Choosing the right HVAC Contractor can mean the difference between an installation of your heating and air conditioning system that goes smoothly and provides years of trouble-free comfort and one that winds up costing you a thousand in wasted money and aggravation. Before you search for a contractor, you must do some homework about your specific job. Your goal isn't to become a technical expert, but you want to learn enough to ask the right questions and evaluate the answers.

Research Your options

Your neighbor had a great experience with one contractor, and your co-worker had a terrible experience with another. The feedback is great research material! During the research phase, identify several contractors who can help you with your job. The best feedback comes from the mouth experiences of people you trust. They are more likely to give you the "strait scoop" on their experiences (both positive and negative) than other potential referrals. Your prospect list should include two of three contractors. Each prospect should be located locally, and the business should Have a physical street address. Then, you should call your local Better Business Bureau (BBB) or other consumer-related organizations to verify company information.

Before You Make a Decision, Ask These 20 Basic Questions:

1. How long has the company been in business
2. How many certified service technicians and installation technicians does the company have?
3. Is every employee required to sign the Customer Service Pledge?
4. Is the company a member in good standing with the BBB?
5. Has the company received awards in the community for outstanding service in heating and air conditioning?
6. Is the company available evenings and weekends with call takers and technicians to handle any service calls or emergencies?
7. Does the company survey customers after work is completed to find out the level of customer satisfaction?
8. Does the company have adequate liability insurance and proof of it?
9. Does the company provide worker compensation insurance?
10. Do the company drug test and background check all employees before hiring and continue with random tests throughout their employment?
11. Does the company test each employee on their level of technical experience before hiring them?
12. Does the company have a documented weekly technical training program for employees to maintain and improve their skill level?
13. Does the company have an in-house training facility with a full-time trainer for service and installation technicians?
14. Will the company use shoe covers and drop cloths on the job to protect your home and property?
15. Does the company have the policy to show up on time or refund your money?
16. Will the company provide you with a list of customers who have had problems resolved with a no questions- no hassle written guarantee?
17. Does the company have a written 100% satisfaction Money Back Guarantee?
18. Will the company handle all permits needed for your job?
19. Does the company have all necessary state and local licenses to perform the appropriate work?
20. Can the company provide me with a list of references for the work I am planning to have done?