Picking an HVAC contractor is an important decision that you shouldn’t decide upon without doing some homework to be sure you’re making the right choice.

First, find a contractor who will ask you about your wants and needs and more important, listen to you. With that tidbit, they should be able to offer up to four options from which you can choose.

When they schedule your installation, is it when you wish to have it done, or when they can get to it? 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 improperly installed you may not get ideal performance.

Here are a few other questions to help you make the best decision while researching your HVAC contractor.

Do they have NATE-Certification?

NATE (North American Technician Excellence) is the largest nonprofit certification organization for HVAC technicians. Certified technicians have proven their knowledge in the HVAC industry by passing real-world and thorough tests developed by a committee of industry professionals. NATE-certified contractors have met the highest industry standards for knowledgeable installation and service. NATE certification will provide you peace of mind knowing your contractor has completed rigorous professional training.

Can they provide 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 tell you about the quality of their company’s work. Chat with their list of references and ask about their project and if they’d recommend their work.

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 have the ability to see any customer complaints against a company. The ACCA is a nonprofit organization of more than 60,000 professionals and 4,000 businesses. Contractors found on ACCA are sure to be serious about their work and will be able to provide referrals for previous work.

Another way is crowdsourcing referrals from your friends and neighbors or on your social media networks. These are typically the most beneficial recommendations because they are coming from people you know. You’ll find out who to talk with 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 recommends them it’s likely they’ll do great work for you too.

Do you know if they’re 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 see if your state requires a license so you know whether or not to ask for one when receiving quotes from a contractor. The reason many 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 better to look elsewhere to help get around any potential concerns.

When is the best time to ask these questions?

The best time to ask questions and choose an HVAC contractor is right now, before something happens to your system. Get your furnace inspected while it’s running properly and arrange your yearly maintenance.

Your family’s health, comfort and safety is our business at Jack's Heating, Cooling, Stoves & Fireplaces in Alliance. Our HVAC experts would be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Call us at 308-321-4703. We look forward to becoming your partner in keeping your system running safely and efficiently.