How to Choose an HVAC Contractor in Baltimore02/19/2016Picking an HVAC contractor is an important decision that you shouldn’t decide upon without doing some investigating to be sure you’re making the right choice. First, choose a contractor who will ask you about your wants and needs and actually listen to you. With that information, they should be able to offer up to four options from which you can pick. When they schedule your installation, is it when you want to have it done, or when they can get to it? Will your contractor pull a permit on every job? Doing so will make certain that it meets all of your local codes. HVAC system installation is not a do-it yourself affair and a successful installation requires a contractor that is skilled in many areas, from load calculation to piping and a lot of steps in-between. You could get the highest rated system, but if it’s installed incorrectly you may not get ideal performance. Here are some other questions to help you make the best decision while finding your HVAC contractor. Are they NATE-certified? NATE (North American Technician Excellence) is the largest non-profit certification organization for HVAC technicians. Certified technicians have proven their knowledge in the HVAC industry by passing real-world and throrough tests created by a committee of industry professionals. NATE-certified contractors have met the highest industry standards for knowledgeable installation and service. NATE certification will provide you peace-of-mind knowing your contractor has finished rigorous professional training. Do they have references or referrals? A professional HVAC company ought to be able to provide you with a list of recent customers that you can refer to and verify the quality of their company’s work. Call their list of references and ask about their project and if they’d recommend the company. There are also official sources online such as the Better Business Bureau and ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America). The BBB allows you to check out the consumer ratings of an HVAC contractor and you’ll view any customer complaints against a company. The ACCA is a non-profit organization of more than 60,000 professionals and 4,000 businesses. Contractors found on ACCA are sure to be serious about their work and will be able to give referrals for previous work. Another option is crowdsourcing referrals from your friends and neighbors or on your social media networks. These are usually the most beneficial recommendations because they are coming from people you know. You’ll find out who to talk to and which contractors to avoid. If you’re on nextdoor.com you can literally ask for recommendations from people right next door. Contractors rely upon on positive word-of-mouth, so if someone you trust recommends them it’s likely they’ll do reliable work for you too. Are they properly licensed and insured? Not all states require licensure for heating and cooling contractors, but nearly all of them do. It’s easy to search online to find out if your state requires a license so you know whether or not to ask for one when receiving quotes from a contractor. The reason most states require licenses is simply to protect you from using a company that uses less than qualified workers. If you live in a state that requires licenses and the contractor you’re talking to doesn’t have one, it’s probably in your interest to look elsewhere to help circumvent any potential concerns. When is the best time to ask these questions? The best time to ask questions and pick an HVAC contractor is right now, before something happens to your system. Get your furnace inspected while it’s running as usual and schedule your yearly maintenance. Your family’s health, comfort and safety is our business at Quality Refrigeration in Baltimore. Our HVAC professionals would be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Call us at 410-355-6010 or you can simply set up an appointment with us online. We look forward to becoming your partner in keeping your system running safely and efficiently.