Installing a new heating and cooling system can be a real headache, but finding the right HVAC installer can make the experience as pain-free as possible.
Here are three tips for screening potential contractors.
- Ask around: Ask neighbors and friends if they can recommend a good contractor— or if there’s someone you should avoid.
- Do your homework: When you talk to an HVAC contractor, don’t be afraid to ask a few tough questions. What are the contractor’s licensing and qualifications? Is the contractor a member of state and national contractor associations, such as Air Conditioning Contractors of America? Is he or she adequately insured? “It’s important to have these conversations before work begins,” says Alan Shedd, director of residential and commercial energy programs for Touchstone Energy. “That way, if there are any surprises after installation, you know what to expect.”
- Get an estimate—or three: Shedd advises getting three written estimates of the work to be performed. A good contractor will inspect your home and old system thoroughly and then explain your best replacement options. In addition to the bottom-line price of the installation, make sure each bid includes the estimated annual operating cost of the proposed HVAC system to be installed. Air conditioners are measured by Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)— the higher the SEER, the more efficient the unit.
Download the free guide: Questions to ask when replacing your HVAC