5 Things You Should Know Before You Hire an HVAC Company

As a homeowner at some point your heat or air conditioning systems will breakdown and you will have to get someone in to repair it.  You may not have the first clue who to call but finding an HVAC company doesn’t have to be scary.  That doesn’t mean you should bring into your home the first HVAC contractor that you come across.  Here are 5 things you should know before you hire an HVAC company.

What is the Problem?

You don’t need to be an expert or give a technical explanation of what is happening but you should be able to identify the problem.  Is your system making funny noises or is it not heating/cooling the house the way it should.  Have you had maintenance done on it in the past?  You should know about any maintenance issues that you have had in the past and be able to do simple trouble shooting like making sure the pilot light is lit.  Here is a guide to basic HVAC maintenance that any homeowner can do on their own.

Do A Little Research

Before you hire anyone always check for online reviews or references from past customers.  You can find reviews on Google itself or check with Angie’s List to see if previous customers had a good experience or they felt they were getting ripped off.  A five minute Google search can save you thousands.

Check the Legalities

Always make sure that any contractor that you deal with is fully licensed and insured.  A reputable company will have no problem showing you their paperwork.  Licenses and insurance protect your from liability in the event that something goes wrong.

Shop Around

Companies all have different rates and you should shop around before you commit to anything.  Ask about whether they offer free estimates. Heating and cooling system aren’t cheap to repair and if you need emergency services that will end up costing you more.  They may also offer to do an energy assessment of your home including whether you have proper insulation.

Get Your Estimates in Writing

If you have gotten a few different estimates from contractors then make sure they put them in writing and will stand by them.  There is nothing worse than being quoted one price and then getting the bill for another.  That is another reason to check with several different companies before committing to one.

You can avoid the mistakes of other homeowners by following these simple tips before you hire an HVAC technician.

Is It Time to Replace Your HVAC System?

When extreme temperatures come around in the winter or summer there is nothing quite like coming home and getting comfortable.  A fully functional HVAC system is what makes your home the perfect oasis during the summer heat.  Even the best make and model of HVAC system won’t last forever and at some point you will have to decide is it time to replace your HVAC system.  Here are some of the symptoms to look for in determining whether you can get away with a repair or you actually need your system changed.

  1. It’s getting noisy. As your HVAC system starts to breakdown it will start getting louder, it can make knocks or pings as you turn it on.  Have someone come into take a look at it and then you can determine your next course.  At this point a technician can help you to decide if it is worth repairing or it is time for a brand new system.
  2. It’s getting old. While a well maintained system can last for 15 years or even longer there will come a time when it is time to replace your old unit.  As they get older you will spend more time calling in someone to repair your unit.  Newer units are far more energy efficient than the older ones, so they do pay for themselves over time.  That brings us to our next point.
  3. The energy bills are just too high. If you are starting to notice spikes in the cost of your heating or electric bills because of running your heat or air conditioning.  As your HVAC system gets older it isn’t as efficient as it used to be and it has to work harder to keep your rooms at the right temperature.  That means your furnace runs longer, costing you more money.  It may be cheaper in the long run to replace your unit rather than to spend money on electric or gas bills along with repair bills.

It goes without saying that you want your home to be comfortable any time of year, summer or winter but that starts with a working HVAC unit.  Having regular maintenance can help keep your system running smoothly.  Hire an HVAC technician to come in once or twice per year can help you to catch a problem before it gets worse.  Whether you should repair or replace will depend on the age of your system and if you are spending too much on repair bills.