Whenever your heating, ventilation, or air conditioning (HVAC system) needs to be replaced or repaired, you will need to hire an HVAC contractor who is specialized and licensed to work on the equipment in your home. If you hire the wrong contractor, you may be one of the many homeowners who have an improperly installed HVAC system.
There are a number of guidelines that a homeowner should keep in mind in order to get the best value when hiring a heating and air conditioning contractor. An HVAC contractor should be properly trained, insured, and have certifications that comply with city codes.
However, homeowners frequently do not distinguish contractors on anything other than price. The lowest price is not always the best value! This leads to costly repairs, equipment not operating properly and in some cases a full system replacement. Artisan Air has compiled this list to ensure that you hire the right contractor for the job.
Always Verify That The Contractor Is Licensed, Insured And Carries The Proper Certifications
There are many HVAC contractors who claim to be licensed, but are actually working under the radar. A contractor should have their license number clearly marked on all of their promotional material, literature, invoices and on their website. For instance, Artisan Air Heating And Air Conditioning TSSA # 000293522 .
Without a licensed contractor your risking your safety and home insurance coverage, in the instance something were to happen (gas leaks, carbon monoxide poisoning, fires, ect) you will not be covered! Don’t trust anyone who doesn’t have a license or wont provide one. Ask the HVAC contractor to show you copies of their current licenses and certifications, by law every technician needs to have their license present with them at all times.
If you are unsure if a company is licensed always contact the TSSA TECHNICAL STANDARDS & SAFETY AUTHORITY to verify any contractor credentials.
Reputable contractors will be more than willing to give you the names, contact information and addresses of customers they've done work for in your area. Ask contractors for their references and call them. Just like a job interview, you want to make sure you hire the right candidate.
Some sample questions you should ask are:
Was the job completed on time and within budget?
Were you satisfied with the installation and service received?
Did they provide written warranties and written invoices?
Would you recommend them to anyone else?
How was the cleanup in the end? Did they leave any mess?
A reputable HVAC contractor should never be able to give an estimate over the phone. Every job is different and not every home is the same. Arrange a time for the contractor to come and inspect the job site. After a full inspection, your technician will assess what is most beneficial to your home’s needs. The right contractor will spend the time getting to know your home before the work begins. Smaller jobs could be priced out immediately while larger jobs may require additional time to quote properly.
Ensure that each estimate is written on a proper form (company name, address, phone number, relevant contact information,) that is legible and easy to understand. Be sure that the estimate includes the proper permits and licenses.
Some sample questions to ask the contractor during the quoting process:
Are you licensed, bonded and insured?
Who is responsible for removal of old equipment and materials?
What are your warranties on the equipment and does that include parts+labour?
What is the approximate start and completion dates?
Your Contractor Should Give You Written Invoices, Estimates And Warranties
Any reputable HVAC contractor should provide their customers with written estimates before any work begins and written invoices/warranties when the work is complete.
With upfront pricing your guaranteed to not have any unexpected costs. Your contractor should have a detailed breakdown of all the equipment, materials, parts and labour required to complete the job. Read the written contract carefully and make sure that all costs are clearly explained before you sign anything.
Don’t go with the lowest estimate if your unsure of the company. Call references, check reviews, get second opinions and do your research before committing to a contractor. A good contractor would never pressure you into installing new equipment without doing your research first.
The old saying goes "Good work ain't cheap, and cheap work ain't good". Spending more money upfront for quality workmanship will save you money, time and alot of headache further down the road.