How to Hire a Heating and Cooling Contractor
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
We’re going to take a break from doors and provide some helpful tips to hire a heating and cooling contractor:
- Study: Find out the license and insurance requirements for contractors in your state. Prior to calling a contractor, understand the model of your current system and its maintenance history. Make note of any uncomfortable rooms to help potential contractors understand your needs.
- Ask for referrals: Ask around. Ask your friends, co-workers, and neighbors for contractor referrals. Local trade organizations should know the contractors in your area too.
- Call references: Ask contractors for references from their previous customers and call them! Ask about the contractor’s performance, timeliness, and budget.
- Find special offers: A heating and cooling system is one of the largest purchases you will make as a homeowner. Look for rebates on Energy Star, qualified heating and cooling equipment. www.energystar.gov is a good place to start.
- ENERGY STAR: Energy Star products meet strict energy efficiency guidelines put in place by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and will in turn offer long-term energy savings.
- Expect a home evaluation: The contractor should spend time inspecting your current system to assess your needs. Bigger systems are not always better. Your heating and cooling system should not be based on the size of your home. A good contractor will inspect your duct system for air leaks and insulation, and even measure airflow.
- Get itemized estimates in writing: When comparing proposals from different contractors, you should be able to compare the cost, energy efficiency and warranties prior to installation. Lower prices do not always indicate better deals. They could be associated with higher costs in the future.
- Get it in ink: Sign a written proposal with a contractor prior to beginning the job. Specifying costs, model numbers, job schedule and warranty information can only be beneficial.
- Pass it on: Refer good service to your friends and family! Last year, 71% of homeowners who knowingly purchased Energy Star products said they would recommend Energy Star to anyone.