Finding a good HVAC Company – Finding a good, honest, and reliable HVAC contractor or service company that will take care of all your HVAC needs doesn’t have to be a challenge. There are plenty of good quality heating and cooling companies out there competing for your business. If you apply common sense and do a little footwork you will find a good heating and cooling contractor who can provide excellent HVAC installation and service for many years to come. Here are some common sense things to use and consider when seeking out a good HVAC contractor or service company.
Finding a Good HVAC Company – Word of Mouth Referrals
Many good HVAC contractors and HVAC service companies get much of their business by word of mouth. If you ask your friends and family and you hear the same name twice, you may have found a good HVAC service company. Plus, if you tell the HVAC company that you heard of them through family and friends, they are more likely to provide quality customer service because of the potential for further word of mouth. I work a full-time job and do HVAC service on the side after work and on the weekends. All of my business comes from word of mouth. Because people know I will give them good, quality HVAC service when they call me, I have more HVAC work than I can handle. My customers know that my service and installation is above par. They are willing to pay my rates because they know they’ll be hard pressed to find better service.
Proper Insurance for Liability Protection
In finding a good HVAC contractor make sure the contractor has insurance and worker’s compensation and/or is bonded for accidents — which do occur on the job sometimes. Accidents which involve physical injury are covered under insurance and worker’s compensation, but other accidents which cause property damage occur and needs to be addressed. A good contractor will always have these types of insurance and this will save you from a claim to your homeowners’ insurance if something were to happen.
BBB & State Agencies Check
Finding a good HVAC contractor should always include checking the Better Business Bureau and the local or state board of contractors. Many of these agencies and checks of contractors can now be done online. These agencies report scores based on experiences of customers. Reviews, as well as an overall rating, are available, even for contractors who advertise locally. Beware, though. Even good quality HVAC contractors get a negative report from time to time. Another source for checking to see if you’ve found a good HVAC contractor is the local mechanical inspection office for your municipality. The mechanical inspectors inspect the work of the HVAC contractors every day and they know the HVAC contractors who do great work from the HVAC contractors who do shoddy work.
Finding a good HVAC contractor can also include checking HVAC manufacturer’s websites. These websites usually include a search feature for finding a local dealer or HVAC contractor. Many HVAC manufacturers require their contractors to send their technicians to factory training classes. This is important especially if this HVAC contractor is going to be installing or servicing this type of HVAC equipment. This means that you will get an HVAC technician who is familiar with the equipment and has had specific training for the particular manufacturer’s HVAC equipment. It also means the when the HVAC technician runs into a problem, he or she can call a technical support representative from the HVAC equipment manufacturer to get a solution.
Having an HVAC company who is backed up by the HVAC manufacturer gives you extra support for hard-to-solve problems. For especially difficult problems, some manufacturers will send an engineer from the manufacturer support team to your home to resolve the issue.
You can also check heating and cooling professional organizations to see if the contractor is a member. Organizations such a SMACNA (Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association), ARI (Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute), ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers), ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers), ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors Association) are all reputable organizations. Membership in these organizations means that the contractor is knowledgeable in their trade and business.
The Agreement in Writing
If you are looking for a new HVAC system for your home or business, find an HVAC contractor who gets a permit to complete the job. Mechanical permits, and sometimes electrical permits, are required on many jobs where HVAC equipment is replaced. Why do you want to use an HVAC contractor who gets permits for replacing HVAC equipment? Because it covers you for safety and insurance reasons, and a local HVAC mechanical inspector will inspect the work to make sure it is done by code and by the HVAC manufacturer’s guidelines.
In general, mechanical inspectors usually have extensive HVAC field experience or extensive training in mechanical code. If something were to happen because of the installation and your homeowners’ insurance company found out the job was not inspected by an HVAC mechanical inspector, they may not pay.
Always use an HVAC contractor who gets the inspection for replacing HVAC equipment. If you look through the pictures in one of our HVAC photo albums you will some equipment that has been installed improperly. Some of these HVAC pictures were taken by a friend of mine who is a mechanical inspector. The HVAC pictures demonstrate the necessity of getting an HVAC mechanical inspection for your HVAC installation job. Even when some HVAC companies get permits for HVAC mechanical inspections they still do not get the job done correctly. It has happened to me before on installation jobs where I forgot one little thing and the HVAC mechanical inspector comes behind me and corrects. Even the best miss things sometimes.
Proper Load Calculations
If you are looking to replace equipment, find an HVAC contractor who will do a load calculation for your new system. Some HVAC contractors never do a load calculation. Instead, they use a rule of thumb for sizing the equipment, or worse they simply install new HVAC equipment that is the same size as the old HVAC equipment. It is important to have a new load calculation done for the new HVAC equipment simply because the house or dwelling has changed since the old equipment was installed.
Besides, how do you know when the old HVAC equipment was installed that a load calculation was done to determine the precise size of the HVAC system? This is very important because an HVAC system that is too small will never satisfy the load, and a system which is too big will short cycle and cause other secondary problems. Efficiency will suffer if the HVAC equipment is not sized correctly also.
In residential job make sure they do a Manual “J” load calculation for equipment sizing and a Manual “D” for sizing duct work. For commercial, they should do a Manual “N” load calculation. This is very important. A properly sized system will save you money over the long term so make sure to get an HVAC contractor who does load calculations.
Quality of workmanship should be at the top of the list for selecting a contractor. Many people select a contractor based on price and this can be harmful to them for the future. Cheap prices can equal cheap service, which means more money spent on repairs as time goes on. A good quality job for HVAC installation and repairs can save you lots of money in energy costs in the future.
Third Party Referral Services with Service Reviews
Other resources for finding a good HVAC contractor include using a service like Angie’s List. Angie’s List has lists of contractors from various trades including HVAC and their ratings by actual customers
Make it easy on yourself and use all available resources in finding a good HVAC contractor. Finding a good contractor can be beneficial for many reasons. It can save you money in the long run, will save you the hassle of scheduling and paying for future repairs, and even establish rapport. If you have a relationship with a good HVAC company, they may put you at the top of the list when you call with an issue. Regular customers usually get priority. If you have any other suggestions don’t hesitate to email these suggestions to High Performance HVAC using our contact page.
Around the Clock Service if Needed
You want to make sure the HVAC contractor you choose has an on-call service after hours. Many companies do this but beware of inflated rates outside of normal work hours. Many HVAC companies have a limited number of technicians and running on-call can be difficult, so to limit the calls they may charge extra.
But it is important to find one who does provide on-call service. If your heat goes out on the coldest day of the year you want to make sure you get a reliable company who take care of you in a reasonable amount of time. If you have a relationship with a good HVAC company, chances are they will put you at the top of the list. Regular customers usually get priority.
How to Find a Good HVAC Contractor or HVAC Service Company