When choosing a residential HVAC contractor in Central California, there’s no shortage of options. That’s good for finding a professional for your heating and cooling system. However, not every contractor offers the same level of service. Vetting a provider requires knowing what to look for, besides a worker with some equipment and a knack for persuasion. Here’s what you need to look for when choosing the right AC or heating contractor.
See Proof of Licensing and Certification
Just because someone has a truck with a fancy logo and a few tools doesn’t mean they’re qualified to work on your HVAC system. Ask to see proof they’re licensed by the state license board. Contractors in the business must have knowledge and expertise in construction work as they often encounter gas, plumbing, and electrical lines.
Research your state’s HVAC contractor licensing requirements to know what to look for. Credentials are also important. Check what types of school programs, degrees, and certifications they have. Have they completed an apprenticeship or hold a North American Trade Excellence (NATE), HVAC Excellence, or EPA 606 Certification?
Find a Contractor Familiar with Your Type of System
If a company’s website doesn’t list your type of HVAC equipment, ask them directly. Some contractors specialize in commercial AC/heating systems. Unless they have expertise in residential equipment, keep searching. Their technicians are probably not trained to manage the HVAC needs of a homeowner.
The services offered must pertain to your needs. A heating professional is skilled at installing, repairing, or tuning up furnaces and heat pumps, while an AC tech is familiar with their respective services. Meanwhile, a ventilation professional can find solutions to improve indoor air quality.
Find the Right Type of Contractor
There are lots of general contractors in the industry. They’re often hands-on and can be trusted to manage remodeling projects. However, they’re often not HVAC contractors themselves. They possibly work with and oversee HVAC technicians, who can be great for one-off repairs. But if you have a larger project involving your heating and cooling equipment, ductwork, or ventilation system, go with a more qualified HVAC contractor.
Speak with References
Reading reviews of local AC and heating contractors can be helpful. They can give you valuable insights into the experiences past customers have had. You can also talk to friends, neighbors, and relatives who’ve used an HVAC contractor before. Another useful strategy is to ask the contractor to connect you with references. These customers have hired the company for HVAC repairs and installation in the past and are willing to discuss their experiences with you on behalf of the business. A willingness to share references is a good sign.
Compare Multiple Bids
Get at least three bids from local heating contractors. It lets you see how your money will be used. These bids are not just about finding the lowest estimate. If an offer is too low, ask why; the company may potentially cut corners or leave out important details, which will cost you more later. Get as detailed a quote as possible, in writing, so you fully understand the offer and can decide who to write off and who to consider hiring.
Know the Right Questions to Ask
When vetting AC and heating contractors, don’t be shy about asking questions. Whether you speak with them in person, by phone, or email, you want to ask the following:
- What is your level of training?
- What type of HVAC experience do you have?
- Are your rates fixed or charged hourly?
- Do you work with my type of HVAC system?
- Can you explain your payment terms?
- How is your project estimate determined?
- What if there are changes to the project’s original plan?
Schedule an In-Home Consultation
An HVAC contractor can’t fully grasp a project’s scope unless they see your heating and cooling system up close. An equipment inspection helps determine how to proceed with repairs. Meanwhile, an installer should thoroughly evaluate your home to determine the best type and size of heating and cooling solution. Its square footage, insulation quality, and number of windows, plus the condition of ductwork, help find the ideal system. When drafting an estimate, the contractor should consider energy efficiency, equipment size, and warranties.
Contact Monarch Home Services
Our licensed professionals are equipped and trained to address different homeowners’ needs. Whether you need a heating contractor for a repair or to replace your existing furnace or heat pump, we’ll provide honest pricing and high-quality workmanship. We specialize in gas-fired and electric furnaces, mini-split systems, radiant heating systems, and ductless HVAC equipment. Members of our maintenance program receive priority services and care that can improve system performance, efficiency, and longevity.
To learn more, request service, or obtain a free quote, call (661) 215-6679 today.