When installing a new HVAC system in your Bay Area home, replacing the old one, or when undertaking regular maintenance on the existing system; a reliable and well-trained HVAC contractor is indispensable. Choosing the right HVAC contractor for your residential HVAC needs is as important as selecting the right type of equipment and getting it installed properly.
If you are investing in a new HVAC system and are newly looking for a contractor, you may have many questions about identifying the right company from so many that tempt you with various offers and discounts. But the one who provides the most inexpensive services need not always be the best.
You certainly want trustworthy people working in your house, a team that is technically sound and can complete all the work on time, without leaving behind a mess or a shoddy job that needs to be redone by someone else.
Here are some tips on how you can identify the right contractor for your home HVAC needs.
1. Find a contractor through reliable sources
Always ask the company for references. You can also check online reviews left by clients. But even these could sometimes not be very honest. So, the best bet would be to speak to your own friends, relatives and colleagues and get their suggestions. Many of them may provide the names of contractors they have used before and also share their experience with you.
2. Check the contractor’s prior work
A newly established company is not necessarily a bad option but it is better to go for someone who has good experience in handling multiple types of systems, somebody who has trained staff and is well-equipped to deal with the latest technology. You can check prior work done on projects similar to yours.
3. Discuss with more than one contractor
Do not spend too much time going over the details and negotiating with just one contractor. Also, ensure that you meet the contractor and that they also provide you on-site evaluation. Over-the-phone discussions and agreements must not be considered final. You may have to speak with many contractors before you find one that is perfect for your job but all that research will help your project get done smoothly.
4. Check company credentials
It is imperative that the contractor you choose has the required licenses, local permits, insurance provision and technical expertise certification. This will help you understand how qualified the staff doing your job will be and whether they have legal local recognition.
5. Get everything on paper
Oral confirmations in person or on the phone do not suffice. Be thorough with all the paperwork- from the contract to work permits, insurance details, warranties, project plans and timelines, bills and invoices. Keep a record of these and your correspondence with the HVAC company, till the end of your project, so either of you can refer to it in case of a problem.
6. Check the agreement thoroughly
Service agreements differ for every company. Check all the costs that your agreement covers; especially labor charges and cost of parts.