Some residential and commercial appliances require only general knowledge and skill to repair when they break down, making them simpler to maintain. When something such as your air conditioner or furnace breaks down, though, you shouldn’t call for a simple handyman. Not only is it dangerous for an untrained individual to work with such specialized equipment, but they’ll also lack the necessary knowledge to make effective fixes. Instead, you should seek out an HVAC expert to hire for the job. How do you do that?
Step 1: Assess Your Local Options
Who are the most well-known HVAC contractors in your area? Which businesses service your area specifically? Some contractors keep to a very small geographic area, while others have larger teams of trained technicians willing to travel farther to provide service. You can’t do much about selecting a service provider if you don’t at least have a list from which to choose. Start your search by seeing who’s out there, then selecting a few businesses serving the Santa Rosa area that seem like they might be a good fit to investigate further.
Step 2: Ask About Licensing and Insurance
When you start “interviewing” contractor candidates to support the equipment in your home or business, the first question on your mind should concern their credentials. What kinds of licenses do they have, and where did they obtain them? What level of insurance coverage do they have? Remember, a contractor’s insurance comes into play in the event they somehow cause damage to your home or property in a worst-case scenario. You’ll want to choose an HVAC expert that has all the necessary and current licenses from local agencies, plus plenty of insurance coverage for your peace of mind.
Step 3: Ask About Educational Background
HVAC equipment is complex, especially when concerning more modern and advanced units. With forces such as electricity and natural gas at work, you want to select an expert that has a deep understanding of all the aspects of HVAC maintenance. Ask about their key technicians and their educational background and training. How much experience have they gained since leaving school? Do they have certifications from accredited and approved training organizations? If there is a specific technology you’d like them to work on, you might want to ask about specific training programs too.
Step 4: Ask About References and Reputation
A trustworthy HVAC contractor should always be proud of the work they perform and ready to showcase the fact that they have happy customers. Ask for references so you can speak to someone who has used their services in the past. Inquire as to whether or not the person would hire the same contractor again to perform additional work and ask about their experience with the team. You should consider it to be a red flag if you encounter an HVAC business that is unwilling or unable to furnish references upon request.
Step 5: Learn About Specific Skills
As mentioned, HVAC technology grows more complex every year, even as the basic physical processes remain the same. If you have specific needs, such as challenging commercial cooling applications or an interest in new technologies, such as geothermal heat pumps, you should ask the contractor about them. For example, some businesses will repair ACs, but don’t know much about furnace repairs. Unfortunately, you might sometimes find a business is a good fit except for lack of expertise in the area where you need them most. If you’re simply interested in adding new technology in the future, a lack of special technologies may not be a deal-breaker.
Step 6: Find Out Brand Specialties
There are many major brands of air conditioners and furnaces, along with a handful of other, more obscure installations. That’s not to mention all the older units still hanging on out there. To choose the right expert for your home, ask about what brands they prefer and which ones they can service. Ideally, they should be able to provide you with service on any make or model, but sometimes you will find an HVAC contractor who strictly specializes in one type of unit. Try to select the business that can provide you with as much versatility as possible.
The Final Step: Choose Your HVAC Expert
After exploring all this information, you should have a good sense of who is trustworthy and has the necessary expertise. Request an estimate for the job from the HVAC contractor you have in mind and make your decision on whether to proceed.
Although it may seem like a lot of work to choose a service provider, the effort should pay off in the form of faster service, more dependable maintenance, and better value over time. Best of all, you shouldn’t need to repeat the process. Ideally, you will be able to develop a long-term relationship with your HVAC expert so that you always know who to call when you need help. Start exploring your options today.