Choosing the right HVAC contractor is both a personal and practical decision. In our last blog, we explored the pros and cons of seeking advice from friends and family. While getting recommendations from people you trust is a good place to start, we outlined a few reasons why you may need more than personal advice.
With this in mind, third-party validations and checklists are key to include in your search criteria. Here are some great places to start:
- ENERGY STAR checklist – We’ve all heard of appliances being “ENERGY STAR” rated, but they also have a great website that is packed with information on everything from saving energy to choosing the right contractor. The “10 tips for hiring a heating & cooling contractor” checklist is a great summary of steps you may not have considered, such as confirming licenses and insurances, checking references and getting quotes in writing. While these seem like obvious steps, you would be surprised how many people (incorrectly) assume that a contractor is legit – only to find poor workmanship, unprofessional service and even theft.
- ENERGY STAR certification – In addition to helpful checklists, ENERGY STAR offers third-party credentialing programs, such as ACCA’s Quality Assured Contractor Program. Participating contractors must meet best practice requirements (including licensing and certification) as well as high industry standards when designing and installing HVAC equipment. They also must maintain paperwork and documentation related to each installation intended for the ENERGY STAR label.
- NORTH AMERICAN TECHNICIAN EXCELLENCE (NATE) – Think of this as the HVAC equivalent of an attorney’s bar exam. NATE is the nation’s largest nonprofit certification organization for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) technicians. NATE-certified technicians have demonstrated their knowledge of today’s increasingly sophisticated heating and cooling systems by passing a nationally recognized test developed and supported by all segments of the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning industry.
- ASHRAE – With more than 57,000 members from over 132 nations, ASHRAE is a diverse organization dedicated to advancing the arts and sciences of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration. When hiring an HVAC contractor, they should have a clear understanding of this organization and their principles.
By combining these third-party resources with personal referrals from friends and family, your odds are much higher on securing a reputable contractor. At Front Range HVAC, we meet and maintain the highest third-party qualifications, and we have some great personal recommendations as well. Give us a call to learn more.