Ensuring Quality HVAC Installation: Important Questions to Ask Contractors
Many HVAC contractors offer installation services, which can be great for many homeowners. But as an association, your responsibility of finding the right HVAC contractor is even more important, as a shoddy job can seriously hamper the efficiency of your new HVAC system, and leave room for concern rather than comfort. If you’re looking to get the best HVAC services for your installation, there are some questions you need to raise before closing off the deal with your HVAC contractors.
RealManage, as a management company, can help you find and evaluate contractors that are right for your community but once you've reviewed the options and are ready to sign a contact, there are some important questions that you should be asking to ensure your community has the best contractor for the job. The questions we’ll be discussing today can play an important role in making sure you're making the right choice. These questions may also come in handy if you are a homeowner and evaluating your own HVAC contractors.
1. How long have you been in the business as an HVAC Contractor?
This is essentially one of the most important questions you can ask any HVAC contractor. Not only does this provide you with a substantial amount of information about the contractor you are about to hire, but it also lets you assess their quality of work. The answer you usually want to hear is that they’ve been around for quite a while, which means they’ve managed to keep their business alive by delivering great services. Moreover, it also means that they are experienced in the craft. However, it is not a definitive way of determining the quality of the HVAC contractor’s services. Nevertheless, asking the contractor how long they’ve been in the business is an excellent way to get a rough idea of how good or experienced the company and its employees are.
2. Are you an insured HVAC contractor?
The best HVAC Contractors understand the importance of liability insurance, in addition to ensuring the safety of their workers it can also provide you with coverage that might otherwise fall to your homeowners. Therefore, asking this question early on is vital, and can easily keep you safe from dealing with unexpected monetary consequences down the line.
Many things can go wrong during an HVAC installation and the contractor must take full responsibility. Be it damage to your home, or, an unfortunate accident involving their employees. Never settle for an HVAC Contractor who does not provide insurance coverage for their workers, the services they offer, and the damages they might cause to your home. If you need assistance evaluating the coverage to ensure that it meets your communities standards, your community manager or local insurance agent can help you review these policies and give you more detailed information.
3. Who will manage the HVAC contractors on-site?
It's important to know who will be supervising the projects at your community or in your home. Often, during your dealings with the HVAC contractor, you won’t be talking with the person who will ultimately show up to your home and manage everything. We previously discussed the use of subcontractors on your community and the liability that it can cause, but knowing who is handling the day to day management of the project can go a long way to helping your board and owners understand the project and provide a resource for questions or concerns. By asking this question, you open the opportunity to meet up and get to know the person who will manage the operation in your community. Meeting with the onsite project manager can also help allay any fears your board may have when working on what can be an expensive project.
Management companies, like RealManage, can help with oversight of HVAC projects and provide your owners with a point of contact for projects but it's important to remember that the contract is always at the exclusive behest of the board and therefore it is the responsibility of the board to verify that all contractors on-site meet community standards.
4. Will you be inspecting and ensuring the quality of my home’s ductwork?
Having a reliable network of ducts to support your new HVAC system is crucial in ensuring that the system operates at peak efficiency all the time. Hence, it is up to the HVAC Contractor to ensure that they run a thorough check on the existing ductwork of the house, condo or common areas before going through with the HVAC installation. Should there be dirty or leaky ducts, the HVAC Contactor will offer you a chance to fix the problems. Therefore, to ensure that your HVAC system runs optimally, the HVAC contractors must inspect the ductwork before installation.
5. How much is the down payment and how are unexpected expenses handled?
For a big job like HVAC installation or repair, contractors often require a down payment before kicking things into gear. Depending on the the job and scope of work, a down payment can be anywhere between 10% - 50% but each job is unique and it's worth discussing with your contractor how any unexpected expenses will be calculated after that initial payment. There is no hard and fast rule to determine what your project will cost but you can always look online to see what similar jobs are being quoted at and can bring up these price comparisons with your contractor before any work is started.
6. Do you provide a guarantee for the services you offer?
The best HVAC contractors in Dallas & neighboring areas stand by their work, and will often offer guarantees for their services. That is, aside from the equipment you install, the HVAC contractor should provide some form of guarantee for the installation procedures the technicians will undertake. Therefore, expect a month or two of commitment from the HVAC contractors when you raise this question. If they are not willing to stand by the work they do, they might not be the right contractors for the job.
These are just some of the most important questions you should be asking the HVAC contractors before you hire them for an HVAC installation job. While they are not the absolutes when it comes to assessing the quality of an HVAC contractor, they provide a rough outline of what you might be dealing with. Therefore, we hope these questions can help you seek out the best HVAC contractors when you require HVAC installation services for your home’s heating and air conditioning needs.