10 Things You Should Know Before Hiring Your HVAC Technician

As we inch closer and closer to the 100-degree days of a Sacramento summer, we can’t help but daydream about sitting on our couch with a nice cold beverage and our Air Conditioner blasting at a cool 72 degrees. That is until we get home from a long day of work and our AC no longer blows cold air, instead offering a bland breeze that will not cover up the blazing heat blaring through our windows. We are so used to scouring the internet for the best takeout, the best place to grab a drink, and the highest-rated movie theaters, but when it comes to finding the right HVAC tech to fix our Air Conditioner, they all begin to look the same…

So, how can we determine if an HVAC company is right for our home?

Hiring an HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) technician is an important decision for any home or business owner.

Here are 10 things you should know before hiring an HVAC tech:

1. Certifications and Licenses

First and foremost, please ensure that the HVAC technician holds the necessary certifications and licenses required by your state or region. This ensures they have the proper training and knowledge to work on HVAC systems safely and effectively.

For California, an HVAC technician should hold a California must hold a valid contractor's license issued by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB). Depending on the scope of work, different classifications of licenses may be required, such as C-20 (Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) or C-38 (Refrigeration).

2. Experience

Look for technicians with a solid track record and at least 10 years of experience in the HVAC industry. It seems like a no-brainer to hire the technician with 10 years of experience over the technician with 3 years, but what if the latter has a lower price? You have to decide for yourself if you are willing to take a chance on a newcomer within the industry.

Smaller jobs could benefit from a more green company because then everybody wins; they gain more experience and reviews and you save money. However, when it comes to needing an expert opinion on whether or not you need a new unit or not then it is a better idea to hire a technician with more experience. Experienced technicians are better equipped to handle a wide range of HVAC issues and are more likely to provide quality service.

3. Reputation and Reviews

How did you hear about them? Word of mouth is often the best way you can decide on an HVAC tech. Ask your neighbor! Call up your friend and see if they have worked with anyone recently because at the end of the day, as much as we want our units fixed or replaced, we also want to welcome a technician into our homes who will treat us with great customer service.

We also have reputable services to check online reviews, testimonials, and references from past customers to gauge the technician's reputation. Positive reviews and satisfied customers are indicators of a reliable and trustworthy technician. For example, Angi’s List, Next Door, and Google Reviews are great places to start when gauging a company’s reputation.

4. Insurance Coverage

Most importantly, we need to verify that the HVAC technician has insurance coverage, including liability insurance and worker's compensation. If you look up their company's name or license number on the California State Licensing Board it will tell you what insurance they have, if it's valid and updated, as well as their license.

This protects you from liability in case of accidents or damages during the HVAC work. Before hiring the HVAC technician, review any contracts or agreements thoroughly. Ensure that insurance and liability clauses are clearly stated and that you understand the extent of protection provided.

5. 24/7 Emergency Service

Inquire if the HVAC company offers 24/7 emergency service. HVAC emergencies can occur at any time, and having access to emergency repairs can save you from discomfort and property damage.

The good thing is, that almost all HVAC companies are offering 24/7 service calls. Although this might not be a make or break for hiring a technician, it is a benefit and shows commitment and loyalty to the community.

6. Up-to-date Knowledge

HVAC technology is constantly evolving. Ensure that the technician stays updated with the latest advancements, techniques, and regulations in the HVAC industry. Do they inform their audience on social media? Social media can be a great indicator of whether or not the company cares about the community it serves but it can also showcase its knowledge of industry trends and updates.

For example, in Sacramento, there is a financing program called SMUD that will offer rebates for select unit installations that clients can apply for. Many financing programs team up with HVAC technicians in the area to allow homeowners to get the best units for their homes. So do your research and find out which companies stay up to date on financing, unit qualities, new technologies, and more within the HVAC industry!

7. Transparent Pricing

It is overwhelming to scour the internet for an HVAC tech only to find endless websites that do not show a price range! Can you help a person out and give me a ballpark at least? Transparent pricing helps you understand the costs involved and prevents surprises when it comes to billing.

It is a green flag when an HVAC company website gives a flat rate for a service call and free estimates for installation services. Request a detailed estimate or quote for the HVAC services upfront and do it for your top 3 companies. You want to get second opinions before major purchases, just like any other industry.

8. Warranty and Guarantees

Inquire about warranties on parts and labor for HVAC installations or repairs. Reputable HVAC companies often provide warranties or guarantees to ensure customer satisfaction and protect against faulty workmanship.

For example, you want to look for companies that say “satisfaction guaranteed, there will be no charge for failed repairs.” Honesty and integrity go a long way in this industry. At the end of the day, we call on a technician to fix our technical problem, and if it doesn't get fixed, there should not be a cost (except for the initial service fee).

9. Environmental Awareness

Ask about the technician's approach to energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. A knowledgeable HVAC technician can recommend energy-efficient solutions that save you money in the long run and reduce your environmental footprint.

10. Communication and Customer Service

Choose an HVAC technician who communicates, listens to your concerns, and provides excellent customer service. Effective communication ensures that you understand the HVAC issues and the proposed solutions.

Most of the time, some of our HVAC issues can be a DIY project, which is why it is important to see if the company you choose to hire engages with their community on social media and offers valuable tips for maintaining your HVAC system that will ultimately save you money and save you having to hire a technician at all.

By considering these factors before hiring an HVAC technician, you can make an informed decision and ensure that your HVAC system is in good hands. Make sure to do your research, ask around for recommendations, keep these tips in mind and you will choose the right technician for your home! Good luck!