How to Choose an HVAC Contractor in Columbia02/19/2016Choosing an HVAC contractor is an important decision that you shouldn’t make without doing some research to make sure you’re making the best choice. First, select a contractor who will ask you about your wants and needs and more importantly, listen to you. With that noted, they should be able to show you up to four options from which you can choose. When they set up your installation, is it when you wish to have it done, or when they can fit you in? Will your contractor pull a permit on every job? Doing so will make certain that 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 a variety of areas, from load calculation to piping and a lot of steps in-between. You could get the highest rated system, but if it’s installed incorrectly you may not get the best performance. Here are some other questions to help you make the best choice while searching for your HVAC contractor. Are they NATE-certified? NATE (North American Technician Excellence) is the largest non-profit certification organization for HVAC technicians. Certified technicians have verified their knowledge in the HVAC industry by passing real-world and rigorous tests created by a committee of industry experts. NATE-certified contractors have met the highest industry standards for knowledgeable installation and service. NATE certification will give you peace-of-mind knowing your contractor has finished intense 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 refer to and confirm the quality of their company’s work. Talk to their list of references and ask about their project and if they’d recommend them to you. 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 view any customer complaints against a company. The ACCA is a non-profit organization of more than 60,000 professionals and 4,000 businesses. Contractors found on ACCA are sure to be serious about their trade and will be able to offer referrals for previous work. Another option is crowdsourcing referrals from your friends and neighbors or on your social media networks. These are usually the most beneficial recommendations because they are coming from people you know. You’ll find out who to talk to and which contractors to avoid. If you’re on nextdoor.com you can literally ask for recommendations from people right next door. Contractors rely on positive word-of-mouth, so if someone you trust stands by them it’s likely they’ll do great work for you too. Are they properly licensed and insured? Not all states require licensure for heating and cooling contractors, but nearly all of them do. It’s easy to search online to find out if your state requires a license so you know whether or not to ask for one when getting quotes from a contractor. The reason a lot of states require licenses is simply to protect 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 get around any potential problems. When is the best time to ask these questions? The best time to ask questions and pick an HVAC contractor is right now, before something happens to your system. Get your furnace checked out while it’s working properly and set up your routine maintenance. Your family’s health, comfort and safety is our business at Alltemp Comfort Services LLC in Columbia. Our HVAC experts would be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Call us at 803-318-6995 or you can simply schedule an appointment with us online. We look forward to becoming your partner in keeping your system running safely and efficiently.