Choosing the right contractor to install a new HVAC system can be a daunting task because the equipment you choose, proper installation techniques, and maintenance all need to be considered for the equipment to operate quickly, reliably, and for the longest time possible. We pass on these suggestions to you for selecting a contractor, adapted from a Contracting Business magazine article:
1. If you, a friend, or a neighbor already know a solid HVAC contractor, you’re already in great shape. If you don’t, check your local area for reputable contractors.
2. Most, if not all, residential contractors belong to the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) or the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA). These organizations provide listings of refrigeration and HVAC contractors locally. The best contractors will have technicians that are certified by NATE (the North American Technician Excellence).
3. If a company offers to give you a quote over the phone without seeing the site in question, do not trust them. They will attempt to mark you up and make you pay more for the job.
4. A contractor who is up-to-date with their information will not try to stray you away from high-efficiency machines. Companies with not-so-up-to-date technicians may try to steer you away from new machines because they aren’t familiar with it. Don’t be afraid of new technology.
5. An estimator with experience will do a survey of your house and calculate his estimate on a cooling-load calculation for air conditioning or a heat-load calculation for heating.
6. Using their calculated cooling-load or heat-load values, a reputable contractor will be able to figure out the annual heating/cooling costs for your home and provide you with those figures.
7. Years ago, contractors installed machines that were much too large for the house they were serving, but there is no need for a unit of such size anymore, allowing you to cut back on energy costs. Contractors with experience will not base their estimates on currently installed machines, but instead, perform a measuring of their own to calculate the size of the new machine.
8. Make sure your contractor gives you a written statement of what equipment is getting installed, overall costs, and time estimate before the work even begins.
9. Don’t let the lowest priced contractor sway your decision. Better contractors typically cost more, but offer more experience and value to the job. Some contractors may offer extremely low bids, but they may also not be considering all of the costs that will go into the job. Don’t get fooled by these offers.
10. Contractors typically have a stigma for being lazy and slow, but reputable contractors are professional and courteous. Don’t be afraid to go into their offices if they give you their office address, this will give you an insight into how the company runs from the inside. It is also an indication that the company has been in business for a good amount of time and they intend to stay there for the long haul.
Here at One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Northern Virginia, we pride ourselves in being an HVAC Contractor you can trust. Certified by NATE and with a high reputation in the community – we offer honest and knowledgeable recommendations and services with fair prices. Contact us today for fast and efficient HVAC Contracting services.