Steps For Selecting An HVAC Contractor
One of the most expensive purchases you will ever make for your home is an air conditioner -- whether you are replacing existing equipment or choosing a new heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system (HVAC) for a home.
Before you get to the part of selecting a system, you must first select the contractor. There are thousands of HVAC contractors in the state of Arizona. How do you know which one is right for you?
Regardless of whether time is of the essence or time is on your side, it is imperative to conduct thorough research when selecting an HVAC contractor. Unless you have worked in the HVAC field, you cannot expect to completely understand all the details in air conditioning; no homeowner can. This creates a situation where you might be taken advantage of and you need to proceed carefully.
When searching for a contractor you can trust , Jeff Carmichael, General Manager, REEIS Air Conditioning, a Rosie-Certified Partner, offers some questions to ask along the way.
Selecting the Contractor
- Confirm the company holds a license in good standing by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. Get the license number and check it out at ROC.AZ.gov under “contractor search.”
- Be sure the contractor carries insurance and is and bonded to protect the customer in case of accidental damage or injury.
- Get references and actually call them. Customers can provide valuable feedback regarding the customer service, cleanliness of the job, and timeliness of the contractors scheduled dates.
- Did the contractor do what he promised?
- Has he returned to fix problems that came up after installation?
- How do the customers like the air conditioner they chose?
- What impact have they seen on their utility bills, indoor air quality, and comfort?
- Ask your contractor to review the Manual J heat load calculation they performed to determine the amount of heating and cooling required to keep you warm in the heating months and cool and dry in the cooling months. The Manual J protocol will help the contractor determine the appropriate size AC unit that is needed for your home.
- Most homes in Arizona only have one return air grill per unit, this is where you replace your filter, only having one can lead to a restriction of airflow, ensure the contractor verifies you have enough return air for the size of your new system.
- Check how long the contractor has been in business. Choose someone who has been in business locally for at least five years, has a proven commitment to the job, and can be counted on to return if you have problems.
- Will the contractor provide a written estimate detailing a description of the project, along with estimated completion dates?
- What brands does the contractor carry? Few HVAC companies can afford to carry a large selection of brands and equipment. If you have your heart set on a specific manufacturer's model, that may limit your contractor choices.
- Choose a contractor who has experience with the system you select.
- Research tax credits or rebates. Many manufacturers offer rebates on specific models. Some projects also qualify for state or federal tax credits.Will your model or project will qualify for any of them? If so, insist your project is properly documented to meet these requirements.
- Who is responsible for submitting the paperwork for the rebates -- you or the contractor?
- Financing. Read all the financial paperwork carefully to fully understand what you will be responsible for and when it is due.
- Does the contractor offer financing or require full payment upon completion of the project?
- Do they require a deposit?
- Does the contractor offer a service contract? If so, review the contract so you know what the company will be responsible for and what is covered under the warranty.
- Equipment warranties require registration at the date and location of installation. Ask the HVAC company who will complete the warranty registration; them or you. Then make sure it gets done.
Once your AC system is up and running, it could be a decade or more before you replace it. Since you will be living with it for a long time, you want to choose it and the contractor wisely.
It's very important to have a trusted relationship with a HVAC company, on the leading edge of comfort, and have them evaluate your home during an Arizona summer. Jeff Carmichael of REEis Air Conditioning and Rosie give you honest information to think about when finding the right company so you don't lose your cool in a hot house! The problem may not be just your air conditioner.
Sponsored By: REEis Air Conditioning
Not sure where to start, or unsure if you have an issue? Get started with a free home evaluation with a REEIS home performance analyst. REEIS is a home performance contracting company. They deliver guaranteed results by analyzing and improving more than just the A/C. As one of the top Home Performance contractors in the nation, REEIS has been the recipient of the Century Club award given by Energy Star and the Department of Energy.
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