There are many factors to take into consideration when choosing an HVAC contractor, so it is best to do some research before signing any contracts. When you need a new system or have not had your furnace regularly serviced, knowing what to look for can help you choose the right contractor. Thus, this content is all about that.
Here are some things to consider when looking for the right HVAC contractor:
When diagnosing problems with your HVAC unit, the professional should always start at the easiest possible cause and work their way up. This means that if there is an obvious problem with one part of the unit, they will focus on fixing this instead of just replacing parts without testing them first.
If they simply replace parts without checking them, they may not solve the problem and will be putting your money towards a useless replacement.
Free Site Inspection
Try to find a contractor who offers a free site inspection first, as this is where they diagnose whether parts need to be replaced or if there are other problems. They should also have no problem going over the quote with you so that you can understand what was done and what work still needs to be done.
Along with the free site inspection, it is helpful for them to provide an estimate of how long they think any repairs or replacements will take so that you know if their services fit into your schedule.
Another thing to consider when receiving a diagnosis is determining if they have all of the necessary equipment needed for diagnosing your system. Some contractors might offer a free site inspection but lack the equipment needed to accurately diagnose your system, which is something you should avoid.
One last thing that should be considered is if they have expert technicians or just rely on things such as online manuals and videos for guidance. If they solely rely on the internet, it may become difficult for them to provide accurate solutions as some problems could require more steps than those offered in an article or video.
An HVAC contractor who knows how to properly diagnose issues will save you time and money by not wasting either one during their work.
Cheap vs Expensive Parts: What to Look For
Before any repairs are done on your HVAC unit, it is best to check whether or not the parts being installed are high quality or cheap substitutes. If there are any doubts about the quality of a part, ask for more information on it and if you should be concerned about it breaking down quickly.
Some HVAC contractors will use cheap parts to reduce their overall costs even though they lead to higher expenses in the future.
Other contractors might just not have the expertise needed to find good deals on equipment, so they may go with installing cheaper parts without considering that these components could break down within one year while originals would last up to eight years.
While one year may not sound too bad at first, this can cause problems when it comes time for repairs as there is no guarantee that you will install better components after only a few months.
To avoid the problem of cheap parts, look for an HVAC contractor who buys their equipment or at least has a network of vendors they go through for all products and services needed. This way you can be guaranteed that your system will have good components installed without having to worry about them falling in a few years from now.
You should ask if they have an agreement with any vendor where they get discounts on price due to volume purchased, as this may bring up overall costs but save you money in the future when it comes time for repairs and replacements.
Repairs vs Replacements: What to Look For
Another thing to consider when hiring an HVAC contractor is how often they replace parts instead of just repairing them. Some contractors may do this to make more money or even because of the lack of skill needed to diagnose an issue, but it will cost you more in the long run.
As stated before, some parts are only guaranteed for one year while originals are good for up to eight years. If your HVAC contractor replaces components that aren’t yet at their expected life cycle, then you will have to pay for new ones within a year or two anyway.
This means that they would have charged you more than double what it would have cost by just repairing the components if they had only diagnosed the problems correctly.
To avoid this problem, find out if your potential contractor has experience with diagnosing issues on your model of the system as well as whether or not they have all of the tools needed for testing it.
If they lack skill in these two areas, then you might want to consider hiring a different professional who can accurately diagnose any issues with your system instead of just swapping parts until the problem is found.