How to Assess the Qualifications of an HVAC Contractor
Is your HVAC system at least 10 years old? You’re probably thinking of replacing it in a few years. In contrast, if your HVAC system is newer, you likely want to ensure that it keeps running optimally by scheduling regular maintenance. In any case, you will have a need for an HVAC consultant sooner or later.
However, though you will surely find a lot of HVAC companies these days, none of them will be exactly the same. You need to choose smart and that is only possible when you choose educated. 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. 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.
Once you have considered licensing, take your prospective contractor’s experience into account. Longevity by itself won’t guarantee a contractor’s good performance, but it does reflect stability as a business, which in turn conveys that the contractor is likely doing his job well. 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 typically covers various aspects of the industry, especially two of the most crucial: refrigerant handling and air balancing. Make sure the technicians are certified to handle refrigerants in the first place. Section 608 of the Clean Air Act dictates that a person without such certification should never be allowed to work 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, ask your prospective contractor if they carry top brands, and what training their technicians have with these 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.