You’ve decided to sell your home, which means it’s time to have your heating and air conditioning system checked one last time before closing. Or perhaps you need to do repairs as part of a sales contract agreement. Or maybe your house has reached the age at which a new, more energy efficient system should be installed. All three scenarios lead you to the same question: How do you go about finding a reputable heating and air conditioning contractor?
The heating and air conditioning system in a house is complex and contains expensive components. Annual maintenance checks ensure smooth operation. Minimize expensive surprises by keeping on top of maintenance over the years. Because health and safety issues, especially those involving proper ventilation, are involved, it’s best to leave this type of work to trained professionals.
Finding a good heating and air conditioning contractor requires doing your homework — just as it does when you’re hiring any contractor to work in your home. Seek out personal referrals from friends, family, neighbors and coworkers, and then use the internet to vet the companies. Use sites like Home Advisor, Yelp, Trusted Pros and Angie’s List.
The Better Business Bureau is also a stalwart source of information, which you can find at www.bbb.org. Look for contractors who are part of the bureau’s “accredited” program, meaning they have agreed to the group’s standards for handling customers with integrity. You will also be able to see how long companies have been in business, their complaint histories and how they’ve handled them.
Longevity in business is a good sign, because poorly run businesses don’t last. A contractor in business for decades is doing something right.
Heating and air conditioning contractors are required to be licensed in every state in which they do business. Using the link provided by the Better Business Bureau, go to the state licensing agency’s website to search for potential contractors. Also, check to see if the contractor in question carries liability insurance and worker’s compensation if employees will be on your job site.
Several online sites provide consumer reviews, but exercise caution when reading these. Comments, both pro and con, are often not verified for accuracy.
Obtain three written bids from contractors. The cheapest and most expensive bids are not necessarily indicators of which to choose. Be sure to get an estimate on how long the job should take. Ask yourself if you’ll be happy working closely with one of the contractors.