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. If your HVAC system is newer, on the other hand, you will likely do everything to ensure that it runs well by scheduling periodic maintenance. In any case, you will have a need for an HVAC consultant sooner or later.
But while you will find a lot of HVAC companies today, they’re not all made equal. You must pick wisely and that you can do only if you are well-informed. There are certainly lots of factors to look into before hiring an HVAC contractor, but none as vital 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. Most states need HVAC industry to have a license, which they can obtain only after gaining a minimum of five years’ experience before their application date.
Additionally, they need a minimal level of insurance and bonding too.
After considering licensing, check your potential contractor’s experience. 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. Furthermore, you can ask them if they possess any certifications that HVAC technicians and companies normally have: certification by associations such as the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) adds to your peace of mind, knowing that a technician or contractor is updated with their education and experience in the HVAC business.
Technician training can cover several areas of the industry, but most importantly, the air balancing and handling of refrigerants. Make sure the technicians are certified to handle refrigerants in the first place. According to Section 608 of the Clean Air Act, anybody who does not have such certification is prohibited from working with the coolant. Technicians nowadays should be trained in testing and balancing installations to ensure comfort and efficiency; the National Comfort Institute’s air balancing certification is now viewed as a standard for training that every homeowner does well to know.
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.