Getting Service You Trust On The Systems You Rely On The Most: Questions to Ask Your HVAC Contractor
Most of us aren’t lucky enough to have a heating and air conditioning guru in the family and we don’t want to be wandering in the dark when it comes to finding someone we can count on to repair our home comfort systems.
Furnace repair or air conditioning service are areas of expertise that most of us may not feel we even know enough about to know what questions to ask before we let a company into our homes, so here are a few questions you can ask before selecting a contractor to service or replace you home’s HVAC systems.
1. Does the contractor have a state license?
While many states now require HVAC contractors to be licensed, the industry is full of “tailgaters” operating out of their truck with no licensing or industry certifications. Unlicensed contractors are unaccountable to anyone, including regulators and customers. They are often unavailable when problems arise from poor installation, poor service or improper equipment. Start your search off right by automatically rejecting any company that can’t present its license certification.
2. Are their technicians RMGA and EPA certified?
If they aren’t RMGA and EPA certified, they are operating illegally. RMGA is a trade association that works to ensure consumer quality and safety through training, licensing and contractor responsibility. Utah state requires technicians be RMGA certified. For you and the environment’s protection, the federal government requires any contractor that installs, services or repairs refrigeration equipment be EPA certified. Certified technicians give you the peace of mind knowing you are getting the best installation and service from a highly skilled, knowledgeable and qualified technician.
3. Is the contractor insured with general liability and workers compensation insurance?
Your hope is nothing will happen other than a smooth installation when you hire a contractor, but since you will have the HVAC technicians in your home, monkeying with heavy equipment, you want to make sure the company carries the appropriate liability and workers compensation insurances to cover any situations that might arise. Many “tailgate” handymen do not have any or enough insurance to cover damage that might be done to your home or injury that might occur on the job leaving you as a homeowner at risk. Make sure you look for contractors who are thinking ahead by insuring against these two important situations.
4. Does the company offer a guarantee on their service and installations?
Part of being comfortable in your home is knowing that your service company is as committed to your comfort as you are. Look for a company that has a guarantee of their service and installation, is aware of and abides by the terms of manufacturers warranties, and wants to do whatever is reasonable to satisfy you.
5. What tax credits, rebates or incentives might be available for my project and is the contractor certified to take advantage of those?
Depending on the type of home heating or cooling equipment you are considering for installation or upgrade, you may qualify for federal or state tax credits and/or manufacturer and utility company rebates. Make sure you ask what incentives are available in your area and for the various types of equipment that are in consideration for your project. You also want to make sure your contractor properly documents your project to meet federal, state or local incentive program requirements. Several programs require installers to meet specific certification requirements as well. Make sure any contractor you are considering is certified to do so.
6. Do you have any unresolved complaints with the Better Business Bureau?
Anyone who has ever worked with the public knows it’s impossible to please all of the people all of the time, but a good contractor will not let disputes linger. Customer service and satisfaction should be the number one priority for any contractor you work with. A quick phone call to the Better Business Bureau is a good way to add to your level of comfort when choosing a contractor.
7. What manufacturers or equipment brands do you carry?
Your home comfort systems can be one of the largest investments you will make in your home. It can have a lasting impact on how you enjoy your home for years to come. So make sure your contractor is aware of, services and installs the latest in brands, systems and equipment that will best make your home comfort system a system you can trust. Don’t be afraid to do a little research on your own using the resources you have via the internet to look for brands with good reputations and then look for a contractor that has the experience to ensure your home will enjoy that reputation as well.
8. What kind of experience does the technician have on your kind of system?
Taking advantage of cutting edge technology in home comfort systems you can maximize energy efficiency, improve total home comfort, improve health and protect your family from allergens. Make sure any air conditioning contractor you are considering is aware of and experienced in servicing and installing the latest in technology. Many homes are also running strong on older systems that have served them well. Take a moment to ask a potential heating contractor what kind of experience they have in the system currently running in your home.
9. Do they offer financing?
Even if you don’t need to make payment arrangements in order to pay for the cost of repairs or new equipment, the ability to provide that service is a sign of a more stable, customer-oriented company. Look for a contractor that accepts all major credit cards, and is able to help you arrange financing for larger repairs or replacements.
10. Does the company give you choices?
There are a wide variety of options for heating and cooling your home. A good contractor will present you with choices in efficiency, controls, financing and more. They should provide these choices to you in an easy to read and professionally delivered format so you can make informed and educated decisions.
11. Are there more energy efficient options? Is the contractor aware of and up to date in understanding and selling energy efficient equipment?
Contractors should be up on the latest in energy-saving equipment, including Energy Star. Sometimes a higher initial cost may seem prohibitive, but the energy savings in the long run can far out way the initial cost. Look for a contractor who will discuss all options with you and not focus solely on initial price. Look for technicians who are trained in improving equipment efficiency and can instruct you on regular maintenance that will help you extend the life and efficiency of your equipment.
12. Can I get a bid and references?
Getting a bid and references is critical in making the choice of which heating and air conditioning contractor to work on your home comfort system. A professional, easy to understand bid allows you to make informed and educated decisions. A contractor should be ready and able to provide a list of recent customers who you can refer to in order to verify that the company in questions performed the work in a timely manner and to the customer’s satisfaction.
Choosing the right heating and air conditioning contractor should not be a random choice or luck of the draw. It is an important decision that can have a lasting impact on your home, your family and your peace of mind. Call Nebo Comfort Systems at 801-465-2709 today. We are committed to giving you service you can always trust on the systems you rely on the most.