Picking an HVAC contractor is an important decision that you shouldn’t make without doing some investigating to be sure you’re making the right choice.

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

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

HVAC system installation is not a do-it-yourself affair and a successful installation requires a contractor that is skilled in many areas, from load calculation to piping and a bunch of steps in between. You could get the best system, but if it’s improperly installed you may not get the best performance.

Here are some other questions to help you make the best decision while searching for your HVAC contractor.

Are They Certified?

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

Do they have references or referrals?

A professional HVAC company should be able to provide you with a list of recent customers that you can chat with and verify 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 be shown 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 dedicated to their work 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 usually the most useful recommendations because they are coming from people you know. You’ll find out who to talk with 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 see if your state requires a license so you know whether or not to ask for one when getting quotes from a contractor. The reason many 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 should you ask about these questions?

The best time to ask questions and find an HVAC contractor is right now, before something happens to your system. Get your furnace inspected while it’s running normally and schedule your yearly maintenance.

Your family’s health, comfort and safety is our business at Home Furniture, Plumbing & Heating in Kankakee. Our HVAC pros would be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Call us at 815-933-8213. We look forward to becoming your partner in keeping your system running safely and efficiently.