Cornerstone

Owning a home is a big deal

Owning a home is a big deal. You always want to make sure that you and your family or customers are cool during the summer and warm during the winter, so hiring a great HVAC contractor is highly important. Just because a contractor is popular, however, does not mean that they are good at what they do or are right for the job you have, so knowing what to look for in a contractor is highly important. There are always going to be plenty of residential and commercial HVAC jobs to be done, whether systems need to be serviced, repaired or totally replaced.

You will see that it is vital to check into who you are hiring ahead of time and be sure that they have all of the necessary credentials to do the job for you. Here are five easy tips that you can use when you are in search of a reliable and reputable HVAC contractor, as well as some great tips on keeping your ducts clean.

Know Where to Look

One of the most important things you need to know when you are searching for a HVAC contractor to hire for your job is where you should be looking. One of the best places to check is the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, as they are a non-profit organization that has a compilation of over 60,000 professionals that you can choose from, as well as over 4,000 companies. Everyone on the list has great references from previous jobs that they completed and are all in good standing, as well. If you do not have any luck with the ACCA, however, you can also check recommendation sites, like Angie’s List, where you will be able to find HVAC contractors with reviews and ratings from real customers who actually hired them. This will let you know that whoever you are choosing to hire does good work, is trust worthy and is not a fly by nighter. Many reviews go into great detail, so you’ll have an idea about the person you’re considering before you even contact them.

One more thing you can do, if you’re not looking to use websites to find a HVAC contractor, is to ask around in your neighborhood. Check with friends and neighbors to see who they hired when they needed an HVAC job done. You will see that your friends, neighbors and even co-workers will generally be honest with you and not mislead you to someone who does not provide high quality work.

Check Their Paperwork

If you are pretty sure that you found an HVAC contractor that you’re sure you want to hire, you should always do your part and check their paperwork. You want to make sure that they have passed their HVAC training course and exams and have obtained their license to do the job. Depending on the state you live in, it may not be a requirement, so, you can always check the Contractor’s License Reference Site to clarify.

You should also be sure that the contractor has a contract license surety bond, just in case something should go wrong with your agreement. This is a something a contractor must have before he or she can get licensed, so again, it is a wise idea to ask about it and check up with your local authorities to see if it is a requirement in your area. The amount of the bond will depend on your local requirements, as well.

Finally, be sure that the contractor you are hiring has worker’s compensation insurance, in case one of the workers gets injured while doing the job for you. The last thing you want is to be held responsible for the injury.

Always Check Credentials

While the license and surety bonds, as well as the worker’s comp insurance is highly important, you always want to be sure that the contractor you hire has the permits that are required to do your job. You should also be sure that they are experienced with the HVAC brand in your home or business so that there is no misunderstanding or complications down the line, especially once they start the job.

If you are installing a whole new system, be sure that you hire a contractor who has worked with the brand you want to install before and who can explain to you how to service the system yourself to save you both time and money in the future.

Get a Contract

After you’ve gotten in touch with a contractor you want to work with, be sure to keep track of everything that has been said or promised to you when it comes to the job. While you may not always be able to correspond by email or message, be sure to get everything in writing to save yourself hassle down the line, should you run into problems. Be sure you get a quote and a contract that specifically states all the details about when the work will be performed, a break down of labor and equipment costs, the dates when the payments for the job are due and a final deadline for when the job will be completed.

Ask for Referrals

If you are fairly sure you have found the right contractor for your job, you should always ask for some referrals. Feel free to ask for three referrals from other customers who have worked with your potential HVAC contractor. Give them a call, ask any questions you may have. This way, you’ll be sure the business transaction is satisfactory for everyone involved and in the future, you can recommend the HVAC professional.

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Choosing a Reliable Contractor for Installation

When you are choosing a contractor to install a HVAC system for you, you will see that who you choose can actually be more important than even the equipment. As with anything, you should always do some research to learn a bit about who you are considering, but there are some simple tips you can use to make choosing a reliable HVAC contractor for installing your new system simple. You can find more information on choosing a good heating and cooling company on this Winnipeg heating and cooling site.istock_000010909599medium_hvac

  • If you do not know any HVAC contractors, ask around with friends, family members, co-workers and even neighbors to see who they recommend. These people would never mislead you.
  • If no one you knows has any recommendations, head onto the Air Conditioning Contractors of American website and take a look at the list of contractors available in your area. You want to be sure that the contractors have technicians certified by the North American Technician Excellence or partnered up with Energy Star.
  • Never hire someone who gives you a ‘free estimate’ over the phone without ever sending someone out to assess the job to be done.
  • Contractors who are well-trained and up to date will never try to discourage you from purchasing high efficiency equipment because they will know how to install and perform the necessary maintenance. Companies who are not up to date will and will want you to choose older, less efficient products.
  • Be sure that the contractor you are considering gives you a written proposal with details about the equipment to be installed, the prices and the date the job will be complete.Air-Cooled-Chiller2

Consequences of Not Maintaining Your HVAC System

At Cornerstone Controls, we constantly let our customers know just how important it is for them to properly maintain their HVAC systems after they get them installed or repaired, but some people just do not understand programmable-thermostats-use-run-schedule_654d3e5e64eeb2928dd2cca654d08aab_3x2why a maintenance plan or even knowing how to perform the maintenance themselves is so important. There are a number of different reasons, but the most important reason for good maintenance is to ensure that your HVAC system functions properly and lasts as long as possible. If you do not have a maintenance plan, here are a few possible consequences.

Thermostat Does Not Function Properly

If your thermostat is not functioning properly, you’re going to have some real problems. Your unit will not turn on at the right time or off at the right time. This may lead to you being either too hot or too cold and can really affect your family or your customers. This is also very bad for your unit.

Dirty Coils

The condenser coil for your HVAC unit is located outside the unit and its job is to eliminate the hot air sent to it. You will see that your coil is more effective at handling the hot air when it is clean. If it should get dirty, your unit will not function as efficiently, and it can cause a rise in the energy bills, while reducing the unit’s lifespan significantly.

attachment.phpIf the evaporator coil is dirty, the air flowing through your home will not be heated or cooled as it should. The air flow will also be restricted and your unit will also have a shorter lifespan, not to mention, the dirt in the coil can be a home for mold and mildew.

Blocked Condenser

The condenser is easily one of the most important parts of the entire HVAC unit, because it has so many responsibilities, including condensing and subcooling. It makes sure that the air flowing through your home or business is the proper temperature, but when the condenser is blocked, the heat transfer will not take place and the temperature of the condenser will rise. If not dealt with, your condenser can burn out.

Clean Home, Clean Ducts and Furnace

You live in your home and it gets dirty, on a daily basis. That is completely understandable, but one thing many people do not understand is how that dirt just from everyday life can affect their HVAC system and furnace. Believe it or not, the everyday dirt and debris that gets sucked into your vents is more problematic than you may have originally thought. Here are just a few reasons as to why cleaning your home regularly can prolong the life of your HVAC furnace system.image.axd

  • Cleaning your home will remove a great deal of the dust and debris that accumulates on a daily basis. The dust and debris will not get into your ducts or be recirculated into your household in the future, either.
  • Cleaning will make the air flow through your ducts and furnace much easier, increasing the efficiency of your HVAC system by up to 40%.Do-I-Need-My-Air-Ducts-Cleaned
  • Your furnace will not have to work as hard when it comes to filtering all of the dirt and debris out, and your filters will not need to be replaced as often, saving you time and money.
  • Cleaning your home doesn’t really cost a thing. Even if you only clean once a week, you are making a huge difference for your HVAC system and your furnace. Picking up a duster or pushing the vacuum can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars and prolong the life of your furnace and HVAC system.

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