For some homeowners, replacing their home’s air conditioning and heating system is a thoroughly-researched and considered decision. However in most cases, an unexpected and inconvenient breakdown results in urgency playing a larger role than it should when choosing an HVAC contractor. If you find yourself in a pinch and are about to make a quick decision, remember that some groundwork up front can prevent major headaches down the road. Here are some guidelines you can follow to protect yourself, your home and your wallet.
1. Obtain Referrals
Whether you ask family, friends and coworkers about their experiences with local HVAC contractors – or seek information from websites like the Better Business Bureau, Home Advisor, Yelp or Angie’s List – it’s always a good idea to seek recommendations. If you cannot find any information on a company you’re considering, or if the info you find is not positive, you should reevaluate having that contractor do the work.
2. Check for Proper Licenses
Confirm the contractor is licensed to do the type of work you need. You can search and verify licenses on the website for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. You should also request evidence of liability and workman’s compensation insurance. This can help safeguard you from faulty work or if an injury is sustained by a worker on your property.
3. Obtain an Estimate in Writing
Having an estimate in writing allows you to compare total cost as well as other important features of a new HVAC system. Estimates should include equipment efficiency standards and product warranty terms. Cheaper is not always better, especially when it comes to high-efficiency heating and air conditioning systems that can help save energy dollars in the long run. Having these facts in writing can help you decide which options best suit your needs.
4. Required On-Site Evaluation
If you need a complete air conditioning and heating system replacement, the contractor should perform an on-site evaluation to make the appropriate equipment recommendations. Beware if recommendations and estimates are provided before the HVAC company has visited your home. The contractor should fully understand the unique needs and configuration of your home, and include all additional work, such as duct work or relocating equipment, in their estimate.
5. Know What You’re Signing
Before you sign a purchase contract for a new system, make sure all the blanks have been filled in, and that you read and understand what the contract says. Make sure it’s clear when the work begins and ends, and what’s included. If the contractor makes you feel rushed, you may want to question the motive and reconsider your choice.
6. Pay When the Job is Done
It’s normal for a contractor to require a deposit before work begins. However, you want to make sure the job is complete, and to your satisfaction, before paying the balance. Be sure all work is done before you sign the certificate of completion. It’s possible that a bad apple could require payment upfront and then vanish without completing the job.
Whether you’ve had ample time to think about replacing your system, or you’re making an unexpected decision during the heat of summer, using these guidelines in making your selection will help ensure you select the right contractor for the job.
If you’re looking for an HVAC company you can rely on to provide peace of mind throughout the installation process, contact our team for a free in-home estimate. Constellation Home, serving the Houston area, is one of the nation’s leading A/C and heating experts, with decades of experience helping customers save energy and money. Call 1-844-823-4662, or request an estimate online.