How to Select a Qualified HVAC Professional
Your heating and air conditioning systems account for the lion’s share of long-term comfort in your home, and are a significant investment to own and operate. Use these tips to find an expert to help you.
Be an Informed Consumer: Ask to see professional licenses and insurance coverage documents for HVAC providers in Minnesota.
Take Notes: Help your contractor understand your needs by recording notes about your system. Write down the model of your system, maintenance history, and any questions you have or needs you have identified.
Get Recommendations and References: Ask family, friends and co-workers for referrals to professionals they have used, and then check references. Ask about performance, promptness, and whether the project was completed within budget.
Ask about Special Offers: Heating and cooling systems represent one of the largest expenses and key factors in home comfort for a homeowner. Check for rebates on energy-efficient ENERGY STAR qualified heating and cooling equipment. Visit: www.energystar.gov. ENERGY STAR qualified products meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and offer significant long-term energy savings. Contractors should be able to show you and explain calculations on savings for selecting ENERGY STAR equipment.
Get a System Evaluation for Your Home: It is reasonable to expect your contractor to spend time inspecting your home and heating and cooling systems to assess your needs. A contractor will recommend the appropriate capacity for your home’s heating and cooling system based on factors in your home, such as insulation rating, window ratings, and the size and layout of rooms in your home. When applicable, your duct system will be inspected for leaks. Also, insulation will be inspected to measure airflow to make sure it meets manufacturer’s specifications.
Get Three Detailed Written Estimates: Ask for itemized bids in writing, and then compare proposals from different contractors. Ask for energy efficiency ratings, cost, and warranties that apply to each bid. Once you have chosen your contractor, sign the written proposal or detailed work plan before the work begins, and be sure to save a copy for your future reference. The document should spell out costs, model numbers, project deadlines, payment details, and warranty information.