Santa Rosa is known for many things, but one of the area’s best-known characteristics is the intense summertime heat. When you think about Santa Rosa between May and August, you probably visualise popsicles melting on their sticks and residents cranking up their air conditioners. If you happen to be one of those locals, then you’ll need to make sure your AC is up to the challenge before things heat up too much.
Choosing a contractor to help you with matters related to your air conditioner can be a challenge, and many residents are unsure of what qualities they should prioritise when doing so. Fortunately, choosing a contractor to help you with AC installations, maintenance, service, and repair doesn’t have to be difficult.
When you know what you’re looking for, it can be as simple as calling a contractor who fits the bill. To help you pin down the characteristics you should seek out in an AC contractor, we’ve put together a guide that can help. Make sure the companies you consider to work on your AC meet these criteria and you should be able to look forward to satisfying, cost-effective work:
- Make sure your contractor is properly licensed
This might sound like common sense, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’re going to spend the money to hire an AC contractor, you have to make sure they hold the appropriate professional qualifications for the work they’ll be doing. Not every person who works on an air conditioner is legally required to have a license in the state of California, but they are if the cost of their work will exceed $500. To get a better idea of what an unlicensed contractor is legally allowed to do, consider the average costs of air conditioner repair in the United States. Replacing critical parts such as the compressor or evaporator coil can cost upwards of that amount, meaning that you’ll need a licensed contractor to take care of most significant issues.
There’s another excellent reason to make sure your AC contractor has a license before you hire them: experience. In California, four years of professional experience must be earned by qualifying professionals before they can receive their license. Furthermore, this experience must be equal to or greater than that working as a journeyman, which means that licensed contractors are likely to be much more experienced than their unlicensed counterparts. If you want to make sure the person working on your AC is a professional who has done the job successfully before, you’ll want to ensure they have a C-20.
- Make sure your contractor has excellent communication skills
Every home is different, which means that working on an AC in your house will require special consideration. The contractor you trust with your installation, maintenance, service or repairs should be willing to listen to you and learn about the building where you want them to work. The more information they have, the better equipped they’ll be at every stage of their work. Sizing an air conditioner requires knowledge of the building’s square footage, insulation, surrounding climate and numerous other factors while repairing a system often depends on knowledge of existing ductwork and past performance issues like water leakage or reduced efficiency.
- Compare prices, get estimates and ask for explanations
Many people get awkward when it comes to talking about money, but this is something you should discuss openly and frankly with your contractor. An experienced and communicative professional has nothing to hide, so they should be happy to tell you what their average hourly labour rates are or provide you with ballpark estimates for a specific task. Be advised that estimating the exact costs of AC service is practically impossible, as unpredictable variables are almost a given. However, being aware of average costs will help you make sure the price you eventually pay is in a fair range.
Note that unexpected problems have the potential to alter the costs of AC service, but don’t assume that this is what’s happening if you receive an estimate that feels too high. Always ask the contractor to explain why their services cost that much. Reputable workers who know their trade will be happy to tell you about the factors that went into their calculations, cementing their credibility and letting you know they’re transparent and honest.
Follow the above guidelines, and you’ll realize that finding quality AC service in Santa Rosa is much easier than it might seem at first. Remember to make sure that your potential contractors are properly licensed, easy to talk to, honest and reasonably priced. Then sit back, relax, reap the benefits of your smart comparison shopping with cool breezes all summer long.