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Top 10 Essential Qualities to Look For in an HVAC Contractor

Finding a good HVAC contractor can be summed up in two words--intimidating and annoying.

Finding a good HVAC contractor can be summed up in two words--intimidating and annoying.

Intimidating because there are countless contractors to choose from (you can confirm this with a quick glance in the yellow pages). Annoying because you don’t have an objective way of knowing which ones are worth your time and money.

Well, until now that is.

We’ve compiled the top 10 essential qualities an HVAC contractor should have before you even consider doing business with them. To make things fair, we adapted this list from an article by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). So we didn’t just choose qualities that best fit our company.

Top 10 HVAC Contractor Qualities

1) Has a good reputation

It pays to seek out contractor with consistently good reviews. Check out potential contractors on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website. The BBB is good third party that rates businesses on an A+ to F scale.

2) Is properly certified

An HVAC company should hire North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certified technicians. This tells you that the company hires technicians who are efficient, knowledgeable and professional.

3) Surveys your home, then estimates cost. Not vice versa

A contractor should always come out to your place to survey your home (this includes checking your air ducts for leaks) before they make any definite estimations. Anyone who tries to give you estimations over the phone before checking your home might be trying to pull the old bait and switch.

In other words, they’ll give you a low estimation over the phone and then jack up the price when they come to your home.

4) Won’t discourage you from buying higher efficiency equipment

Contractors who don’t stay up to date with the latest HVAC technology might discourage you from buying higher efficiency equipment because they don't know how to install it. A quality contractor will always be able to install the latest energy efficient models and can explain to you how much money those models can save you.

5) Can give you annual heating and cooling costs

Using heat-load and cooling-load calculations, a good contractor can estimate your home’s annual energy bills for the equipment they are suggesting you install.

6) Probably won’t have the lowest prices

Please don’t start your search looking for the lowest price. You’re almost guaranteed to find a fly-by-night freelance contractor who works out of his home, and is unlicensed and uninsured. He’ll most likely install your equipment improperly, which will contribute to higher energy bills.

You should consider price after you’ve narrowed your choices down to 2-3 quality contractors (which is what this list will help you do).

7) Belongs to a professional association

Look for contractors that belong to the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA). You can go to the ACCA website and search for contractors in your area that are ACCA Quality Assured.

8) Does not make assumptions about equipment sizing

Your current equipment might be improperly sized, which contributes to higher energy bills. With that in mind, a quality contractor won’t assume that he or she should replace your HVAC equipment with the same size unless proper measurements have been taken.

9) Sells quality products

Ask potential contractors if they sell ENERGY STAR rated products. This ensures that you’ll have quality, energy efficient equipment to choose from.

10) Works locally in an office or shop

A contractor shouldn’t be embarrassed if you came and visited his or her office (or house as is the case with unlicensed freelancers). A contractor having an office or shop tells you that the company has been in business and intends to remain in business, securing whatever guarantees and warranties they will provide you.

May the best contractor win

Use this list to find a quality contractor to install, maintain, or repair your HVAC equipment in your Sarasota-area home.

We hope you keep Cool Today in mind when searching for a quality contractor in the Sarasota-area. If you need any HVAC work done in your home, feel free to contact us online for a free, no-obiligation estimate.