Selecting an HVAC contractor is an important decision that shouldn’t be made without doing some investigating to make certain you’re making the correct choice.

First, find a contractor who will ask you about your wants and needs and actually listen to you. With that noted, they should be able to show you up to four options from which you can pick.

When they arrange your installation, is it when you want to have it done, or when they can get to it? Will your contractor pull a permit on every job? Doing so will make certain that it meets all of your local codes.

HVAC system installation is not something you can do yourself and a successful installation requires a contractor that is skilled in a number of areas, from load calculation to piping and quite a few steps in between. You could get the best system, but if it’s not installed correctly you may not get ideal performance.

Here are a few other questions to help you make the best choice while researching your HVAC contractor.

Do they have NATE-Certification?

NATE (North American Technician Excellence) is the largest nonprofit certification organization for HVAC technicians. Certified technicians have verified their knowledge in the HVAC industry by passing real-world and thorough tests created by a committee of industry authorities. NATE-certified contractors have met the highest industry standards for knowledgeable installation and service. NATE certification will offer you peace of mind knowing your contractor has finished rigorous professional training.

Do they have references or referrals?

A professional HVAC company will be able to provide you with a list of recent customers that you can refer to and tell you about the quality of their company’s work. Call their list of references and ask about their project and if they’d recommend the company.

There are also official sources online such as the Better Business Bureau and ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America). The BBB allows you to read the consumer ratings of an HVAC contractor and you’ll have the ability to see any customer complaints against a company. The ACCA is a nonprofit organization of more than 60,000 professionals and 4,000 businesses. Contractors found on ACCA are sure to be committed to their profession and will be able to offer referrals for previous work.

Another way is crowdsourcing referrals from your friends and neighbors or on your social media networks. These are normally the most valuable recommendations because they are coming from people you know. You’ll find out who to talk to and which contractors to avoid. If you’re on nextdoor.com you can literally ask for recommendations from people right next door. Contractors count on positive word-of-mouth, so if someone you trust stands by them it’s likely they’ll do good work for you too.

Have you verified they’re licensed and insured?

Not all states require licensure for heating and cooling contractors, but practically all of them do. It’s easy to search online to determine if your state requires a license so you know whether or not to ask for one when gathering quotes from a contractor. The reason a lot of states require licenses is simply to keep you from using a company that uses less than qualified workers.

If you live in a state that requires licenses and the contractor you’re talking to doesn’t have one, it’s probably in your interest to look elsewhere to help circumvent any potential concerns.

When do I bring up these questions?

The best time to ask questions and find an HVAC contractor is right now, before something occurs with your system. Get your furnace inspected while it’s operating normally and arrange your routine maintenance.

Your family’s health, comfort and safety is our business at Refrigeration Systems Ltd. in Richmond. Our HVAC professionals would be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Call us at 778-693-2532. We look forward to becoming your partner in keeping your system running safely and efficiently.