Extreme temperatures in Texas, while not that common, can still be life-threatening. In fact, researchers have linked cold weather to an increase in the mortality risk of Texans. A study even found these extreme temperatures to have claimed 378 lives from 2003 to 2008.
A properly functioning HVAC system can help protect you from heat or cold waves. That’s why if your heater or AC is completely broken, you shouldn’t delay getting it replaced.
Just as important, however, is to ask the right HVAC questions when picking a contractor.
Ready to get your new HVAC unit set up as soon as possible? Then make sure you hire the right contractor by asking them these crucial questions!
1. What Do You Think is Wrong With My Current HVAC System?
This is a good way to gauge the level of service you can get from a heating and air conditioning contractor. It’ll also help you determine just how credible and trustworthy the contractor is.
For instance, a reliable contractor will first ask you for details about your HVAC issues. They will also need to know the age of your unit to help them determine if you need an HVAC replacement.
It’s only after this can they provide you with some insight on what’s wrong with your unit. Also, you can expect reliable contractors to teach you basic HVAC troubleshooting steps.
Make sure to also pay attention to the person’s voice when you speak to them over the phone. A dependable contractor takes the time to answer your questions using easy-to-understand terms.
Consider it a red flag though if someone tells you that you need a new unit without even seeing your existing one.
2. What HVAC Brands Do You Recommend (and Carry)?
When deciding which AC brand to get, a helpful feature to look for is the SEER rating. This stands for the unit’s “seasonal energy efficiency ratio”.
SEER rates measure an air conditioner’s cooling capacity to its power input. It’s the extent of cooling produced by the AC divided by the number of watts it uses. The higher a unit’s SEER is, the greater its efficiency.
That said, Lennox HVAC systems have some of the highest SEER ratings in the market. In Texas, the minimum SEER rating is 14. However, some Lennox units have a rating of up to 26 SEER!
As such, experienced HVAC contractors are likely to carry — and recommend — Lennox units. Not all do, so be sure to ask each of your prospects and also inquire about other brands they carry and maintain.
3. Can I See a Copy of Your HVAC Contractor’s License?
Texas regulates all jobs involving the installation, repair, and maintenance of HVAC systems. The regulatory board assigned to this is the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration program.
In short, anyone who performs HVAC-related work in Texas needs a contractor’s license. The type of license (Class A or Class B) also dictates the kind of HVAC job they can carry out. A person found working without the proper license can receive disciplinary action.
Licensure isn’t just the law though — it’s an important proof of an HVAC contractor’s competence. There are, after all, many educational and certification requirements prior to getting licensed.
For starters, license applicants must have completed a 48-month HVAC training program. They also need to prove that they worked on HVAC systems for at least 24 months before applying for a license.
That said, be sure to ask a prospective HVAC contractor for a copy of their license. You also want to confirm that the license is still valid, as a Texas contractor’s license is only good for one year. HVAC contractors have to renew their licenses every year.
4. Can You Provide Me Details of Your Liability Insurance?
All Texas heating and AC installation contractors should have commercial general liability insurance. However, the type of license they have dictates how much coverage they should have. What’s important is to ask a contractor to provide you the details of their policy.
Confirm that the provider is state-authorized to provide liability insurance. You should also call the insurance company to confirm the validity of the coverage.
5. Who Will Install the New HVAC System?
HVAC installers first need to measure your home’s total cooling and heating space. This is a crucial step in getting an appropriately-sized HVAC unit. Proper sizing ensures that you will get the most out of your cooling and heating equipment.
This is why you should ask the HVAC contractor who will perform the installation. Don’t worry though, as reputable contractors employ only trained and certified technicians. They will come to your home for a comprehensive assessment of your heating and cooling needs.
6. What is and What’s Not Included in the Project Quote?
An HVAC contractor should be straightforward when it comes to inclusions and exclusions. They should tell you right away if they will replace all existing HVAC parts. They should also inform you about any warranty or guarantee exclusions.
The most important thing is to ensure that all these details will be in writing. This way, you’ll know exactly where your money will go and what the contractor will use it for.
7. How Soon Can You Start Work?
As mentioned above, temperature extremes in Texas can be deadly. That’s why you should have your new HVAC system set up as soon as possible. The last thing you want is for you and your loved ones to suffer from hypothermia or hyperthermia.
That said, choose an HVAC contractor who can commit to a service schedule ASAP. If possible, they should be able to install your new HVAC within the next 24 hours.
Hire the Right Contractor by Asking the Right HVAC Questions
Don’t skip any of these HVAC questions when interviewing your prospects. All these will help you figure out which contractor to expect to excellent service from. Most importantly, you’ll know right away when exactly you can get your new HVAC unit up and running.
Did your old heater or air conditioner finally break down completely? If so, then know that we can help!
Get in touch with us now so we can discuss your HVAC replacement and emergency service options.