How to choose an HVAC Contractor


So you’ve done your homework and are ready to convert your swamp cooler to refrigerated air.  Now that you have a better understanding of air conditioning systems you need to hire a professional to install and convert your system.  There are a lot of options out there and you are making a sizable investment in your home so you want to feel confident with your choice.  Here are some things to consider when choosing an HVAC contractor you can trust:

1. Explore your options:

It is a good idea to start by getting multiple estimates from reputable companies.  Compare the proposals carefully to see what’s included in the proposal.  Review the installation specifications with the estimator carefully.  Ask for good better best options of the equipment.

2.  The details are important:

A professional HVAC company will evaluate cost based on a variety of factors including the following:
The estimator should do a heat load calculation to thoroughly assess the cooling needs for your home size.  Bigger isn’t always better.  A unit that is too small or too big for your home will not effectively cool your home.

They should evaluate the existing duct work to assess accurate cooling capacity.

Evaluate your electrical system – it is common to have to make an electrical upgrade to your home’s electrical system to support the new heating/cooling system.

3.  Ask about warranty and maintenance:

You’re about to make a sizable investment in your home’s comfort system.  For your peace of mind ensure that the company you choose will stand behind their installation.  How long have they been in business, do they offer a warranty for their equipment and installation?

Do they offer maintenance for your system?

It’s important to know that your system converting from swamp cooler to air conditioning allows you to switch from heating to cooling and vice versa relatively easy.  However, just like your car needs maintenance to run smoothly and maintain fuel efficiency, your air conditioner needs regular maintenance to maintain your comfort and energy efficiency.

What do the experts say about choosing an HVAC Contractor?

Don’t just take our word for it, Consumer Reports and the U.S. Department of Energy makes the following recommendations for homeowners;

  • Be leery of a contractor who bases estimates merely on the size of your house or vague rules of thumb.
  • HVAC contractors should calculate required cooling capacity by using a recognized method.
  • Remember that an indoor evaporator coil and outdoor condenser must be a matched set, or the performance, efficiency, and cooling capacity claims might not be accurate.
  • Homeowners should insist upon a correct sizing calculation before signing a contract.

The bottom line, this is your home and your investment, do your homework and take your time making a decision.  Make sure all of your questions are answered and you have a good understanding of the process and installation.