Questions to Ask on First Date with New HVAC Technician
You may or may not want a romantic date with one of our professional HVAC technicians, but you definitely want them to be experienced, clean, honest, and articulate.
If you want to know more about your new Valentine, you may want to ask some questions like:
- What’s your favorite food?
- Where do you want to travel?
- Are you an early bird or a night owl?
These are not the questions you want to ask an HVAC technician, but the vetting process is just as necessary.
The time you take to interview and select the right HVAC contractor will reap rewards for your wallet, wellbeing, and peace of mind. We wish we could say the same for your romantic pursuits.
Questions to Ask an HVAC Contractor
In order to make sure you are getting the most out of your relationship with an HVAC company, there are some time-tested questions you want to ask.
What’s your state-issued license number?
The very first thing you should verify when shopping around for HVAC contractors is their state-issued license number. Most of the time you can find the license number on the HVAC company’s website or advertising material. If not, you can also verify active licenses online by the contractor’s name or UBI number.
Click here to verify a contractor, tradesperson, or business in the state of Washington. Contact the HVAC company if you are having difficulty finding their license number or verifying their credentials.
Once you look up your HVAC contractor’s license number on your state’s online licensing portal, you can find out important information, such as:
- Active or inactive license
- Active or inactive workers’ compensation
- Safety citations and other infractions
- Lawsuits against their bond
A state license lets you know that the HVAC technician has been trained and tested to properly work on HVAC systems according to all building codes and requirements.
Are you bonded and insured?
Related to state licensing information, ask your HVAC company to provide proof of insurance.
Liability and worker’s compensation insurance provide protection for you and the HVAC company in case there is an injury or damage to the property.
Bonding means that your HVAC contractor has invested in a surety bond, which protects customers from problems related to poor workmanship, incomplete work, and other work disputes.
Licensing and bonding are important safeguards to have when working on complicated HVAC systems. Make sure these credentials are in place before moving forward.
Are you background checked and insured?
This may not be a question you want to ask your technician upfront, but it’s definitely something to check up on. Contact the HVAC company and ask about their use of background checks and drug testing.
Knowing this information will give you greater peace of mind that you are dealing with a professional who cares about the safety and security of your home and family.
Do you have any references?
Online reviews and testimonials are nice, but asking for recent customer references is even better. Most HVAC companies would be happy to provide you with contact information for recently completed jobs.
Can you provide upfront pricing in writing?
After diagnosing your HVAC problem, it’s important to get upfront pricing in writing, including all work being done, materials, costs, and completion schedule. Be on the lookout for cheap bids. The cheapest and fastest bid could result in poor workmanship and many headaches to come.
Make sure you ask for a firm completion date and whether or not it includes a full cleanup.
Do you offer any labor warranties?
Most HVAC systems and products come with manufacturer warranties, but you should also ask if the HVAC company adds any labor warranties to guarantee proper operation for a specified period of time. Many HVAC companies backup their work with additional warranties and guarantees. Make sure you get all warranty information in writing.
How long have you been in business?
While age doesn’t guarantee quality work, it’s a good idea to choose an HVAC company that has built up a strong reputation. Many years in business means there are many years of reviews and references to look into. If the business hasn’t been fully established yet, you’re taking an unnecessary gamble on one of the most important aspects of your home.
In addition to knowing how many years the company has been in business, we also recommend asking the individual technician how long they have been a technician. Tests are one thing, experience is another.
Do you follow Manual J guidelines?
If you are choosing an HVAC company to install or replace a new HVAC system, it’s important to get the job done right the first time. One way to ensure a proper installation is by asking ahead of time what their process is for determining the right-sized unit.
Manual J HVAC load calculations determine how much heating or cooling you actually need. The size of your unit depends on many factors, such as: climate, home orientation, insulation/ventilation levels, window types, and any gaps or cracks around the home.
Are you NATE certified?
NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence and is an award given to HVAC technicians who pass their stringent training and testing programs. NATE certification adds an extra layer of comfort and peace of mind.
Below are some additional questions to ask when shopping around for a new heating and cooling contractor.
- Inspect the whole HVAC system, including electrical components and ductwork?
- Evaluate the HVAC system’s air balance by measuring the supply and return ducts?
- Clean the indoor and outdoor components?
- Replace or repair any damaged components onsite?
- Include a fresh filter as part of the regular tune-up?
- Perform an on-site inspection and provide a detailed bid and upfront pricing?
- Complete and submit any warranty information and paperwork on your behalf?
- Leave behind all upfront pricing, bids, documentation, sizing calculations, certifications, and necessary records in writing?
- Provide tips and education for making sure your system is operating at its best?
After checking online reviews and getting recommendations from friends and family, it’s important to verify that you are working with a qualified professional.
We recommend interviewing at least two different HVAC companies to compare their bids. And don’t just take price into consideration. These questions will help you make the right decision by getting information on additional factors, such as liability and worker’s compensation insurance.
Learn more about hiring the right HVAC contractor:
- What to Know Before Buying a New HVAC System
- Why is NATE Certification Important? | HVAC Technician Excellence
Pacific Heating & Cooling is your trusted HVAC and Indoor Air Quality company in the Tacoma/Lakewood area. We’ll set you up with some of the best technicians in the business. Contact our expert team at (253) 292-3995 or schedule service online.
Happy Valentine’s Day!