Anyone may call themselves an HVAC contractor. However, separating the sheep from the goats and the professional contractor from the wanna-be requires careful consideration. Competition in the residential HVAC business is keen and often inspires those lacking real credentials to offer unrealistic deals and pie-in-the-sky promises. Frequently, the “bargain” transaction includes sub-standard equipment and slipshod installation. Of course, the homeowner pays the price—not only to the pseudo-contractor, but also in the form of years of unnecessarily high utility bills, diminished home comfort and perhaps a costly early replacement of the system.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are three giveaways to be on the lookout for before you hire an HVAC contractor:
- Unbelievably low prices – If it sounds too good to be true…well, you know the rest. An established professional contractor who’s in business to maintain a clientele of satisfied customers has certain fixed expenses like any business. An impostor hasn’t made that investment, nor does he or she have to worry about maintaining a good local reputation. Quotes of sub-minimum prices are a red flag, which can be part of the take-the-money-and-run scam before the consequences of inexperience and poor workmanship become evident.
- Sizing by guesstimate – Any “contractor” who claims to determine the appropriate BTU requirements of your home simply by estimating its square footage is telling you something important about his or her expertise and/or honesty. The critical match between heating or cooling unit’s output and the unique thermal characteristics of the home can only be determined by performing an onsite room-by-room load calculation using industry standard software.
- New unit, same old specs – Some unskilled contractors attempt to cut corners and avoid a proper load calculation, ductwork inspection and energy evaluation by simply recommending a replacement unit with the same BTU specifications as your existing unit. Home efficiency status and comfort requirements change over the years. The HVAC system that was a good match 15 years ago may be all wrong for today’s conditions.
If you’re interested in a professional HVAC contractor with the credentials and established reputation in the Brandon area, contact Gulf Coast Air Systems.