The purpose of this guide is to provide useful information for homeowners looking to install, repair, or replace an HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems. HVAC technicians not only provide comfort for homeowners, but play an important role in monitoring air quality and making sure your home system is safely operating. In this guide, we’ll show you how to find the right technician and company for your needs. Not all heating and air conditioning systems are made alike and installing, replacing, or repairing a system can be costly. Therefore, it can be useful to find a company that carries your brand with knowledgeable contractors that have experience working with your system.
Much like systems, HVAC specialists are not all alike. We want to help you save time, money, and headaches by finding the best technician for your system. Not doing so could be hazardous to your health, safety, and take a big bite out of your wallet.
It is imperative that you hire a professional for the job and don’t try to fix the problem yourself. Hiring a specialist for system installation, repair, and replacement can help you avoid a variety of dangers such as: handling electrical wiring, carbon monoxide poisoning, or an encounter with the toxic chemical Freon used in refrigeration.
Many states and localities require HVAC technicians to have completed a certification program or associate’s degree. Others may be allowed to work with 2-5 years of on-the-job training and experience, while still more go through apprenticeship programs requiring 2,000 hours of on-the-job training.
With this in mind, you should feel confident having a technician with this training work on your system. Also, as systems today are increasingly more complex, he or she should be able to answer any technical questions you might have about your system and ease your concerns, making the process smooth and painless.
Also, because many HVAC technicians work in peoples’ homes, they often are required to have background checks before starting work.
When searching for a technician, a professional should have references available for you to call and verify their prior work history and experience. Be sure to ask for at least three references and contact the references before hiring your contractor.
A professional technician should exemplify the following qualities:
It’s important to regularly maintenance your system. Having a technician periodically check for problems can save you money and time in the long run and may keep your system running more efficiently and last longer.
For example, if you are having high electric bills in winter and have checked to make sure it is not a simple fix such as a window left open, the issue could point to a problem with your heat pump like a tripped breaker for an outdoor unit, an extremely dirty air filter, or a serious problem such as a damaged compressor.
Another common issue with air conditioning systems is mold which can pose a serious risk to the health of you and your loved ones. Mold often goes undetected in home air conditioning systems and requires a trained specialist to uncover and remove it.
So you’ve identified the problem with your system, now what?
It’s time to get multiple quotes from several contractors and explore your options.
It is important to find out if the company you are considering has two things:
Insurance and bonds. You want to save yourself the hassle of dealing with any accidental problems that may arise during the job, and having the guarantee of insurance and bonds will protect you and your house from issues you are not responsible for during the current job. A professional technician should carry at least liability insurance to protect themselves in the case of accidental damage or on-the-job injuries.
Earlier in this article, we discussed that many technicians are required to be licensed. Make sure to find out what type of license the technician and company holds when getting an estimate.
In addition it is critical that you document everything and keep track of the project’s overall scope, details and completion dates before you sign paperwork with a company and hire a technician. Give yourself time to review and cross-check against other contractors and online before making a decision.
Now that you know what to look for when shopping for a company and HVAC technician, here is a helpful reference guide with top tier brands to look for when shopping for your brand new HVAC system.
Some states provide rebates and tax credits for systems that meet certain federal or state standards. Make sure to ask about these when getting your estimate to see what you might qualify for.
Finally, be sure to document your project to comply with federal and state incentive requirements.