How to Assess the Qualifications of an HVAC Contractor
Is your HVAC system at least 10 years old? You may be planning to replace it in the next few years. Then again, if your HVAC system is newer, you must want to make sure that it continues to work right by scheduling consistent maintenance. In any case, you will have a need for an HVAC consultant sooner or later.
However, while you will find many HVAC companies out there, none of them are created equal. You have to choose wisely and you can only do that when you choose informed. There are many factors to consider before hiring an HVAC contractor, but none as crucial as qualifications.
Besides, your HVAC system is most likely the priciest equipment you have bought for your home, and you want to be assured that anybody who lays a hand on it is appropriately trained. States often require HVAC contractors to have a license; to have one, they need no less than five years of industry experience prior to the date of application.
Aside from a state license, they should also have a minimal level of bonding and insurance.
Once you have considered licensing, take your prospective contractor’s experience into account. Longevity alone isn’t a guarantee that a contractor will perform well on the job, but it does indicate stability, which in turn suggests that they are doing things right. Moreover, you can inquire about the certifications HVAC contractors and technicians are supposed to have: certification by organizations like the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) helps ensure that a technician is up to date with his education and experience in the industry.
Technician training often extends to all important facets of the industry, especially refrigerant handling and air balancing, which are considered to be two of the most vital. Check if the technicians have certification for handling refrigerants in the first place. Under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act, people who have no such certification must never be allowed to handle the coolant. Technicians these days also need to be trained in testing and balancing installations with the goal of increasing efficiency and comfort; the National Comfort Institute’s certification in air balancing is considered a training standard that homeowners need to be aware of.
Finally, find out what top brands are carried by your potential contractor, and the extent of training that their workers have for the said brands. Remember that each system or manufacturer is unique, and a quality HVAC contractor will see to it that their technicians are equipped with the right training for optimal installations.