Tips for Finding a Reputable A/C Technician
Finding an ethical, honest, and reliable air conditioning company that will handle all your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) needs doesn’t have to be a challenge. Here are some common sense things to consider when seeking out a competent HVAC contractor.
Choosing a HVAC contractor should include checking with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). Be sure that the HVAC contractor’s license is current and check if the TDLR has a history of disciplinary actions or complaints published on their website at http://www.license.state.tx.us. Another source for finding a competent HVAC contractor is the local permits office for your municipality. The municipal inspectors know the HVAC contractors who do good work from the HVAC contractors who do poor work.
Insurance and Liability
When considering a HVAC contractor, ask to see documentation that they carry general liability insurance to protect your property as well as workers compensation insurance on their employees. The state of Texas does not require employers to carry workers compensation insurance. Lack of adequate insurance could be a major problem for you if someone is injured on your property. An air conditioning contractor should always have these types of insurance and this will save you from a claim against your homeowner’s policy in case of an accident.
Once you identify and contact several HVAC contractors, set up an appointment with each of them to visit your home. You should not be charged for this initial appointment. During the meeting the contractor should inspect your existing air conditioner and collect a wide range of information about your home, how many windows and type, which direction they face, and R-value of the insulation. The contractor uses all of this information to calculate the heat load to verify that the existing equipment is correctly sized and proposed equipment is also correctly sized. You should receive a written estimate from each contractor. If one contractor submits a bid that is dramatically different from the other bids ask the contractor to explain the difference.
Some HVAC contractors represent only one line of equipment, and using these contractors has advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, the contractor has probably gone through specialized training offered by the manufacturer. Should there be any problems with equipment performance you may have additional leverage because you may be able to involve the manufacturer. On the other hand, by offering more than one brand or style of system, JW East Mechanical can better serve customers’ requests for a particular brand or system. Not every brand is created equal. One brand may be perfect for one job, but completely wrong for the next. By offering more than one line, we can offer what best suits the needs of the customer, considering different warranties, rebates, or financing packages as well as system features and prices. By offering more lines of equipment, JW East Mechanial techs have to be cross-trained on many brands, which makes them superior field service providers.
When you get estimates from contractors, whether they sell one line or many, make sure to compare all the bids on the basis of equivalent equipment.