(NAPSI)—A heating and cooling system is one of the most expensive investments a homeowner can make.
It makes sense, then, to carefully select a contractor who will help you find the right system for your home, install it, and provide the technical assistance needed to keep it running efficiently.
To help with that selection process, here are some tips from the experts at the Coleman® Heating and Air Conditioning brand of Johnson Controls:
1. Learn as much as you can about heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. The more you know, the better prepared you will be to conduct interviews with potential contractors.
2. Ask family, friends, co-workers, real estate agents and home improvement specialists for recommendations.
3. Visit the Better Business Bureau website to check the consumer ratings of a contractor. This site also shows the volume of complaints lodged against a contractor.
4. Check for membership in professional organizations. Find out if the contractor and the technicians in his/her company are certified by North American Technician Excellence (NATE).
5. Ask to see state and local licenses and certifications for refrigerant handling.
6. Verify that the contractor is properly insured. Ask to see proof of liability and workers’ compensation insurance for the contractor, as well as any technicians and subcontractors the contractor employs.
7. Ask if the contractor performs the work or has a subcontractor do it.
8. Consider the contractor’s length of service. Does he/she have an established track record? Ask for a list of references that you can contact. Check these references, ask about performance and whether work was completed on time and within budget.
9. Do the contractor’s services include scheduled maintenance, repairs and 24-hour service?
10. Expect the contractor to conduct an on-site inspection, ask questions about your home comfort needs, and address any questions you might have before making recommendations regarding service or equipment.
After this occurs, he or she should present you with an itemized and written estimate for proposed work and a final contract that requires your signature before work can begin.
Begin looking for a contractor well in advance of a project. This will allow plenty of time to conduct a thorough search. That way, you can be confident that the contractor you choose will possess the expertise and integrity to meet your comfort needs professionally and affordably.