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How to Choose the Right Heating & Air Conditioning Contractor

As you prepare for the hot summer or cold winter weather to arrive, now is the ideal time to research air conditioning and heating installation contractors. Prepare in advance to make a informed purchase decision on both the brand of equipment and the right HVAC contractor.

Many homeowners have worked with the same heating and cooling contractor for years but, most don't have one on speed dial. If you need to find a company you can count on for your family's comfort needs, ask yourself, “How do I select an HVAC contractor that will do a quality job at a fair price?”

Keep the following tips in mind as you search for a contractor to install your new cooling system this before the extreme weather arrives. They'll help you make an informed decision to help ensure you select the right one.


Instead of starting from scratch, some homeowners prefer a professional contractor recommendation. These sources will help you find an HVAC pro with a solid reputation.

Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) is a leading trade group in the HVAC industry. Members commit to delivering quality heating, cooling, indoor air quality, and home performance services. They serve residential, commercial, and industrial customers.

North American Technician Excellence (NATE) is an independent certifying group for HVAC technicians. They conduct skills certification and ongoing education for industry contractors. Working with a NATE-certified technician benefits customers through correct air conditioning installation, quick service, and reduced utility bills. Look for a company who hires NATE-certified air conditioning installation contractors for peace of mind.


Want to learn what it's like working with a particular HVAC pro prior to hiring? Hear what other customers have to say. Learn about the quality of work performed, customer service delivered, and the contractor's ability to navigate tricky technical and customer situations.

Ask trusted friends, family, and neighbors for HVAC contractor recommendations. These people aren't likely to lead you astray. They're likely to give you details of great experiences, as well as reasons why not to hire certain companies. If a friend or family member has an air conditioning installation contractor they've worked with in the past and highly recommend, that company is likely to do an excellent job for you, too.

Look to online review sites and home services-specific sites such as HomeAdvisor, which have detailed accounts of customer experiences for many local air conditioning pros. You may see a mix of good and bad reviews. Remember, these sites can be a sounding board for dissatisfied customers. Look for a response from the company, see how professionally they handle poor public reviews. Did they graciously offer to fix the situation? Did they respond with kindness or negativity?


Many states and/or local areas require HVAC contractors to have a license. Some areas require testing or a number of on-the-job hours. Licensing can reassure consumers that the contractor indeed possesses the knowledge and skills needed to perform HVAC work. Working with a licensed contractor can offer you protection, as some areas require that contractors have insurance. Most states and some local areas offer online directories. You can look up a contractor's licensing. Find by a quick online search for your state's or area's contractor licensing requirements.

As you vet contractors for your upcoming air conditioning and/or heating installation, do your research and follow the above advice. Taking these steps will increase your chances of finding an honest, dependable local professional. Avoid poor workmanship and even scams by checking contractors before you hire.

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