1) A bid over the telephone is insufficient without a home visit
As far as choosing a certified and knowledgeable HVAC contractor goes, you need to take several factors into account. Some of the things to think about are whether you know the ducting levels and whether every room has the correct number of registers — among others. HVAC contractors should not give bids or estimates during a telephone discussion because there are lots of things these contractors are meant to do initially. You ought to be wary of contractors who are reluctant to visit your property because there’s a good chance that they lack experience, or that they are brokers who wish to make a commission from other engineers. A reputable air conditioning engineer will assess a given property, prior to calculating an estimate and offering a quote. By assessing your property thoroughly, these contractors can inspect every area before attempting to install or repair an air conditioning unit in your home.
2) Old units should be replaced with a different model
Every air conditioner has a unique life span. On average, these units take up to a decade or a decade and a half, before they wear out. A unit built-in 1990 will be considerably different from one that was built in 2005. A certified and knowledgeable HVAC contractor will offer plenty of guidance to bring your property to modern standards and increase its’ energy efficiency. Bear in mind that many contractors want to keep minimum inventory levels.
Therefore, they will encourage you to purchase their old air conditioners, just to rid themselves of surplus inventory. In contrast, our company modifies the air conditioners we own to suit your property. Also, we provide the most up to date units that have the best energy efficiency benefits. Make sure that the contractor you hire purchases a new air conditioner for your property, instead of using old inventory. It’s hard to find a unit similar to the one in your property from a warehouse. Furthermore, air conditioners vary considerably, so it is vital to select the right size, rather than basing your choice on the make and model.
3) HVAC contractors should be licensed by the relevant State License Committee
Lots of things could go wrong if you opt to use an unlicensed contractor. A reputable HVAC engineer should have an up to date license. Always request to see this, so you will know that you have selected the right professional to install your air conditioning unit. Normally, HVAC contractors are licensed to work with gas lines, plumbing, and other electrical applications.
Instances of unlicensed engineers are widespread in California, so you should check whether the engineer you propose to hire is licensed. When installing things like refrigerant and gas lines, correct disposal procedures must be followed – and only a certified engineer can do this. To receive a proper license, contractors must be experts in their field. If a contractor lacks a valid license, this means he is not permitted to fix or install air conditioning units. To determine whether a contractor is properly qualified, you should inquire whether he is a valid license holder. If he is, he should have his license number clearly displayed on his website and paperwork.
4) Always ask for a written bid or quote from HVAC contractors
While it is acceptable to provide oral estimates, it is vital that any contract you agree to should be in writing. This is beneficial when one of the signatories reneges on the deal because it can be referenced in a law court if necessary. For instance, an engineer might not fix or install the air conditioner as needed. Typically, any work you want to be done should be written down. A trustworthy contractor ought to insist on this, as a matter of course. This leaves no ambiguity about what is expected. Written contracts will include everything that the contractor should do, and the total price he is charging.
5) Approach low bidders with caution
When selecting an HVAC engineer, like Heatwave HVAC, you should pay attention to which contractors bid cheaply and which bid highly. In general terms, the ones that submit more expensive bids are better qualified to fix or install an air conditioning unit, compared to those who submit cheaper bids. A similar principle applies to our firm.
Our rates are higher because we use knowledgeable engineers, so our service is worth paying extra for. While this might sound a little boastful, the truth is that you get what you pay for, so you should bear this in mind. We often have customers contact us to request repairs on air conditioning units installed barely half a year ago. This happened a lot in the noughties when we needed to repair nearly a third of units in residential properties that were installed by bogus or inexperienced engineers.
6) Do not hire contractors who only work with one brand
The HVAC industry is full of contractors who only sell one kind of brand. You should be wary of any such people who sell one kind of heat pump/air conditioning unit. Some unscrupulous contractors will restrict themselves to a single brand for dishonest reasons. They may do this to make more profit, and fail to inform you about a different brand that offers better value. In this situation, you should avoid falling into their trap. Listen attentively to what they say, then try to determine whether they seem trustworthy. It might be that they are not proper dealers, and have just agreed to sell products on behalf of a manufacturer, who has offered them the products at low wholesale prices.
To choose a properly certified HVAC engineer, you need to do some homework and trust your intuition. The above methods of selecting a professional are useful because they prioritize the quality of workmanship over cost. By selecting a reputable engineer, you will make sure that all tasks are carried out efficiently and smoothly. Therefore, always do your due diligence and remember that not all HVAC contractors are created equal.