Choosing a Contractor
CHOOSING A CONTRACTOR TO CONTRACT FOR YOU
HERE ARE TEN(10)TIPS FROM ENERGY STAR FOR CHOOSING A CONTRACTOR:
There is a lot of contractor competition in the Heating, Air conditioning and refrigerator repair industry in Texas. First of all with AC service being such a diverse profession with many different specialties, there are a number of things that you can do to ensure that you’re hiring the right HVAC contractor for your home or commercial HVAC repairs.
What are the risks of hiring an unlicensed contractor?
1. When you hire an unlicensed contractor they now become your employee by state law! 2. You are responsible for paying 941 and social security taxes on them. 3. You are liable for any injuries including any medical bills they incur. 4. You are liable for lost wages when and IF they ever go back to work. 5. If any damage is done to your house or system they have no liability insurance. 6. If you try to collect on your homeowners insurance they will deny it and may even cancel your policy. 7. The state can fine you up to $2500.00 per occurrence for unlicensed contractor. 8. An unlicensed contractor can’t acquire the necessary permits leaving you to pay the fines. 9. How can you be sure an unlicensed contractor really knows what they are doing? 10. When your system has a failure (and it will!) all warranties on the system will be cancelled! Now it is up to you to decide, how much money are you really saving by using unlicensed contractor?
1.Study up on HVAC repair and service companies.
Most of all discover HVAC and licensing standards for your locality. They vary from place to place. Is the HVAC contractor you’re considering for your repair properly licensed to do the work you’re asking them to do?
2. What about their insurance?
HVAC units involve heavy and expensive equipment that runs under extreme pressures and extremely high voltage. In addition improperly installed or repaired HVAC systems can be extremely dangerous. If there is an accident, is your HVAC contractor going to be able to cover the liability, in addition are you going to be stuck paying for this yourself?
Also before you contact any HVAC contractor in TX, it’s good to know the model of your current AC Unit and maintenance history. If you know the model and manufacturer of your air conditioning system, you can ask the potential HVAC repair contractor about the kind of experiences they’ve had with your type of unit. If you know the repair history, not only will you help the AC contractor folks know if your system is due for replacement, but you’ll also be able to know if they’re trying to talk you into buying something that you don’t need.
AC service folks can do more for you than just fix the obvious problems with your HVAC systems. If you also present a list of rooms that are uncomfortable, a talented AC contractor should be able to present you with some ways to fix this and that doesn’t always mean adding another air conditioner to the house or room.
3. Checking your AC service contractor’s references is always a good idea.
Who are their customers, can you talk to them to see if they’re happy? Also find out things about quality of work and was the work completed on time and on budget?
4. Look for special offers.
In the HVAC contractor industry, this can save you a lot of time and money, HVAC systems are expensive. Also cheaper is not always better.
5.Educate yourself on efficiency.
HVAC units that may cost more up front may also be a lot more efficient than the cheaper competitors. In addition the ENERGY STAR initiative established by the EPA, for example, establishes a set of guidelines that can help HVAC unit buyers make intelligent decisions about where their money goes.
6.Expect your HVAC contractor to do a home evaluation.
Let’s face it, even if you describe your situation, nothing is as good as a physical analysis of the space that you’re trying to condition. Furthermore if your contractor just hands you an estimate over the phone without personally visiting, be wary of their ability to do you and your AC servicing correctly.
7.When you’re looking to get AC repairs and AC service, get written estimates for everything.
Be sure to compare your HVAC system cost, efficiency rating. Most of all compare apples to apples! Often times, money saved now is a lot more money spent later on repairs and monthly operating costs.
8.Get your AC service and repair estimate in writing from the contractor.
Don’t just look at the cost, look at the parts they want to install. Do you see a different parts list between installers? You don’t have to know what it all does, but if you see a difference list from AC service contractor A and AC service contractor B, Make sure you are comparing equal system configurations.
9. Do you like your HVAC contractor?
Tell your friends and family. Talking about which contractor you like and don’t like helps educate the masses and does a lot to cut down on the contractor that aren’t so honest when it comes to AC repair.
10. Get the ENERGY STAR guide.
For complete information on keeping your home comfortable year-round, the Guide to Energy Efficient Cooling and Heating (PDF) and help you a lot. En Espanol — Guia para la Eficiencia de Energía en la Calefacción y el Aire Acondicionado.