AC on the blink? How to hire a HVAC company

Jasko Halimanovic
Jasko Halimanovic
Published on May 12, 2021

How’s your HVAC system? Specifically, the cooling aspect of it?

Checking your air conditioning system now is a good idea; you’ll have a chance to remedy any problems before the weather starts heating up this summer. Even if all that’s needed is a tune up, the time for action is now.

Why?

“The cost to replace an HVAC system averages $7,000, with a typical range of $5,000 to $10,000,” say the pros at homeadvisor.com.

And, as you can imagine, the most expensive time of year for hiring HVAC technicians is when they’re busiest: the summer.

Be prepared

Check your system for labels that list the model number. Jot that number down for the contractors that you interview.

Next, learn about state requirements for HVAC contractors, including licensing and insurance.

Finally, run the system for about an hour (if it’s in working condition) and check each room of the home, making note of rooms that don’t appear to be cooling as well as others.

Find contractors to interview

Referrals are always the best way to find a good contractor. Ask neighbors, people you work with, friends and family who they recommend.

You might also find referrals if you’re a member of your neighborhood at nextdoor.com. Create a post asking specifically for referrals to good AC contractors.

Finally, don’t waste time interviewing companies with bad reviews. Check each one on your list by reading the reviews at Yelp and, on Google, search for “HVAC companies” or “air conditioning technicians” in your town and those reviewed by Google appear in three boxes at the top of the search results page.

Finally, head on over to the Better Business Bureau’s website to see if there are complaints against any of the companies on your list.

Make appointments with A/C technicians

When making an appointment with AC company representatives to visit your home, ask them to bring with them the following:

  • List of references
  • Copy of their state license
  • Proof of bonding and insurance
  • Proof of certification to handle refrigerants

During the home visit

The experts at energystar.gov suggest that “… the contractor should spend significant time inspecting your current system.”

This includes checking the duct system for leaks and inspecting your current system’s “… airflow to make sure it meets manufacturers specifications.”

Finally, request that the itemized estimate be in writing and that it should include not only the cost of the work to be performed, but model number of the equipment they will be installing (if applicable).

Request as well that the estimate include a schedule for the project and any warranty information for equipment to be installed.

Making the final decision

Before deciding on a company, call the supplied references for each one. Ask each customer the following questions, in addition to any that you may have after the interview:

  • Was the job completed on time?
  • Did the project go over budget?
  • Was the completion of the project to your satisfaction?
  • Were there any significant problems?

When you finally choose a HVAC contractor, go over the proposal or contract thoroughly, ensuring all of your requests are included.

Summer is almost upon us, so ensure that your home will offer shelter from the heat by fixing air conditioning problems now.

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