Should I retain the installer of my AC unit as a service contractor?
The key to finding a good service provider is to start with installation. AC Doctor recommends that you get at least three estimates before choosing a contractor. Here you can educate yourself on Quality Installation. That way, you’ll know what to expect and what questions to ask your potential installer. Once you find a good contractor, service is a no-brainer. A trusted technician who installed the system will know more than anyone how to keep it running properly.
Here are just a few of the points you might want to bring up while choosing a contractor:
- Is this company offering high-efficiency HVAC systems?
- Do they offer a service contract?
- Did they do a Manual J to determine your cooling needs?
- Did they recommend a programmable thermostat?
- Did they inspect the existing ductwork?
- Did they plan to replace both outside and inside units? (One should never be done without replacing the other.)
Here is a complete checklist for your HVAC installer:
The HVAC Installation Checklist
Suppose, however, that you’ve inherited the HVAC system. You’ve just moved to the area, and you don’t know a good AC contractor. Do you just call the first one whose name pops up in google? Or ask your child’s schoolteacher, who’s lived in town for 50 years? ACDoctor can help you here, too.
Our ‘find a contractor’ service allows you to type in your zip code and see the certified, licensed service companies in your area.
You can also access reviews of a particular contractor, written by other customers. With more than 60 years in HVAC, ACDoctor knows the industry. Again, it’s best to interview at least three contractors. Educate yourself before meeting with them, so you know the key issues to watch for. Armed with your fundamental knowledge, you can focus on other, common-sense factors, such as:
- Did the technician show up on time?
- Does his rate compare with the others you’ve gotten?
- Does he or she wear a uniform (indicating some degree of professionalism)?
- Is the company licensed to handle refrigerant?
- Do they offer a warranty on parts or labor?
- Did they get good references, or have complaints been lodged on the ACDoctor review site?
If you’ve done your homework and selected a contractor you can trust, you should feel comfortable letting him do your annual AC maintenance and trouble-shooting.