How to Choose an HVAC Contractor in Augusta02/19/2016Picking an HVAC contractor is an important decision that shouldn’t be made without doing some homework to be sure you’re making the best choice. First, choose a contractor who will ask you about your wants and needs and actually listen to you. With that tidbit, they should be able to show you up to four options from which you can choose. When they arrange your installation, is it when you want to have it done, or when they can fit you in? Will your contractor pull a permit on every job? Doing so will make certain that it meets all of your local codes. HVAC system installation is not something you can do yourself and a successful installation requires a contractor that is skilled in many areas, from load calculation to piping and quite a few steps in-between. You could get the top-of-the-line system, but if it’s installed incorrectly you may not get the best performance. Here are a couple other questions to help you make the best selection while finding 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 rigorous tests developed by a committee of industry experts. 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 completed in-depth professional training. Do they have references or referrals? A professional HVAC company should be able to provide you with a list of recent customers that you can chat with and verify 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 non-profit organization of more than 60,000 professionals and 4,000 businesses. Contractors found on ACCA are sure to be committed to their trade and will be able to provide referrals for previous work. Another option is crowdsourcing referrals from your friends and neighbors or on your social media networks. These are usually the most valuable 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 count on on positive word-of-mouth, so if someone you trust recommends them it’s likely they’ll do great work for you too. Are they properly 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 determine if your state requires a license so you know whether or not to ask for one when getting quotes from a contractor. The reason a lot of 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 get around any potential issues. 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 inspected while it’s operating as usual and set up your annual maintenance. Your family’s health, comfort and safety is our business at Sig Cox Heating and Air Conditioning in Augusta. Our HVAC experts would be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Call us at 706-722-5304 or you can simply set up an appointment with us online. We look forward to becoming your partner in keeping your system running safely and efficiently.