Finding the Right Fit — How to Choose an HVAC Contractor This Summer
Whether your Memorial Day plans include relaxing at the shore or hosting a picnic in the comfort of your own backyard, the long weekend ahead marks the unofficial start of the summer for many. Each year, the holiday presents an opportunity to express gratitude and gather with friends and family while soaking in — if we’re lucky — warm, sunny weather.
As temperatures continue to climb, so does the need for a reliable, efficient air conditioning system. And if you fall into the latter category of hosting the festivities this year, you can only hope that your air conditioning will keep up.
Although most professionals suggest home air conditioning units should be serviced once a year, only 43% of United States homeowners actually do so. Those who follow this suggestion and perform other basic AC maintenance (such as these tips from the U.S. Department of Energy), are typically left with a system that lasts 40% longer than it would otherwise.
But what happens if you’ve fallen behind on your spring cleaning and other turn-of-the-season to-do lists? What can you do with suspicions of a malfunctioning system and a house full of uncomfortable guests?
At this point, it becomes essential to consult with an HVAC contractor — a professional specializing in Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning who can install, repair, and help maintain a given climate control system.
The National Energy Improvement Fund (NEIF) is using our industry knowledge and experience to share five fast tips for finding the right HVAC contractor for you (and your home) this summer.
Choosing the Right HVAC Contractor to Fit Your Needs
- Research smarter, not harder.
Mainstream sites like Yelp or HomeAdvisor allow you to filter by service and location, but reading lengthy reviews can be time-consuming and risky. To help expedite this process, we recommend narrowing your searching to contractors who are already highly qualified and dependable using NEIF’s Find a Contractor search tool.
On this page, you can refine by contractor name, property type, state, and more. In addition, you gain access to NEIF-Approved Contractors who have already been screened to meet high standards of customer service, quality work, and financial stability.
- Make an in-home evaluation a priority.
An HVAC contractor should be thorough when assessing your system’s needs as they relate to your home. When determining the next (and best) course of action, a good contractor takes a holistic approach and considers other factors such as the home’s age, size, amount of insulation, and duct system, as well.
- Seek out rebates and programs that make upgrading more affordable.
Investing in something as large as an HVAC system doesn’t have to be intimidating with NEIF’s energy efficiency financing. NEIF works with utilities and partners in state and local governments to develop innovative programs for both residential and commercial upgrades, keeping monthly payments low and much more manageable for borrowers.
- Review — and compare — written, itemized proposals for equipment.
Receiving an itemized list that outlines equipment, cost, efficiency rating, and warranty allows you to compare options presented by different contractors, should you choose to consult with more than one. This also gives you the chance to review the process, learn what’s involved, and ask any questions before going further.
- Consider energy efficiency as a non-negotiable.
Energy efficiency is not only important to the large-scale health of our planet and environment, but also plays a huge role in what you spend monthly on energy bills. Working with an HVAC contractor who can install high-efficiency equipment can save you anywhere from 20-40% per month, according to the Department of Energy.
NEIF-Approved Contractors are authorized to perform work that qualifies for an energy efficiency financing program through NEIF, ultimately improving the efficiency, comfort, and health of your home.
If you find yourself in a bind this summer, or if you simply want to improve your home’s efficiency, NEIF has you covered. Not only can our team provide you with fixed-rate, low monthly payment financing for qualifying home energy improvements, but our network of more than 1,400 NEIF-Approved Contractors focuses on getting the job done — and done right — every time.
With these pointers in mind, NEIF is well-equipped to assist you through any curveball your HVAC system throws you this season and beyond. To find an NEIF-Approved Contractor that fits your needs, click here.
SOURCES: ENERGY STAR, Payless Power, United States Department of Energy