Questions to Ask When Hiring a North Carolina HVAC Contractor
The process of hiring an HVAC contractor should be done with careful attention to the licensing, bonding and insurance requirements of the state. HVAC equipment is likely to be the most complicated of any of the systems found in your home, the primary reason behind the strict licensing and certification requirements for HVAC professionals.
At a minimum, the contractor you’re interviewing must have an active HVAC license with the state of North Carolina. Check with the State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinkler Contractors.They can tell you if the license is valid and up to date. North Carolina law requires that the contractor have minimum liability and property damage coverage.
The contractor must have a bond that protects the customer against any problems associated with the equipment, property damage or installation. Before hiring the contractor, ask for the insurance and bond license numbers.
NATE, short for North American Technician Excellence, is a non-profit organization that certifies only the best practitioners in the HVAC industry. To qualify, contractors and technicians must demonstrate a high level of expertise and competence. NATE certification assures you that when you’re hiring an HVAC contractor, you’re getting the best in the field.
- References. Ask the contractor for a list of recent clients to contact to assess their satisfaction.
- System familiarity. Verify that the contractor is familiar with your equipment so that any system maintenance or repairs go smoothly and competently.
- Factory authorizations. In the HVAC industry, becoming a factory-authorized dealer gives you additional assurances of the quality of the contractor. Manufacturers only choose HVAC companies who demonstrate the most knowledge of their systems before certifying them as an authorized dealer.
- Installation practices. When choosing a contractor for a new system, choose one that does detailed load calculations using Manual J. Skipping this step can cost you in a variety of ways, including a shorter system life, higher energy costs and reduced comfort.
For more information about hiring an HVAC contractor in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area, please contact the NATE-certified pros at Air Experts.
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