A new heating/cooling system is a substantial, long-term investment for a homeowner. It will have to operate safely and efficiently for more than a decade. It will require competent installation and all service should be performed by certified technicians. Given these factors, how do you make the choice of an HVAC contractor? First, rule out the neighborhood jack-of-all-trades who passes out fliers. You want an experienced expert — not an amateur, learning on the job. Here are a few tips to separate the pros from the wannabes:
- HVAC contractors must be licensed in the state of Michigan. An examination is required and three years’ experience is a prerequisite to take the exam. The contractor should provide you with a state contractor’s license number. Visit the State of Michigan ’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website to verify the license status of any prospective HVAC contractor.
- Ask the contractor to supply recent local references. Call the references and inquire if the installation and service was satisfactory and whether the job was completed on schedule.
- Expect an in-house evaluation. The contractor must spend adequate time appraising your specific needs to match the right heating/cooling system. This should include sizing calculations, a duct system inspection and an assessment of the condition of your home’s insulation and overall energy efficiency. If the contractor sidesteps these preliminaries, consider another contractor.
- Get all estimates in writing and use these to shop among contractors. Make sure you are comparing systems that are equal in capacity, energy efficiency and warranty.
- Check with state and local regulations to find out if a building permit is required for an HVAC system installation. If it is, ask the contractor if he intends to pull a permit. Contractors who balk at obtaining building permits often do so to avoid having their work reviewed by a building inspector.
Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing has been the local source for professional HVAC sales and service in Traverse City for more than 30 years. We’re ready to earn your confidence as your trusted heating/cooling contractor.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC contractors and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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