When hiring an HVAC contractor, it’s best to find a pro. Sure, the handyman down the street may give you what seems like a price break on air conditioning or heating installation or repair, but hiring an unlicensed contractor, or someone who isn’t trained to work on your system, is asking for trouble. Here’s some additional advice on why a licensed contractor is best, and some other critical questions to ask during the interview.
Is the Contractor Licensed, Bonded and Insured?
In Ohio, the state issues licenses to HVAC contractors, so you will want to affirm that your contractor has an up-to-date license. The license ensures that the contractor has the appropriate experience and background in the industry to successfully complete your work. To qualify for the license, an HVAC company may need to hold minimum bonding and insurance. A professional working in your home should carry liability insurance and be covered by workers compensation insurance so the homeowner is protected in case of an accident or an injury.
Does the Contractor Have References?
Any reputable HVAC contractor who has been in business for a while should have a list of recent customers who can vouch for the contractor’s work. Contact the references and ask if the work was completed on time and satisfactorily. You also can contact the Better Business Bureau and do an online search for testimonials, but beware about the latter. Sometimes online testimonials are written by someone with an agenda.
Can the Contractor Do a Detailed Load Calculation?
If you’re planning a new HVAC installation, the system should be sized correctly. That requires an accurate calculation of the home’s heating and cooling load. Don’t accept estimates over the phone based on square footage alone. To make an accurate calculation, the contractor should visit your home, compile extensive data on the conditions that will impact cooling and heating, talk to you about how you live in the home/operate the system and then do a calculation with HVAC software. For best accuracy, couple this with an energy audit to make sure any problems with the home and its construction are identified first.
Do you have other questions about hiring an HVAC contractor? We’d be happy to discuss them with you at P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. We serve Greater Cleveland.