Just like any home appliance, your HVAC system can serve you for many years to come when properly used and cared for. If your HVAC system is relatively new, schedule annual maintenance services with your local contractor (e.g. in Santa Clarita) to keep it running correctly. If you have a unit that’s been around for more than 10 years, you may have to get a replacement soon.
If you don’t already have a home services contractor, you will want to look for someone close to where you live, i.e. Santa Clarita, LA, etc. This will ensure that you’ll be able to get your services promptly and are able to get them back just as quickly if any issues arise. Before you decide who to hire, here are some things you should look for to determine if they’re good:
1. Proper Training and Licencing
Your HVAC is the most expensive equipment in your house, so it’s fair to be picky about who you hire to carry out maintenance or replace it. When screening your potential contractors, the first thing you should find out is if they are officially licensed. If they have successfully obtained an HVAC license, it means that they’ve had a number of years of field experience under their belt and have the qualifications to carry out the job.
Aside from the contractor, you should also ensure that any technician they bring in for support also has the proper training to handle the assigned tasks. They should be certified through organizations such as the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) to ensure they are well-versed in handling the refrigerant and air balancing.
If you already have a brand in mind, it’s worth asking if they have the training for it, as each system has a unique installation process with its own quirks.
2. Liability Insurance
It’s important that the contractors you screen have liability insurance that covers themselves and their technicians. In the case that an injury occurs in your home or on your property, you’ll have no liability or responsibility. Don’t assume that the coverage of your home insurance will extend to the workers, as most only cover your guests.
The contractor having liability insurance would give you peace of mind as you’re protected from being sued if anything does happen on your property. Turn away from any contractor who says they don’t have any type of insurance or coverage.
3. Customer Service
You can usually gauge the level of customer service you’ll get upon your first interaction with the contractor and his/her company. For example, when you call a home services contractor/company from Pasadena, pay attention to how attentive they are to your inquiries and how thorough they are when answering your questions. You want to be confident that the contractor or company you hire to do the job will follow through with what they’re hired to do, and be transparent with what they are doing. You also want to hire someone who will provide support and troubleshooting even after everything is done.
There’s nothing worse than being kept in the dark while your HVAC is getting replaced. Imagine if the wrong system is installed and you only find out after everything is done because there was no communication!
4. Rebates and Special Offers
If there is a chance for you to keep your contractor and continue to hire them in the future as your main handyman/handywoman, it’s worth it to find out if they offer any promotions or loyalty programs. This can save you quite a bit of money if you have another big job for them later on.
You can also shop around and see which brands and models of HVAC are offering rebates for those choosing energy-efficient equipment.
Always inquire about the turnaround time for any job that needs to be done. Everyone has things to do and responsibilities to take care of, so it’s not unreasonable to discuss the quickest time they can complete the job.
Have the agreed timeline included in the contract with stipulations stating that a failure to meet the deadline could result in penalties.
6. References and Referrals
After you’ve considered all the factors above, ask for references to ensure that everything wasn’t just a smokescreen. The HVAC services contractor you’re considering from Pasadena could be perfect in writing, but could be a complete nightmare to work with. Call up the references that are provided and ask them some of the following questions:
- Did the contractor complete the job on time and within budget?
- Was the system tested after installation to check that it operates optimally?
- How was the communication between you and the contractor during the process?
- Did the contractor and technicians treat your home with respect?
- How professional did the contractor act when interacting with you?
- Are there any complaints you have about their work?
- Would you consider hiring them again for another job?
You can also search for the business online or at the Better Business Bureau to check their ratings and to see if they have any major complaints from their clients.
If you still can’t decide on the final contractor, ask your friends and family for referrals or see if they can vouch for any of your prospects. You can also go to local trade organizations and ask for a list of their members in your area.
All in all, if you consider the factors that have been listed, you should be able to pick out the perfect contractor for the job. In the case that you’re down to two prospects and can’t decide, follow up with them to ask about any additional concerns. After this final interaction, go with what your gut tells you.
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