How to Choose an HVAC Contractor in Orange County02/19/2016Choosing an HVAC contractor is an important decision that you shouldn’t decide upon without doing some homework to make certain you’re making the right choice. First, find a contractor who will ask you about your wants and needs and actually listen to you. With that tidbit, they should be able to present up to four options from which you can choose. When they schedule your installation, is it when you want it done, or when they can squeeze you in? Will your contractor pull a permit on every job? Doing so will make sure that it meets all of your local codes. HVAC system installation is not a do-it yourself affair and a successful installation requires a contractor that is skilled in a number of areas, from load calculation to piping and quite a few steps in-between. You could get the top-of-the-line system, but if it’s installed incorrectly you may not get ideal performance. Here are a couple other questions to help you make the best decision 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 verified their knowledge in the HVAC industry by passing real-world and rigorous 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 rigorous 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 confirm the quality of their company’s work. Call their list of references and ask about their project and if they’d recommend their work. There are also official sources online such as the Better Business Bureau and ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America). The BBB allows you to read 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 dedicated to their profession and will be able to give referrals for previous work. Another way is crowdsourcing referrals from your friends and neighbors or on your social media networks. These are usually the most useful 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 count on on positive word-of-mouth, so if someone you trust recommends them it’s likely they’ll do reliable work for you too. Are they properly licensed and insured? Not all states require licensure for heating and cooling contractors, but almost 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 gathering quotes from a contractor. The reason most 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 best to look elsewhere to help avoid any potential issues. 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 checked out while it’s operating properly and set up your annual maintenance. Your family’s health, comfort and safety is our business at Ocean Air Conditioning in Orange County. Our HVAC experts would be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Call us at 949-525-9119 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.