Heating, ventilations, and air conditioning systems are some of the most expensive aspects of homes and businesses.

An HVAC system is a necessary feature of every building, so finding a cost-effective option without sacrificing quality is the key to being a satisfied, stress-free property owner.

Searching for the right HVAC system starts by finding a reliable heating and air company. If you’re unsure about how to find the best HVAC company, this article is for you—with these 6 simple steps, we’ll walk you through the process of hiring a heating and air company you’ll love.

How to Find the Best HVAC Company

If you’re asking yourself, What is the best HVAC company? the answer is totally dependent on your personal preferences and needs.

Are you looking to update your heating and cooling systems or are you in need of a time-sensitive repair?

Either way, you’ll be able to assess all the factors worth considering with this guide. Keep reading to learn about the 6 steps to take when searching for the best HVAC company for you.

#1 Look for References and Reviews

Before inviting anyone into your home and letting them work on expensive systems, you need to do your research.

Ask your family, friends, and co-workers if they’ve heard of the company before you hire them, but most importantly, do a thorough online search and read reviews from past customers.

#2 Determine Credentials

HVAC technicians and contractors need to have some form of professional training. Licensing requirements vary from state to state, so be sure to look up your state’s requirements and ask the company about their employees’ credentials regarding HVAC services.

For example, these are the HVAC licensing requirements in California, according to HVAC School:

  • HVAC technician – License not required.
  • HVAC contractor – Class C 20 Speciality Contractor License-Warm Air Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning required, issued through the California Department of Consumer Affairs Contractors State License Board.

While licenses aren’t required for California technicians, you should ask about other certifications such as:

  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Section 608 card – Everyone in the industry is required to have this certification in order to handle refrigerants and coolants that are used in AC systems.
  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification – While it’s optional, NATE certification is nationally recognized and respected, as it’s proof technicians underwent rigorous training, passed a knowledge-based exam, and have expertise in at least one specialty area of HVAC systems.
  • HVAC Excellence certification – A less common option than NATE, HVAC Excellence is still a prominent and highly regarded credential, offering professional level and master specialist level certifications. These programs require 2-3 years of experience in the field and a passing grade on a comprehensive exam.

#3 Check Insurance Policies

Insurance requirements also vary depending on the state you’re in, the contractors’ incorporation status, and the type of license.

Here’s what you should look for in terms of insurance:

  • If there are insurance requirements – Ask to see liability insurance and workers’ compensation forms, and make sure the documents apply to all contractors, subcontractors, and technicians who will be coming to your home, so you won’t be held responsible for anything that happens on the job.
  • If there aren’t insurance requirements – Even if your state doesn’t have insurance requirements, you don’t want to put yourself in a position where you’ll be liable for accidents. Ask if the company and its employees have voluntarily acquired insurance of their own.

#4 Ask About Inspections

Knowing what to expect during an HVAC consultation will help you feel confident about the company you choose.

Not only is the first consultation a good indicator of how thorough you can expect the job to be, but it’s a good indicator of what kind of final inspection will be conducted after the work is done.

Ask the HVAC company if they have an inspection checklist they use or if they offer free consultations so you can experience their work ethic firsthand. Keep a detailed list of concerns and bring up all contributing factors to your HVAC’s efficiency, from vents, to ductwork, to old utility bills.

#5 Search the Better Business Bureau

Check with the Better Business Bureau to learn more about a company and their employees’ reputations—you should rule out any company with major or frequent complaints on their record.

A trustworthy, hardworking HVAC company should have an A rating with the Better Business Bureau.

#6 Get an Estimate

The cost of preventative maintenance depends on whether you’re looking for routine maintenance, like changing filters, cleaning condenser coils, and rinsing the exterior AC unit, or an emergency repair.

When you get an estimate, it’s a good idea to ask questions like:

  • Do you guarantee that the price quoted will be the final price?
  • Is satisfaction guaranteed?
  • What happens if the equipment is faulty?
  • How long is the warranty period?
  • Do I qualify for any rebates?

Getting Reliable, Affordable Service

Annual inspection, cleaning, and maintenance for an entire HVAC system, including air filter replacement, typically costs $150-500, according to Home Advisor. It may seem like a lot, but there are high-quality options on the lower end of the price range, like Simpson Sheet Metal, which charges $105-190 for the same service.

Simpson Sheet Metal is a leading HVAC company in Santa Rosa, CA, offering general service, maintenance and repairs, and energy-efficient upgrades. Besides being in the business for over 40 years and receiving tons of rave reviews, Simpson is licensed, NATE certified, and offers $3,600 in rebates.

Contact Simpson Sheet Metal today to schedule your free consultation!

Sources: 

HVAC School. State, County, and Municipal Licensing Requirements for HVAC Technicians and Mechanics. https://www.hvacschool.org/licensing-requirements/

Home Advisor. AC Unit Service Costs. https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/heating-and-cooling/service-maintain-ac-unit/#:~:text=Regular%20AC%20maintenance%20servicing%20costs,hour%20for%20an%20HVAC%20technician.