9 Tips for Hiring a Heating & Cooling Contractor
Choosing an HVAC contractor isn’t something most people do every day, so it’s important to rely on tips from credible resources like Energy Star to help make a decision you won’t regret. While Capital Heating & Cooling provides residential and commercial heating and cooling services, this article is geared towards helping homeowners choose the right local HVAC Company.
ENERGY STAR recommendations on How to Choose an HVAC Contractor:
1. Expect an in-home consultation — The HVAC Company should spend significant time inspecting your current system and measuring your home to assess your needs. A bigger system isn’t always better; a contractor should size the heating and cooling system based on the size of your house using a room by room heat loss calculation AKA Manual J Load calculation. The level of insulation and windows in the home may also affect the size heating or cooling your home will need. A good contractor will also inspect your duct system for air leaks and insulation and measure airflow to make sure it meets manufacturer’s specifications.
2. Written estimates that are itemized and easy to understand – Anyone can make something cheaper by cutting corners. The lowest price may not be the best deal if it’s not the most efficient because your energy costs will be higher. When comparing HVAC installation estimates be sure to compare cost, energy efficiency and warranties. Capital Heating & Cooling offers a free second consultation to help you interpret what the estimates actually include. This service is free, even if you don’t choose us to install your new HVAC equipment!
3. Professionalism – Keep a pulse on how your experience with the company begins. Did you have to chase them to schedule your consultation? Did they follow up in a timely manner? Did they thank you for the opportunity? Did they wear shoe covers in your home? All these things can lead to a very bad experience if not done by the contractor. The process of having a new furnace or air conditioner installed in your home should not be work for you.
4. Get a written contract — getting the scope of your job in writing will protect you by specifying project costs, model numbers, job schedule and warranty information. A reputable HVAC company will not start work without a mutually signed contract that outlines the terms and expectations.
5. Do your homework — Make sure the HVAC contractor is properly licensed in Wisconsin and insurance. Hiring an HVAC company without insurance means you’re liable if an accident happens in your home on the job.
6. Ask for referrals — Check out their reputation in the community by looking at online reviews on sites like BBB, Angie’s List, Google, Judy’s Book, Yelp, and more. Ask your friends, neighbors what HVAC contractor they use and trust.
7. Call references — a reputable contractor won’t hesitate to give you customer references.
8. Special Offers — ask the contractor about rebates or incentives for new equipment will help keep your heating and air conditioning installation costs down. A respectable contractor will proactively present savings opportunities to you, but it’s always good to ask! You can begin your search at www.energystar.gov.
9. Look for ENERGY STAR — do they offer ENERGY STAR qualified products? HVAC contractors should be able to show you calculations of savings for ENERGY STAR heating and cooling equipment.