How to Choose an HVAC Contractor in the Main Line02/19/2016Selecting an HVAC contractor is an important decision that shouldn’t be made without doing some research to make sure you’re making the correct choice. First, choose a contractor who will ask you about your wants and needs and more importantly, listen to you. With that information, they should be able to offer up to four options from which you can pick. When they schedule your installation, is it when you wish to have it done, or when they can squeeze you in? Will your contractor pull a permit on every job? Doing so will ensure it meets all of your local codes. HVAC system installation is not a DIY job and a successful installation requires a contractor that is skilled in a number of areas, from load calculation to piping and a bunch of steps in-between. You could get the best system, but if it’s installed incorrectly you may not get the best performance. Here are a few 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 throrough tests created by a committee of industry professionals. NATE-certified contractors have met the highest industry standards for knowledgeable installation and service. NATE certification will offer you peace-of-mind knowing your contractor has finished rigorous professional training. Do they have references or referrals? A professional HVAC company will be able to provide you with a list of recent customers that you can talk to and verify the quality of their company’s work. Call their list of references and ask about their project and if they’d recommend the company. There are also official sources online such as the Better Business Bureau and ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America). The BBB allows you to check out 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 dedicated to their trade and will be able to provide referrals for previous work. Another route is crowdsourcing referrals from your friends and neighbors or on your social media networks. These are typically the most useful recommendations because they are coming from people you know. You’ll find out who to check out 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 backs them it’s likely they’ll do reliable work for you too. Are they properly licensed and insured? Not all states require licensure for heating and cooling contractors, but almost all of them do. It’s easy to search online to see if your state requires a license so you know whether or not to ask for one when gathering quotes from a contractor. The reason many states require licenses is simply to keep 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 avoid any potential problems. When is the best time to ask these questions? The best time to ask questions and find an HVAC contractor is right now, before something occurs with your system. Get your furnace checked out while it’s operating as usual and arrange your routine maintenance. Your family’s health, comfort and safety is our business at O'Brien Heating & Air Conditioning in the Main Line. Our HVAC pros would be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Call us at 610-626-2540 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.