A well-working cooling system adds many benefits to your home. It reduces humidity and allergens, improves air quality, decreases mold growth, and increases your home’s overall comfort, especially on the hot days of summer. So, it can really be frustrating when it breaks down, and you have to have it fixed.
When this happens, you don’t want to hire the first person you call but instead take your time to ensure you hire the right person. Hiring the wrong company can end up costing you hundreds in unneeded repairs and shorten the lifespan of your air conditioner. However, you can take a few simple steps to make sure you’re hiring the right air conditioning companies for the job.
1. Gather Information
Before calling around looking for an air conditioning company, you’ll need to understand your HVAC system. An excellent technician will be able to quote for your project accurately if they know all the information upfront. The information you need to know is – the manufacturer and model information, what type of maintenance and repairs have been made to your system, and what’s currently going on with it.
After you’ve gathered information about your air conditioning system, you’ll want to put together a list of heating and cooling contractors in your area. Do this by asking neighbors, friends, and family for names of HVAC repair companies they’ve used for similar work. Then use a search engine to search online for local, certified techs.
We recommend making a list of five air conditioning companies to interview.
2. Check Credentials
Make sure to verify that the air conditioning repair company has the proper credentials that are relevant to your job. Licensing requirements for HVAC professionals vary by state, so you’ll need to find out the requirements specific to where you live. We recommend hiring a company that has nationally standardized certifications. Since some air conditioning repair techs gain knowledge through a nine-month school program that offers certificate degrees.
In order to obtain a degree through a tech school or an apprenticeship, HVAC professionals should have these certifications:
- North American Trade Excellence (NATE) certification
- HVAC Excellence Certification
- HVAC Quality Installation Standard
- EPA 608 Certification
Any contractor who performs work for you must have general liability and worker’s compensation insurance.
3. Call References
Before hiring an air conditioning company, make sure to ask them for references or client testimonials. You’ll want to ask them the following questions.
- What did the technician do for you?
- Did you get a quote ahead of time?
- How close was the final price to the quote?
- Was the work done on time?
- Did they keep the work site neat and orderly?
- Would you work with them again?
4. Check Their Experience & Expertise
Most professional technicians will gain experience in programs that allow them to work with experienced technicians. Make sure the one you hire has several years of experience, and when possible, look for an air conditioning company that has worked with many types of HVAC systems. Ask about their technical expertise and training with your specific type of air conditioner. Ask questions such as.
- Have you worked with this brand or model before?
- What kind of work did it need?
- Did you receive training for this brand’s products?
You want to have a professional contractor working in your home, so it’s best if they have experience with your air conditioning model. You’ll want to know how much experience they have by asking them the following questions.
- How long have you been in business?
- What experience do you have with my system?
- What is your specialty?
- Do you have training programs to keep up with current technology?
5. Home Evaluation
An air conditioning company repair expert should inspect your HVAC system to assess your needs. The contractor will determine the exact nature of the problem, look at your duct system for air leaks and insulation, and measure the airflow to ensure it meets the manufacturer’s specifications.
6. Written and Itemized Estimate
A good air conditioning company will provide you with a comparative quote within the market range. These costs will vary depending on the type of unit you have, the cost of parts, and the nature of the problem. If your air conditioner isn’t working, it could cost as low as $150 to repair or as high as $4,200.
The air conditioning company should be able to break down the cost of the repair after a walk-through. There should be no hidden costs, and the technician should disclose everything in a written agreement. Don’t hire anyone that doesn’t give some type of written quote.
When hiring an air conditioner repair company, look for someone you can trust to do the job right the first time. You can do this by looking at their past jobs, their range of expertise, and their qualifications. Compare their services, fees, and quotes with other companies to get an idea of how much you should be paying for your repair.