Prolong the life of your HVAC system and prevent equipment failure by hiring a qualified professional to service and maintain it.

When your heating or air conditioning system fails, it can be a nightmare. Whether it is a cold winter day or sweltering hot outside, the HVAC system in your home is important to your comfort and safety.

Most people cannot tolerate extreme temperatures. The elderly and people with chronic health problems need to have the temperature stabilized in their homes.

The best HVAC contractors are helpful and reliable, but a poor contractor can cost you extra money and heartache.

Ask people in your social network whom they might recommend. Good word of mouth will go a long way toward helping you find the best professionals in your area.

After creating a list of candidates, call the Better Business Bureau, your state’s board of contractors or the builders’ association to check on their reputations. Your town’s building inspection office may also have information for you. Avoid companies who have many complaints on their record.

Upon narrowing the list, call the remaining ones and ask about pricing, guarantees and warranties. Also inquire about how long it would take to complete a job and the manufacturers’ brands they use.

If you are purchasing new equipment, find out if you need a separate service contractor or if routine maintenance and repairs are available by the contractor. Does the company provide afterhours emergency service?

High quality HVAC companies are fully licensed, bondable and insured. If a worker is injured or causes damage to your property, that insurance should cover it. Otherwise, you could be liable for the damages. Verify with the contractor if building permits are required.

Reputable HVAC companies will usually belong to recognized professional and trade organizations. Some well-known organizations include the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute, and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Membership in one of these organizations is not automatic. Applicants are required to have certain certifications, meet professional standards and meet or exceed other requirements before they are admitted.

Have a load calculation done before installing a new system in any building. The best companies perform a thorough calculation rather than a square foot estimate. Proper load calculations are based upon the windows, insulation, doors, etc. of your home. Correct calculations affect the efficiency and longevity of the equipment. The HVAC company shouldn’t use the old unit size to determine the proper size of the new unit. If your old unit was improperly sized, you will want to install a unit that is the proper size. Speak with your HVAC contractor to determine the right size and model for your home or office.

Ask your HVAC contractor to perform annual checkups to verify that the unit is running at peak efficiency.

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