The Dos and Don’ts of Hiring an HVAC Company

Whether you’re looking for a repair, a new system installation, or regular maintenance, hiring an HVAC company is a decision every homeowner has to make eventually. But, with so many companies out there, how can you make sure you’re making the right choice? Here are the dos and don’ts of hiring an HVAC company.

Do: avoid common scams and schemes

Unfortunately, not all plumbing and HVAC professionals have your best interests at heart. Scams and schemes can happen to anyone, even if a company seems reputable at first glance. But, if you keep your eyes out for signs of trouble, you can avoid a negative experience. Common HVAC scams include:

  • Overcharging for cheap materials
  • Misleading estimates
  • Door-to-door salesmen
  • No paper trail
  • And more

Do: make sure the company provides the service you need

Not all HVAC companies are created equal. While many offer standard AC and heating services like repairs and replacements, some may not service your system or offer exactly what you’re looking for. For example, a ductless air conditioner has different maintenance requirements than a split system. Ensuring the company you choose has experience with your equipment is an important step in choosing who to hire for your service.

Do: ask questions

Before you decide to work with a company, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Any trustworthy company will be more than willing to answer them and give you a better understanding of the service you’re looking for before you proceed. For example, if you’re in the market for a new HVAC system, you may ask questions like:

  • How do you know what size system to recommend for my home?
    • Do you sell Energy Star equipment?
    • Do you offer ongoing maintenance for my new AC system?
    • Can you install and set up a programmable thermostat?
    • How do you know what size system to recommend for my home?

If the company or technician seems hesitant or doesn’t give clear, understandable answers, don’t be afraid to take your business elsewhere. Along with asking questions face to face, you can also check and see if the company maintains a blog or content on their website with common FAQs. On our blog, you’ll find information about important topics and education in the world of HVAC, to help you be a more informed homeowner.

Do: get everything in writing

From estimates to contracts and everything in between, a paper trail is vital when it comes to HVAC work. Keeping track of important documents is important when it comes to things like registering your system with the manufacturer or maintaining a good warranty standing. If the company you’re working with refuses to provide you with copies of important documents or receipts, consider that a major red flag.

Don’t: be afraid to ask for recommendations

When it comes to HVAC companies, online reviews and research are a great place to start, but recommendations from family and friends are important too. You can find out the good and bad about local companies by asking the people in your life what their experiences have been. You can also ask your local energy company for recommendations. For example, APS services many homes in the Phoenix area and can provide you with a list of participating contractors they work with. They only partner with licensed, bonded, and insured service providers who complete ongoing training.

Don’t: work with anyone without proper certification

It’s important to select a reputable, experienced company that has been in business for a sufficient amount of time. If you hire a company or technician that isn’t operating with the required licenses or isn’t sufficiently skilled, you may be put in financial jeopardy when things go wrong. Here are the key certifications and license requirements to look for before hiring an HVAC company.

License, bond, and insurance

A Contractor’s License is required by Arizona law for any contract that exceeds $1,000, including labor and materials, or if the work involved requires a permit. In Arizona, aspiring contractors must have at least four years of relevant experience before they take the licensing exam. Licenses need to be renewed every two years.

There are three HVAC license options available in Arizona.

  • R-39: For the installation, repair, and alteration of residential HVAC systems
  • C-39: For the installation, repair, and alteration of commercial HVAC systems
  • CR-39: A duel license for the installation, repair, and alteration of both residential and commercial HVAC systems

Always ask for your contractors six-digit Registar of Contractors’ (ROC) license number before beginning any sort of work. You can search the license number online on the Arizona Register of Contractor’s website to make sure it’s current.

Required and optional certifications

While some certifications are mandatory, others are an opportunity for a contractor to deepen their understanding of the industry and open themselves up to a wider range of opportunities. As a homeowner, you should be familiar with the following HVAC certifications in order to make sure the company you choose to work with employs technicians that hold them.

EPA certification: Required for the technician to be able to handle refrigerant, according to EPA regulations. There are four types of EPA certification, ranging from small appliances to larger units.

Registrar of Contractors certification: This certifies that an HVAC professional is certified and recognized by the state Registrar of Contractors. A reputable air conditioning and/or heating contractor working in Arizona will be licensed with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.

North American Technician Excellence (NATE) education and certification: NATE certification is one of the most recognized and highly regarded certifications in the entire industry. Participation in NATE is voluntary and reflects an individual’s desire to better themselves and deepen their understanding of their field.

Don’t: hesitate to get a second opinion

For quick fixes and emergency service, getting a second opinion isn’t necessarily needed. For major repairs and expensive jobs, however, getting a second opinion can help you make sure you’re paying the right price for the right materials. You don’t want to proceed with a service without being sure it’s 100% necessary. For example, one company may tell you it makes sense to repair your air conditioner instead of replacing it. But, a second opinion could help you do the math on whether a replacement is more cost effective instead. Getting more than one quote ensures that you have the full picture of exactly what needs to be done and how much it’ll cost.

Do: trust Chas Roberts for your HVAC needs

From routine maintenance to sudden emergencies, trust Chas Roberts for HVAC jobs big and small. Our experienced and knowledgeable technicians go the extra mile to make sure your home stays comfortable, safe, and efficient. Contact us to get started.