For most homeowners, the Spring cleaning “to do” list should include making sure the home stays cool as the weather gets warm. This may mean inspecting or replacing current air conditioning systems, or possibly installing a new air conditioner.

In any case, the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) selected to inspect, upgrade or install an air conditioning system is as critical to the system’s successful operation as the equipment itself. recommends homeowners consider the following suggestions when selecting a contractor:

Educate yourself.Even a little bit of information gleaned from books, magazines and online resources, like, can provide invaluable as you pose questions to ask a potential contractor.

Do your homework.Use whatever advertising you have at your disposal and get recommendations from friends, co-workers, real estate agents and home improvement specialists.

Certifications.Check for membership in professional organizations such as NATE (North American Technician Excellence).

Keep it legal.Cask to see state and local licenses, liability insurance forms and worker’s compensation documents. Be sure that these documents apply to the contractor as well as any technicians and subcontractors in his or her employ.

Experience.Consider the number of years a contractor has been in business. In many cases, a reputation for quality, reliability and dependability grows with length of service to a community.

Observe.A good HVAC contractor will visit your home to make an on-site inspection before any equipment recommendations are made. A load calculation should be part of the visit.

Customized experience.A good contractor will also engage you in conversation in an effort to learn your expectations of an air conditioning system, as well as any concerns you may have. Using our technology selector, you’ll have an idea of what they’ll be looking for and the kind of things you may want to ask about.

Look them up.Research the selection of services a contractor offers. Is scheduled maintenance included? What about repairs? Is the contractor available 24 hours a day? What have others said about them?

Ask for references.Then, check those references. In the end, references probably have the greatest impact on a homeowner who is considering a contractor. However, references should be considered in conjunction with other information gained through your search.

Is that system right for you?

Questions to ask when you need a new HVAC system

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