How to Choose an HVAC Contractor in Bakersfield02/19/2016Choosing an HVAC contractor is an important decision that you shouldn’t decide upon without doing some investigating to make sure you’re making the best choice. First, select a contractor who will ask you about your wants and needs and more importantly, listen to you. With that noted, they should be able to show you up to four options from which you can choose. When they schedule your installation, is it when you wish to have it done, or when they can squeeze you in? Will your contractor pull a permit on every job? Doing so will make certain that it meets all of your local codes. HVAC system installation is not a DIY job and a successful installation requires a contractor that is skilled in many areas, from load calculation to piping and a lot of steps in-between. You could get the best system, but if it’s improperly installed you may not get ideal performance. Here are a couple other questions to help you make the best selection while searching for your HVAC contractor. Are they NATE-certified? NATE (North American Technician Excellence) is the largest non-profit certification organization for HVAC technicians. Certified technicians have proven their knowledge in the HVAC industry by passing real-world and specialized tests developed by a committee of industry professionals. NATE-certified contractors have met the highest industry standards for knowledgeable installation and service. NATE certification will give you peace-of-mind knowing your contractor has finished in-depth professional training. Do they have references or referrals? A professional HVAC company ought to be able to provide you with a list of recent customers that you can talk 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 the company. There are also official sources online such as the Better Business Bureau and ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America). The BBB allows you to look at the consumer ratings of an HVAC contractor and you’ll have the ability to see any customer complaints against a company. The ACCA is a non-profit organization of more than 60,000 professionals and 4,000 businesses. Contractors found on ACCA are sure to be committed to their work and will be able to offer referrals for previous work. Another route is crowdsourcing referrals from your friends and neighbors or on your social media networks. These are normally the most valuable 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 rely on positive word-of-mouth, so if someone you trust stands by them it’s likely they’ll do good work for you too. Are they properly licensed and insured? Not all states require licensure for heating and cooling contractors, but nearly 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 getting quotes from a contractor. The reason a lot of 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 in your interest to look elsewhere to help circumvent any potential problems. When is the best time to ask these questions? The best time to ask questions and pick an HVAC contractor is right now, before something goes wrong with your system. Get your furnace looked at while it’s running properly and schedule your annual maintenance. Your family’s health, comfort and safety is our business at Hillcrest Air Conditioning & Plumbing in Bakersfield. Our HVAC professionals would be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Call us at 661-437-3499 or you can simply arrange an appointment with us online. We look forward to becoming your partner in keeping your system running safely and efficiently.