For most homeowners, the spring cleaning "to do" list should include making sure the home stays cool as the weather gets warm. This may mean inspecting or replacing current air conditioning systems, or possibly installing a new air conditioner. In any case, the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor selected to inspect, upgrade or install an air conditioning system is as critical to the system's successful operation as the equipment itself.
The professionals at York® Heating and Cooling offer a number of suggestions to help homeowners select an HVAC contractor:
- Educate yourself. Even a little bit of information gleaned from books, magazines and online resources can prove invaluable as you pose questions to a potential contractor.
- Use whatever advertising you have at your disposal, and get recommendations from friends, coworkers, real estate agents and home improvement specialists.
- Check for membership in professional organizations such as NATE (North American Technician Excellence).
- Ask to see state and local licenses, liability insurance forms and worker's compensation documents. Be sure documents apply to the contractor as well as any technicians or subcontractors in his or her employ.
- Consider the number of years a contractor has been in business. In many cases, a reputation for quality, reliability and dependability grows with length of service to a community.
- A good HVAC contractor will visit your home to make an on-site inspection before any equipment recommendations are made. A load calculation should be part of that visit. A good contractor will also engage you in conversation in an effort to learn your expectations of an air conditioning system, as well as any concerns you may have.
- Research the selection of services a contractor offers. Is scheduled maintenance included? What about repairs? Is the contractor available 24 hours a day?
- Ask for references and check those references. In the end, references probably have the greatest impact on a homeowner who is considering a contractor. However, references should be considered in conjunction with other information gained through your search.