Whether you would like to install new heat pumps or repair existing ones, it is advisable to hire a professional. Proper installation and maintenance of your heating and cooling units translates to trouble free comfort as well as low maintenance costs. However, choosing the right heating contractor can be a bit tough. The following tips could come in handy during your search.
Go for a contractor with qualifications from recognized bodies such as certification provided by North American Technician Excellence (NATE). This shows that such a contractor knows how modern gas furnaces and cooling units work. In addition, find out if such a professional is a member of reputable contractor bodies such as the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) or Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA).
Avoid contractors who only provide work estimates over the phone. Such a person is likely interested in your money or does not have a clue about heating and cooling unit problems. Instead, go for a contractor who can come or send a representative to evaluate the scope of the job before offering a price estimate. In addition, do not bring up the subject of carrying out diagnostic tests first. Wait and see if he or she will request to come and carry out some tests before quoting a price.
Find out if the professional you are dealing with has a good or bad reputation. The first port of call should be the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Here, you will find information related to contractors such as complaints filed by past clients. BBB ratings range from an impressive A+ to a lowly F. You could also ask friends, coworkers, or neighbors who might have dealt with a particular contractor if the company has a good reputation.
Depending on where you live, you might require permits from the local authorities to install gas boilers or cooling units at home. For example, people living in the city of Pittsburgh require a permit before carrying out heating installation, repairs, alterations, conversions, or removal of HVAC systems. With this in mind, you should choose a professional who can take care of all the permits required for the work at hand.
The contractor you choose should have licenses from the relevant state or municipal authorities. Some states require professionals working in this field to acquire licenses while other states do not have the same requirement. Nevertheless, most states provide licenses to people who have been working in the home heating and cooling industry for several years. This is in addition to passing a state administered exam. For example, one must pass a state administered HVAC exam in California to get a working license. Moreover, one must have at least four years of working experience.
When it comes to hiring someone to install a new or fix a broken radiant floor heating system, it is advisable to hire a well-trained and up-to-date contractor. Avoid the temptation to go for someone who quotes the cheapest price. You could end up with substandard work that will cost even more to fix. Important factors to consider include professional qualifications, operating license, reputation, and ability to acquire the necessary work permits.