated HVAC systems.
- Demonstrates the contractor’s expertise. While some states don’t have specific educational requirements for licensure, a licensing exam combined with necessary time spent on the job, means the contractor has experience in the HVAC area.
- Demonstrates the contractor’s commitment. Anyone can call themselves a heating or air conditioning repair contractor. But that doesn’t mean they’re a true expert. Completion of the licensing process shows the contractor’s commitment to the HVAC industry.
Even though a license signals the contractor’s professionalism, it isn’t the only thing to look for. Along with a license, a professional in this field should provide specific services — such as in-person initial estimates.
Does the Contractor Provide an In-Person Estimate?
HVAC systems are complex appliances that require in-person, hands-on inspection and evaluation. While an experienced professional may have an idea of what’s wrong with your heater or air conditioner based on a verbal description, an over-the-phone diagnosis or estimate alone may point to:
- Lack of knowledge. A skilled HVAC contractor knows that a full in-person inspection or evaluation is necessary to correctly diagnose the problem and create a repair plan. Proceed with extreme caution if the contractor claims they don’t need to see the system.
- A scam. Never give a contractor credit card or bank information over the phone (or via email) if they haven’t already come to your home to inspect the system. A true professional will conduct an in-person evaluation and provide you with a written estimate first.
- Absence of professionalism. A contractor who can’t take the time to come to your home for an HVAC estimate lacks the professional you should require.
If your home’s HVAC system needs a repair or replacement, the contractor should schedule an appointment, arrive on time, discuss the issue fully with you, inspect the existing area or appliance, and provide you with a full written estimate for all costs.
What Services Does the Contractor Offer?
A professional HVAC contractor should offer specialized heating and air conditioning services. Specific services vary by contractor. These may include:
- Routine maintenance. The HVAC contractor may offer pre- or post-season system check-ups, inspections, and cleanings. These services help your system to run smoothly and efficiently.
- Repairs. The contractor should have the experience and expertise to diagnose and make repairs as needed. These can include anything from a broken blower to a refrigerant line failure.
- Installations. Most HVAC contractors install heating and air conditioning equipment. If you need a new system, the professional should have the ability to evaluate your home’s needs, suggest a new heater or AC system, and complete the installation.
If the contractor in question doesn’t offer the services your home needs, doesn’t have the knowledge necessary to evaluate problem issues, or offers a broad array of general construction services (without technicians who specialize in HVAC inspections, repairs, or replacements), continue your search.
Do you need HVAC services or a new installation? Contact the proven professionals at JR Putnam Plumbing, Heating and Air for more information.