A house isn’t a home unless there’s something that needs fixing or replacing. Out of all the appliances that could break, one of the worst ones is the HVAC system—especially in the dead of summer or winter.
They are supposed to last anywhere from fifteen to twenty years, and you must know how old yours is, so you know when the time has come to replace it. Not to mention, numerous problems could occur in the meantime, which is why it is so important you find a reputable HVAC company to take of the repairs for you.
If there’s a handful of contractors in your area, you might have trouble figuring out which one has the best HVAC service. It’s best to do your research and learn about each company’s background to find the right one for you.
Here’s a list of the seven most important questions you should ask when hiring an HVAC contractor:
1. What’s the Diagnosis?
Whether your HVAC system has completely shut down or it’s making weird noises, you likely cannot identify what is causing the problem by yourself. You may want to learn more about the signs of a broken HVAC so that you can get help right away.
A good HVAC contractor will explain why yours is not working and let you know if any other parts that might be an issue in the future if you do not get them repaired soon. To ensure they do a thorough job of examining your house, ask the contractor if they can inspect your ductwork too.
If there’s leaking or a lack of insolation, your HVAC system could be working harder than necessary. Having your ductwork repaired is cheaper than buying a whole new unit, which is why it is so crucial the contractor takes a look at it.
2. Is Your HVAC Company Licensed and Insured?
When technicians don’t install HVAC systems properly, they don’t often last as long or run as efficiently as they should. Therefore, most states require that HVAC companies have a license and insurance.
Sometimes you can find out if they have both these things on their website. However, asking the contractor to see a copy of their license and insurance in person is a more reliable way to confirm they have them. You can also ask for their license number and go to the board’s website to see if it is valid.
Additionally, it’s even better if you find a company with technicians who have their NATE (North American Technician Excellence) Certification. It means the company has gone above and beyond to ensure its technicians are highly skilled and qualified.
3. How Much Experience Do You Have and Can You Provide References?
Experience and references tend to go hand and hand. If the HVAC company has installed or repaired plenty of systems and they’ve done an outstanding job, they should be able to give you a list of references without issue. You want their customers’ opinions to decide whether they are worth hiring.
It would be suspicious if an HVAC company refused to give you any references. You can always go online to check out their testimonials and reviews. However, you are better off moving on to another company that is confident in its list of references.
4. What HVAC Repairs Did You Include In the Quote?
When the contractor gives you the diagnosis, they should also give you a quote upfront that tells you which parts they plan to replace and which ones they don’t. It will prevent the contractor from making repairs you didn’t know about and increasing the cost. When you get a written quote, you can see what they plan to fix and budget in preparation.
5. Which HVAC Brands Are the Most Reputable?
Sometimes your current HVAC system isn’t the best one for your home, so before repurchasing it or blindly ordering a new one, ask a professional to tell you about the best brands on the market. Although they’ll likely only mention the ones they carry, it’ll help guide you on your search.
Afterward, you can research these brands on your own. Look at the cost, size, and efficiency (also known as a SEER rating). Then, depending on your budget, you can look for special features, like a programmable thermostat.
6. When Can You Fix My HVAC System?
Obviously, you want your HVAC system to get repaired as soon as possible, so always ask how long it will take for them to come out and fix it. Finding a company open every day of the week with 24-hour availability is the best way to avoid a long wait time. If the contractor cannot schedule a time and date during the estimate, don’t hesitate to move onto another company.
7. What Actions Should I Take to Maintain My HVAC System?
HVAC repairs and replacements can be expensive. Why not learn how to keep it operating smoothly and potentially extend its lifespan?
On top of lending you some helpful tips, an HVAC company may recommend you have a technician come back for maintenance checks. Although this might seem like a way for you to spend more money, they could find a minor issue that could lead to a larger one during these check-ups. Thus, saving you money in the long run.
Don’t Settle When Choosing an HVAC Company
Hiring an HVAC company to fix your system is serious business. Asking these questions will help prevent you from hiring someone who is not equipped to handle your repairs. If a contractor gives you an answer that does not meet your standards, get a quote from another place. Is there anything else you need to know about owning a house? Check out our website for more articles like this one.