If you’ve got an HVAC emergency, you’ve probably already begun searching online using “near me” terms like, “best HVAC contractor in Longmont.”
Without a doubt, you’ve probably got a list of potential companies to work on your HVAC system. But who do you know you can trust?
Obviously, your time is important, so we’ve come up with a list of some quick points you should consider before having any service done.
Checking HVAC Contractor Reviews
One of the easiest ways to make sure an HVAC technician is qualified to work on your home project is to check their reviews.
When checking reviews, be sure to check a few sources. This will provide a more complete picture of what you might experience when working with the contractor.
It’s always important to understand that there are always two sides to the story. Take online reviews with a grain of salt; just because someone had a terrible experience doesn’t mean you will as well. Additionally. when leaving reviews, people who have had a negative experience online rarely outline what they did to contribute to the situation.
When looking for a contractor it’s the best idea to the following:
Check the most recent reviews.
Reviews left within the last 3-months can give you insight into how the company is doing right now.
Check the highest-rated reviews.
Reading the highest-rated reviews may point out specific services that a contractor really excels at. Perhaps the HVAC contractor excels at repairs but doesn’t have a great reputation for service calls or vice-versa. You may be able to head off any problems before you get started.
Check the lowest-rated reviews. Understanding that most review sites don’t require “verified purchases” is a problem that has plagued review sites for a while. Literally, anyone can leave a review for a contractor, whether they’ve done business or not. In fact, just the experience of calling for an estimate can be enough to leave a review.
According to Teresa Mears, a contributing editor at US Today echoes these points:
Read online reviews, but don’t consider that enough information. Angie’s List does not allow anonymous reviews, and the site checks to see whether reviewers actually used the contractor. Yelp and Google also have some reviews. You want to read the reviews carefully to make sure the contractor is the right person for your job and will work well with you. Keep in mind that reading reviews is not a substitute for checking references.
You might also want to have some questions for the HVAC technician. Understanding the scope of work you’d like done as well as what they can offer can save you a lot of time and headaches.
Stumped on what to ask your HVAC technician? Check out this video below for a few sample questions you might want to consider asking:
Certifications Your HVAC Contractor Should Have
While certifications are, by no means, an indication of how the technician will perform, maintaining certifications can be a sign of their dedication to their profession.
According to an article from Air-Tro:
remember that licensed HVAC contractors are also authorized to handle gas lines as needed, and legally dispose of refrigerants. Without training or proper authority, anyone who does either incorrectly can incur severe legal, if not lethal consequences down the road. Don’t take that chance.
When searching for a professional HVAC contractor here are some of the top certifications you should look for to make sure they’re staying up to date with the most current industry standards.
Did you know that becoming an HVAC technician does not require any sort of certification? NATE (North American Technical Excellence) certification helps validate that the HVAC technician understands “best practices.” As the largest non-profit organization for the heating and cooling industry, NATE boasts an astonishing 5358 affiliated contractors, 34955 certified technicians, and 5070 testing organizations.
When your HVAC technician has a NATE certification, you can be confident that their book smarts and field experience are aligned.
HVAC Excellence Certification
The HVAC Excellence Certification is a prestigious certification that goes well beyond “just knowing” HVAC best practices. The HVAC Excellence Certification has two levels that a technician can obtain: the “Professional Level” and the “Master Specialist Level.”
For the “professional level” certification, a minimum of two years of field experience is necessary in addition to an exam that tests their knowledge.
For the “Master Specialist Level,” a minimum of three years of experience is required and the technician must already hold a “professional level” certification.
EPA 608 Certification
An EPA certification is actually one cert that you can’t afford your HVAC contractor not to have. An EPA certification is required by federal law. There are four different levels for this certification, each qualifying the technician for various tasks. As a general overview, a Type-1 certification allows the HVAC technician to install/repair small appliances, such as air conditioning units and refrigerators. With type-2 certification, the technician is certified to work on appliances containing high-pressure refrigeration (residential and commercial refrigeration units). Type-3 certification typically shows that the HVAC technician is qualified to work on more complex appliances. Lastly, the fourth type of certification, called, “universal certification” means that the HVAC technician has achieved the highest-level of EPA 608 training and can install, repair, service or dispose of all appliance types.
For more information about these certifications, click here.
While there is a certain amount of legwork that goes into finding the right HVAC contractor, this could be time well spent.
Interested in learning more about the certifications we hold or to schedule an appointment? Give us a call at 303-564-0986