One of the most important things you can do when choosing an HVAC contractor is to take your time and make an informed decision. That isn't always possible when operating in emergency situations. This is why it's a good idea to develop a relationship with an HVAC company or contractor long before an emergency arises. These are some of the characteristics you want to find in your HVAC contractor.
Actual industry experience can make up for shortcomings in formal education and other areas of operating a business. This is especially true if you're working with older HVAC systems and trying to make informed decisions about where to make repairs to your unit or replace it altogether. You don't need to have HVAC contractors who walked with dinosaurs, but you do need to have those who have been around long enough to have solid experience with your HVAC system and the various problems associated with that system.
Reputation and References
Ask around before making your final decision. People you know and trust can tell you things you might not find in online reviews or company advertisements. People you know can answer questions about whether the contractor cleans up after themselves, if they charge more than their estimates, and even if they seem to sell you services or equipment you may not actually need. Conversely, they can tell you who goes above and beyond.
Brands, Certifications, and Authorizations
In your search, you may have come across statements like "Trane authorized dealer" or "Carrier certified technicians." These statements have a deeper meaning than you may realize. It means that they have gone through additional training from the manufacturers of these products to install and repair manufacturer-specific equipment. It's a broad indication, if you own HVAC equipment from those carriers, that they have specialized training from the manufacturer to work on your equipment. It's also an indication that if you're purchasing new HVAC equipment and seeking installation services, that they can handle the job.
Licenses, Bonding, and Insurance
Finally, you want to make sure they are licensed in your state, if licensing for HVAC contractors is required, and that they are bonded and insured so that if something does go wrong during the installation process, you have protection and recourse for damages to your home or your HVAC system.
Consider getting quotes from at least three HVAC contractors before making a decision on major repairs. However, building a relationship can help you avoid the pressure of emergencies by knowing a name you can trust from the start. Finding HVAC contractors with these traits will help. Look for an HVAC contractor near you.