When installing an HVAC system in a new home or replacing an old HVAC system in your current home, who you hire to do the work is crucial. HVAC systems are one of the biggest investments you can make to your home. Installations are complex and often disruptive, especially if new ductwork is being laid throughout the home. If you’re doing renovations or building a new home, this is a part of the construction you want to be done right the first time to avoid having to redo work later on.
That’s why choosing the right HVAC contractor is so important. Using the wrong contractor can result in the unit being installed incorrectly. Shoddy workmanship will cost you in terms of money and inconvenience further down the line. In a worst-case scenario, it can even compromise safety. Fixing HVAC installation mistakes once a home is built is frustrating and can be very costly.
How can you be sure you’re hiring the best HVAC contractor in Las Vegas? Here are seven things to consider when choosing an HVAC contractor.
1. Are They Licensed, Bonded and Insured?
To work in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning industry requires specialized skills and training. HVAC systems consist of various mechanical parts and contractors need in-depth knowledge of how the equipment functions to properly install, maintain and repair them. Contractors also need to know how to safely work with gas and electrical components. For these reasons, the industry is regulated.
Before you hire an HVAC company, check that the contractor fulfills all state requirements. To work as an HVAC contractor in Las Vegas, the Nevada State Contractors Board requires all contractors to be state-licensed and to carry and maintain a license bond. In addition, Nevada law requires all business owners to have workers compensation insurance to cover any accidents or injuries workers may suffer during the course of their work.
This first step immediately narrows your search for a contractor as you can quickly disqualify unlicensed contractors.
2. Be Careful of Low-Priced Contractors
Buying a new HVAC system is expensive. It’s tempting to opt for the lowest bid. Remember, the cliche “you get what you pay for” is often true. Many cheaper HVAC contractors are cheap for a reason. When pricing is lower, it usually means corners are being cut somewhere. These contractors may not be licensed, their technicians may not be properly trained, and they may use inferior products. With an unlicensed contractor, you run the risk that they will install the system incorrectly or install the wrong sized HVAC system. This will lead to problems later on.
An incorrectly sized HVAC unit won’t function efficiently. An undersized unit won’t be able to adequately meet the heating and cooling needs of your house. It will run almost continuously to try to reach the required temperature — a huge waste of electricity. An oversized unit will be prone to short-cycling. It won’t remain on long enough to remove enough moisture from the air, leading to an increase in humidity levels. Plus, the constant switching on and off will result in higher energy bills, frequent repairs, and shorten the lifespan of the unit. These are all the problems you want to avoid! A good contractor will conduct a load calculation before installation to determine the correct size of unit required for your home.
If you are on a limited budget, rather scout around for a reputable contractor that is offering a discount on installations. This way, you are assured of good quality of work at an affordable price.
3. Check Reviews and Get Referrals
Before hiring an HVAC contractor in Las Vegas, it is always wise to do some research on the company. Find out how long the contractor has been in business. You want to select a company with a proven track record. An established company is likely to be more experienced, stable, and hold a solid reputation in the area. However, bear in mind that this is simply a good starting point when determining which contractor to hire. It doesn’t mean that a new contractor will do a bad job or that choosing a long-standing contractor guarantees a good job.
That’s why it’s advisable to dig a little deeper. Browse the HVAC company’s website for more information and read customer reviews. If there are no reviews on a company’s website, try searching local business directories that feature customer reviews.
Referrals are another good way to find a trustworthy contractor. Talk to your neighbors, friends, and co-workers. Perhaps one of them had HVAC work done recently and can refer you to a good contractor.
4. Did The Contractor Conduct a Home Evaluation?
When bidding on a job, an HVAC contractor should always conduct a home evaluation. Never accept a telephone quote. This indicates a lazy and unprofessional contractor. How can the contractor know what product will best suit the house and what size unit to install if they don’t do a home visit to ascertain the heating and cooling needs of the house? Even if you have knowledge of HVAC systems and can give the HVAC company information on your existing unit, it doesn’t compare to an in-person quote, because what’s in your house may no longer be up to code or may have been wrong to begin with.
On a home inspection, an expert contractor will also spot other issues that may need attention such as insulation leaks or poor ventilation.
If you’re considering moving away from a traditional packaged unit, the contractor can explain the different types of HVAC systems such as a heat pump, split system, or ductless system to help you decide on the best HVAC solution for your home. If energy efficiency is your main concern, the contractor will be able to advise on the most energy-efficient systems available and may recommend a product with a higher SEER rating.
All of these things should be discussed during a home evaluation before the contractor quotes on the job. This should not be a verbal quote. A professional contractor will provide you with a written estimate listing the products and parts involved. Without a written estimate, nothing stops an unscrupulous contractor from issuing a final invoice that is much higher than the verbal quote they gave you and you won’t have a leg to stand on when arguing the price.
5. Do They Offer a Guarantee and Warranty?
Not all HVAC contractors offer a product warranty or guarantee on labor. This is an important factor to take into consideration when choosing an HVAC contractor. If there are problems with the system after installation or if any parts are faulty, a guarantee will cover repair work and the warranty will cover the cost of any replacement parts.
Most parts warranties cover a period of 5-10 years. It provides you with peace of mind should anything go wrong with the system during that time. This comes with a caveat, though. You will need to ensure the system is fully inspected at least once a year. Most manufacturers will want proof that the unit has been serviced by a licensed contractor before fulfilling the terms of the warranty.
6. How Robust is The HVAC Maintenance Plan?
This leads us to the next point: HVAC maintenance. HVAC maintenance isn’t only important to ensure your manufacturer’s warranty is upheld, it’s also vital in keeping your system functioning at its best. However, not all maintenance plans are equal. Most HVAC companies offer a maintenance service but some perform only basic maintenance tasks.
Ask the contractor for a list of tasks they perform on a routine maintenance call. They should do a full inspection of all the components including the outdoor condenser unit, indoor evaporator unit, the motor, blower and fan, condensate drain line, thermostat, air filter, refrigerant levels, and electrical connections.
If anything needs adjusting or repairs, the technician should fix it on the spot if possible. If a part needs replacing, he or she should order the part immediately if it is not in stock. At The Cooling Company, your comfort is our top priority and we strive to get your AC or furnace repaired as quickly as possible. If, however, we have to wait for a part to arrive, we’ll provide you with a complimentary portable air conditioner should the wait be longer than expected.
7. Special Offers and Incentives
When shopping around for an HVAC system, inquire about any special offers or customer incentives. For instance, some HVAC companies offer a rebate when purchasing a specific brand or product. Others may offer bundle deals combining two products, or run monthly or quarterly deals on a product or service. You may be in luck to score a great deal when installing a new system, buying an additional product like an air purifier, or on maintenance like duct cleaning.
Many HVAC companies also offer annual maintenance plans. Paying an annual maintenance fee upfront is usually more cost-effective than paying each time your HVAC system needs a tune-up. Technician expertise and brand knowledge is also something to consider. At The Cooling Company, our technicians are EPA-certified and trained to work on various brands including Lennox, Carrier, General Electric, Goodman, Trane, and many others. While the basic functioning of HVAC equipment is similar across all brands, there can be slight differences among various brands. An HVAC technician only trained to work on one brand may not be able to properly service and repair a different brand.
Finding The Best HVAC Contractor in Las Vegas
There are many HVAC companies in Las Vegas, each offering different qualities of service. Sifting through a long list of HVAC contractors may be tedious and time-consuming, but it’s worth taking the time to do some research before hiring a contractor. We’ve outlined the seven things we consider important when choosing an HVAC contractor. To make your decision easier, simply use this checklist as a guide when searching for an HVAC contractor in Las Vegas.
If you’re in Downtown Las Vegas or any of the surrounding areas in Southern Nevada, you don’t have to look much further than The Cooling Company for expert HVAC services. We’re a family-run business with a proven track record serving the communities of Las Vegas, Summerlin, Paradise, Whitney Ranch, Green Valley, Henderson, Boulder Highway, and Seven Hills. To date, we’ve installed nearly 2000 HVAC systems and served over 5000 satisfied customers. For professional HVAC installations, give us a call at (702) 790-8277.