How to Choose an HVAC Contractor

Whether you need repairs or are setting up a new HVAC system in your house, it is best to let the experts get the job done. But first, you need to choose a professional and reliable HVAC contractor. Here is a list of questions to ask when choosing an HVAC contractor.

Do they perform an entire home and equipment inspection?

A proper HVAC contractor must complete a home and equipment inspection before proposing any services. They need the assessment to determine what your house needs from its HVAC system. Even simple services like regular checkups need a thorough inspection to ensure the optimum performance of your HVAC system. 

A good HVAC contractor will also provide a variety of services. A typical set of services you can get from an HVAC contractor include air conditioning, service and installation, heating repair, service, installation, and inspections. In addition, many contractors offer packages that provide the above-mentioned essential services along with cleaning and ductwork maintenance.

Another critical thing to remember is to check the company’s license and insurance before hiring them for any job. This is because, without the proper license and insurance, their personnel might not have access to your property if something goes wrong. Moreover, suppose there is damage or injury. In that case, you won’t be able to claim anything if the company doesn’t have proper insurance. So it is always better to ask for the license and insurance before hiring an HVAC contractor from your area.

This is why ECM Air Conditioning provides a FREE 99-point in-home energy assessment with a new AC Estimate.

Do they perform a heat load calculation?

A heat load calculation is more than just measuring rooms. Many other factors could affect heat gain and loss inside your house. In addition, a proper heat load calculation will help your contractor determine the appropriate equipment sizing, which is crucial for the efficiency of your entire HVAC system.

Let’s take a look at some of the factors that could be involved in a heat load calculation.

The first factor to consider is the number and size of windows. Homes with large windows or floor-to-ceiling glass doors often can have significant passive solar gain from direct sunlight during the day. This heat gain may counteract your home’s insulation and air tightness. However, it can still affect the efficiency of your HVAC system if not properly accounted for.

Another important factor to consider when performing a heat load calculation is ventilation. If your house has poor ventilation or leaks, this will cause more rapid heat loss in colder weather and more rapid heat gain in warmer weather. Your HVAC system must compensate for this by working harder and using more energy.

Other factors affecting your heat load calculation include the number and size of doors and the ceiling height of the rooms you are measuring.

Do they inspect your ductwork in the attic for air leaks?

Leaks force your HVAC system to work extra hard. Your machine will overheat. It can increase your electricity bill and decrease the lifespan of your HVAC parts. Unfortunately, sometimes we don’t realize there are leaks in our house. That is why you need your HVAC contractors to check it out.

Do they measure the maximum air capacity of your ductwork?

Knowing the capacity of your ductwork can help your contractor see if your ductwork is the proper size. Incorrectly sized ductwork may harm your air quality and cause the machine to make disturbing noises.

Do they re-engineer your duct system for proper airflow distribution? Do they engineer their systems to match the manufacturer’s required specifications?

Each house is different. A good HVAC contractor will adjust the system to suit the house’s requirements and the specifications proposed by the manufacturers. This is important for energy efficiency and your family’s comfort.

Do they guarantee comfort and a balanced airflow distribution system?

An HVAC contractor who offers a guarantee means they have confidence in their work. But just in case they do the job wrong, you will not need to spend more money to repair the damage.

Do they pull the required permits to ensure your safety? Do they pull an electrical or mechanical permit to ensure proper code compliance?

Code compliance design protects you as a customer. It includes any standardization to ensure your house’s HVAC system is installed correctly. Starting the work without a required permit is against the law and may cause the contractor to lose their license.

Make sure the company you choose is properly licensed and insured.

To acquire a license, an HVAC contractor should remain educated and updated on the latest technological developments. Therefore, hiring a licensed contractor means hiring a competent professional to care for your house. Hiring a licensed professional also protects you legally in case something bad happens.

As for insurance, it is necessary to ensure the company is responsible for its workers’ safety. You don’t want to get all the blame and bills if an accident happens, do you?

Taking care of your HVAC system is essential to keep it working effectively and efficiently, so you might need to leave it to the professionals. Even so, be careful when choosing an HVAC contractor. Otherwise, you might waste your money.

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