Tips for Finding the Best Possible HVAC Contractor for Your Building
It’s unavoidable — eventually, the HVAC system in your commercial building will need maintenance, repair, revision, or even complete replacement. When you’re facing a significant HVAC project, you want to hire an HVAC contractor who is knowledgeable, reliable, and capable of getting the job done as quickly as possible and at a reasonable cost. The following tips can help you better understand the process of hiring an HVAC contractor to work on your building’s heating and cooling equipment.
The Need for Qualified HVAC Contractors
HVAC systems are complex, and it takes specialized training and experience to properly install, repair, and maintain them. They often require that separate elements of the system be balanced and coordinated to work properly with the other components. They require a knowledge not just of heating, cooling and ventilation, but also electrical systems, thermal concepts and physical design. Proper installation, maintenance, and repair is necessary to ensure your HVAC system works at its best and most efficient. More importantly, if you’re dealing with factors such as volatile fuels, high internal pressures, or potentially harmful exhaust gases, the equipment must be handled correctly to ensure system stability and safety.
Finding an HVAC Contractor
Here are some of the most crucial steps to take when looking for an HVAC contractor for your commercial building. In total, they will help increase the chances that you will find exactly the right contractor for your project.
- Seek recommendations. Ask your friends, family, and colleagues about experiences they’ve had with HVAC contractors they’ve hired. Recommendations from trusted sources such as these will increase the chance that you’ll find a contractor who will also be a good fit for your job. Ask about factors such as promptness and reliability, demonstrated expertise, costs, and overall satisfaction with the job. If you don’t have a direct source to ask, see if there are HVAC organizations in your town, or contact the local construction permit office. Trustworthy online review sites may also provide some useful information.
- Understand state and local contractor requirements. Many states and municipalities require HVAC contractors to be licensed, insured, and bonded. Contact your local contractor regulators or the state licensing board for information. When approaching a potential contractor, ask to see documentation that these standards have been met. A reliable, legitimate contractor will gladly show you proof of licensing, insurance, bonding, and other requirements.
- Check references. Ask a potential contractor for the names and contact information for several references they have worked with directly. Contact these references and ask about the contractor’s performance. Again, a legitimate contractor will happily provide references who can speak to their abilities.
- Ask for an in-person evaluation: Ask potential contractors to provide an in-person inspection and evaluation of the project. This may not be necessary for small projects or standard preventive maintenance, but if your HVAC job is large or complex, it will be extremely valuable to have a professional assessment of it early in the process. This will help the contractor understand what’s needed and will lead to a more accurate bid.
- Get written bids and estimates: Ask several potential contractors to provide written bids on your project. A standard approach is to get bids from at least three different sources. Again, this is most appropriate for larger jobs.
- Get a contract: When you choose your contractor, make sure to get a written contract with all of the requirements and expectations set out in detail. Contracts are appropriate for most levels of HVAC work, from preventive maintenance to complete system design and installation. Make sure the contract is signed by you and the contractor before work begins.
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 how to find the best HVAC contractor for your job, and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!
Photo Credit: rashadm via Compfight cc