When you consider that New York building owners lose about $130 to $180 million every year because of unprofessional HVAC installations, according to American-heatingandcooling.com, you will likely feel uneasy when choosing an HVAC contractor for your home.

And rightly so. An HVAC system is one of the most costly items to install or repair in a house. But, here are five quick tips you want to adhere to to be on the safe side.

Licensed and Insured

Your first hurdle is ensuring that the HVAC contractor has the necessary certifications. A state HVAC license requires five years of experience before you can even think to take the lengthy and rigorous HVAC exam. So, your HVAC contractor should not be shy to flaunt their qualifications, and neither should you be to inquire about them.

Lengthy experience in HVAC apart from training is also a good indicator of professionalism.

The North American Technician Excellence (NATE) organization certification ensures a contractor has up-to-date qualifications. Your local licensing department and your state’s department of labor can also furnish you with certification information. Proof of insurance and bonding should be provided by your HVAC contractor.

Referrals

Your best bet is an HVAC contractor who has gained the community’s trust. Get referrals from neighbors, friends, co-workers, and local trade organizations. Also, look up services like the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, Angie’s List, the Better Business Bureau, and scour online reviews.

Comprehensive Evaluation

Don’t expect a quote over the phone. Rather, your licensed HVAC contractor should spend a healthy amount of time considering your house’s needs. Variables like square footage, condition of existing ducts, number of windows, cooling and heating loads, and more need to be accounted for.

A written itemized quotation should be provided, which you can use to gauge the cost, efficiency, and warranties between different contractors.

Rebates and Special Offers

Head to www.energystar.gov for info on the rebates you qualify for if you’ve installed ENERGY STAR-rated products (this is what you should install anyway). Your HVAC contractor can also provide you with special offers to help meet your particular budget.

The final and fifth tip is integrity. Your HVAC contractor needs to be transparent and honest in how they communicate.