Selecting an HVAC contractor is an important decision that you shouldn’t make without doing some investigating to make sure you’re making the best choice.

First, find a contractor who will ask you about your wants and needs and then listen to you. With that noted, they should be able to show you up to four options from which you can choose.

When they set up your installation, is it when you want to have it done, or when they can squeeze you in? Will your contractor pull a permit on every job? Doing so will make sure that it meets all of your local codes.

HVAC system installation is not something you can do yourself and a successful installation requires a contractor that is skilled in many areas, from load calculation to piping and a bunch of steps in between. You could get the best system, but if it’s installed incorrectly you may not get the best performance.

Here are some other questions to help you make the best decision while researching your HVAC contractor.

Are they NATE-certified?

NATE (North American Technician Excellence) is the largest nonprofit certification organization for HVAC technicians. Certified technicians have verified their knowledge in the HVAC industry by passing real-world and throrough tests developed by a committee of industry authorities. 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 completed in-depth professional training.

Do they have references or referrals?

A professional HVAC company will be able to provide you with a list of recent customers that you can refer to and tell you about the quality of their company’s work. Call their list of references and ask about their project and if they’d recommend them to you.

There are also official sources online such as the Better Business Bureau and ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America). The BBB allows you to read the consumer ratings of an HVAC contractor and you’ll view any customer complaints against a company. The ACCA is a nonprofit organization of more than 60,000 professionals and 4,000 businesses. Contractors found on ACCA are sure to be serious about their trade and will be able to offer referrals for previous work.

Another way is crowdsourcing referrals from your friends and neighbors or on your social media networks. These are usually the most useful 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 count on positive word-of-mouth, so if someone you trust backs them it’s likely they’ll do great work for you too.

Are they properly licensed and insured?

Not all states require licensure for heating and cooling contractors, but almost all of them do. It’s easy to search online to see if your state requires a license so you know whether or not to ask for one when gathering quotes from a contractor. The reason many 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 better to look elsewhere to help get around any potential problems.

When is the best time to ask these questions?

The best time to ask questions and find an HVAC contractor is right now, before something goes wrong with your system. Get your furnace looked at while it’s working normally and arrange your routine maintenance.

Your family’s health, comfort and safety is our business at Enertek Air Conditioning & Heating in Northridge. Our HVAC pros would be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Call us at (818) 727-9993. We look forward to becoming your partner in keeping your system running safely and efficiently.