Your air conditioner is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make in your home. So when it stops working and needs a repair, make sure you take the time to find the right contractor for the job. Not every AC or HVAC technician is equal. Ensure you’re getting the service you need by learning what to look for in an AC repair contractor.
Every state has its own licensing and insurance requirements. Some states require that your contractor continue to go through regular training and licensing updates to stay current in the field. The contractor that you hire should be able to provide you with proof of both, and proof that they meet the state’s regulations. Make sure you double-check with your state licensing board to be certain that what you are presented with is accurate.
One way to verify experience is to ask about any training or certifications. This may include training with a particular brand or manufacturer of air conditioner, which can help ensure that the contractor knows yours.
You can also ask if the technician is NATE certified. NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence, and is another form of certification that reflects that HVAC technicians have the type of training they need to do their jobs properly.
Another way to check on experience and make sure that your new contractor is up to the job is to request references from past customers. Your contractor should be able to provide you with three to five references to call. When you do call, be sure to ask specific questions like:
Ideally, you should contact at least three technicians and have them give you a written estimate of the work that needs to be done. This can help ensure that you understand what will be done, and that you know what you are paying for. Look for a technician that can take the time to explain things and make a variety of recommendations, rather than simply offer you a flat price for the work.
It doesn’t matter how long a technician has been in business, or how good the references are if they’ve never worked on your type or brand of system before. Make sure that whomever you hire has experience with your particular system.
What happens if something goes wrong on the job, or the repair doesn’t hold up the way you were promised it would? Look for a technician that can give you written guarantees of the work. This may include warranties and/or workmanship guarantees. Don’t simply take their word on it; get the guarantee in writing.
Contractors should be confident in their work, which means that they should 100 percent guarantee the service that they perform. Any contractors that refuse to back up their work need to be avoided.
When you find the right contractor for the job, you should feel confident that your AC unit is in good hands. And while it can be tempting during a sudden summer breakdown to go with the first person that answers the phone, take the time to vet each contractor thoroughly before hiring. It could make the difference between a job well done, and a job done twice.
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