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How to Find A HVAC Contractor You Can Trust

Maintenance on the home should also include taking care of the home’s biggest asset, its central air conditioner. Where do you start? Finding a reputable HVAC contractor, let alone maintaining the life of your air conditioner can be a daunting task. However, if the average homeowner will commit to doing a small amount of legwork early on, the maintenance of your unit can become as routine as the yearly check-up at the doctor’s.

First, know what type of air conditioner you have. Is it a split model, or a packaged model? What is the model that you have? If you still have the owner’s manual somewhere, all of this information should be located there.

Next, word of mouth is invaluable. Who does your sister, brother, co-worker, neighbor use to service their air conditioning systems? Not only will you get a feel for the reputation of the service organization, but you will often find the companies to avoid.

Then you will want to ask contractors for references. It might be awkward to ask contractors for former clients, but they should be willing to give you a few clients to contact so that you can be reasonably assured of good service

Haggle. Most service professionals own their own business and therefore are quite capable of raising or lowering their bottom line for you. Often, if they know that you are accepting bids from their local competition, they will be willing to lower their price to get the job.

Go Energy Star. If the contractor downplays the Energy Star rating system, walk away. Not only is Energy Star good for the planet, but it is easy on your bottom line as well. Any contractor that downplays these types of units is not listening to you, or worse, they are trying to unload an older unit on you.

Be patient. Installation or maintenance of an air conditioning unit takes some time. There are many connections to be made, safety considerations to be weighed, and often it takes a while to diagnose the problem. Each repair job is its own case and must be investigated as such. In the end, don’t you want a contractor that takes his time and does the job right? He will ask you questions about your habits and energy usage so that he can properly suggest or repair the existing system.

Get everything in writing. Get an official estimate before any work is done. First you want to be able to do a side by side comparison of at least 5 contractors in your area, and in the event that you like a repair person, but their rates are higher than another’s estimate, chances are you can show him/her the estimate from the other company and the preferred company will match the rate.

Lastly, do not pay them any money up front. Receive all estimates in writing, signed by both parties. Outline and be specific about cost over-runs. If you choose wisely, you will be rewarded with a relationship that serves you and your family for years.

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