If your HVAC system is already 10 years old or older you should be looking at a replacement in the next two years. On the other hand, for a newer system, you'll want to keep it well-maintained. You'll have to hire an HVAC contractor either way. Learn more here: www.airtightair.com.
The following are the most important considerations you should make as you search for the right candidate:
License and Experience
Like most people, your HVAC system is likely one of the most significant investments that you have made in your home. HVAC contractors in most states are required to get a license, but they can only have one if they've had minimum industry experience of five years. Aside from that, they have to bonded as well as insured as a form of protection for the insurer.
In terms of experience, longevity alone does not guarantee a good job, but stability indicates that a contractor has been doing something right. Ask whether your prospect is certified by industry organizations like North American Technical Excellence (NATE). This helps ensure that the contractor's knowledge and experience are up-to-date.
In addition, ask them if they carry the specific brand of your equipment. As you may know, manufacturers are unique, and their equipment requires brand-specific knowledge and training for optimum installation or maintenance.
If you're thinking of a new installation, the contractor should assess your home thoroughly to determine the best heating and cooling solution. Some of the most crucial factors that will affect the final recommendation include the home's square footage, the R-value of insulation, and number of windows and their location. The duct segment should also be inspected for insulation, leaks and loose segments. At the end of the process, you should ask for a written estimate on paper, and you can use it to compare details like energy efficiency, warranties and costs with other HVAC contractors.
References and Testimonials
Request for client references and talk to these people to get a picture of their experience with the contractor. If the contractor won't give you any, that's a red flag. Take time to read comments on popular consumer websites like Angie's List and HomeAdvisor, and check with the Better Business Bureau. Ask your friends, neighbors or coworkers for referrals. Local trade organizations make yet another good resource.
Special Offers and Rebates
Lastly, HVAC systems being a key expense, make sure to shop around for rebates on energy-efficient equipment. Any opportunity to save money, no matter how small, should be welcome.