Hiring an HVAC Contractor for Your Commercial Space? 9 Tips to Make It Easier
The safe and proper installation, maintenance and repair of commercial-grade HVAC systems requires the services of a qualified contractor. In a crowded field of service providers, finding the right HVAC contractor for your job calls for careful research and diligence. Here are nine tips that will make choosing a qualified HVAC contractor much easier.
Why hire an HVAC contractor for a commercial project?
- Experience and knowledge: A qualified HVAC contractor will have the training, experience and expertise required to handle all aspects of HVAC installation, maintenance and repair. Professional companies will also have the right tools for the job.
- Proper installation: A licensed professional HVAC contractor will make sure your heating, cooling, ventilation or refrigeration system is designed and installed correctly, to manufacturer’s standards, and in compliance with local building codes. The equipment will also be installed or repaired so that it operates at its highest level of efficiency and effectiveness.
- Safety: A professional contractor will ensure the equipment is installed so that it operates safely without the risk of electrical problems, fires, explosions, fuel or refrigerant leaks, or carbon monoxide dangers.
- Security: When you allow someone into your facility to work on your HVAC system, you are also exposing your business to security risks ranging from simple theft to overhearing or seeing of trade secrets. A professional HVAC contractor is licensed and insured as necessary and will respect your commercial space and business operations.
Steps to hiring an HVAC contractor
Ask your friends, relatives and colleagues for referrals to HVAC contractors they have used successfully. If the contractor did good work at another commercial site, he will likely do high-quality work for you, too. Make sure to let the contractor know who referred him.
Check the contractor’s references. Ask for the names and contact information for at least three previous customers. Contact them and ask for information about the contractor’s performance. If your contractor has many satisfied customers, it shows he values his business and customer services.
Research state and local requirements for contractor licensing, insurance and bonding. Check with your state licensing board or local regulators. Ask your contractor for their information in these categories. A legitimate contractor will happily provide proof of qualifications.
Ask for written bids and itemized estimates from at least three different contractors. The bidding and estimating process often separates contractors who want your business from those who don’t. A written bid signed by you and the contractor will also help limit project costs.
Ask for an on-site inspection and evaluation of your project. By visiting your site, the contractor will gain a much better idea of what will be required and, with this information, will be able to prepare a better bid.
Request that your contractor take care of administrative details such as building or remodeling permits. The contractor should already know the process and who to see to get the required permits.
Get a written contract, signed and authorized by both you and the contractor, for all work to be performed. Make sure the contract specifies in detail what will be done, what the contractor’s responsibilities are, and what you expect from the project. Make sure you fully understand the contract before signing it.
Ask about discounts, special offers or incentives that could reduce the cost of your equipment or installation. For example, some types of high-efficiency HVAC equipment can qualify you for U.S. income tax credits.
Go for high-efficiency equipment. Where possible, make sure your contractor installs equipment that conforms to efficiency standards published by sources such as the government’s Energy Star program.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection, and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial, and Residential settings. For more information on questions to ask when hiring an HVAC contractor, or to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!
Image Credit: Julie Falk