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How to review your HVAC contractor

Posted on: March 23, 2014

Investing in new air conditioning or heating equipment requires a sizable upfront investment. Your investment savvy can either make or break your comfort for the next few decades, so it pays to take the time to investigate the HVAC contractor whom you hire to do the work. Equipment selection, proper sizing methods and installation practices are just a few deciding factors that will either lead to an energy-efficient HVAC system, low energy bills and a system that lasts or a poorly performing unit, high energy bills and a shorter life span.

review your HVAC contractor

Hiring an HVAC Contractor? Review your HVAC contractor —Before You Buy

Before you hire an HVAC contractor, use these tips to check into the business:

  • A reputable HVAC contractor is a licensed one. This is the first and arguably most important factor you should check. Using an unlicensed contractors puts your investment at risk. If you work with one, and he does shoddy work, there’s little you can do about it. Check with the National Contractor License Service (CLSI), or you can also visit the Georgia Secretary of State website to check on a business’ licensure status.
  • Choose a professional who is also insured and bonded. Generally, if the contractor holds a license with the state, the company will also hold the proper insurance and bonding—since licensure boards require that businesses meet these standards before licensing the company. You can ask to see proof of insurance and bonding when interviewing the HVAC contractor.
  • Check with friends and family and ask about contractors with whom they’ve worked in the past. But don’t just get a list of the HVAC contractors. Ask the referrers detailed questions about the service performed, the quality of work, customer service standards, and so forth. You can also request a list of references from the contractor. Use these references to your advantage by asking strategic questions and visiting the home if possible to see the finished work.
  • Training and certifications also show the expertise and business acumen of contractors. Two of the more reputable certifications and affiliations a contractor can hold include NATE and ACCA. The North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification is the only independent, non-profit certification board to serve the HVAC industry. The organization’s high standard of testing approves only the finest technicians that really know their stuff, and the testing allows technicians to receive specialized certifications in areas like air conditioning, heating, ventilation and heat pumps. The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) is an industry association dedicated to environmental friendliness and energy efficiency. Jacob Heating & Air Conditioning is proud of our membership with ACCA and certifications with NATE, as we hold our technicians to the highest standards possible for the benefit of our customers.
  • Working with a factory authorized dealer helps consumers get the most knowledgeable technician possible to work on their systems. To be approved by a dealer, technicians must undergo rigorous training classes to thoroughly understand manufacturer-specific HVAC equipment and know how to properly size and install it. Jacob Heating & Air Conditioning is factory authorized with both Trane and Bryant.
  • New technologies on the market like heat pumps require specialized knowledge, which not every contractor may have. Jacob Heating & Air Conditioning technicians are well trained in Carrier’s and Bryant’s line of heat pumps, and we’ve helped countless West Volusia County homeowners upgrade their home heating and cooling systems to accommodate a heat pump.
  • The technician should use industry standard sizing and installation practices. Understanding the home’s efficiency as well as how the equipment works are just two factors that an experienced contractor will assess in order to properly size and install the systems. Seasoned technicians will follow the Air Conditioning Contractors of America methods for sizing, called the Manual J (to calculate the home’s heating and cooling load) and Manual S (to size the equipment to meet the home’s load).

Spend a little time investigating the company you hire to install an air conditioner or furnace. A qualified professional with the expertise to right-size the system and install it correctly will lead to a lasting investment. For more information about our installation procedures or training program, contact Jacob Heating & Air Conditioning today! We proudly serve our neighbors in West Volusia County with air conditioning, furnace and heat pump solutions, as well as dehumidifiers and indoor air quality services. Just give us a call today!