HVAC contractors install, service and repair heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. They also advise homeowners on ways to improve their home’s energy efficiency and air quality.
Before you hire an HVAC contractor, ask for proof of licensing and insurance. Having these documents proves that the company is able to do business in your area.
A professional HVAC contractor has a thorough knowledge of heating and air conditioning systems. This means they can troubleshoot, diagnose and repair problems with heating, cooling and ventilation systems for both residential and commercial clients.
The ability to work with a variety of equipment and materials is also important for an HVAC technician. This can include the installation of new equipment, repairing existing systems and maintaining or improving the performance of existing equipment.
Critical thinking skills can help an HVAC technician respond quickly to changing situations and analyze multiple options for fixing a problem. This can enable them to identify the best solution for a client’s needs.
It’s essential for HVAC technicians to have excellent customer service skills, as they often interact with clients on a daily basis. This can be a great way for them to develop lasting relationships with their clients and distinguish themselves from their competitors.
When looking for an HVAC contractor, be sure to find out what warranty they offer. A good HVAC company will stand behind their work and offer a manufacturer’s warranty on the equipment they install as well as a labor warranty on their services.
A labor warranty is a great way to protect yourself from having to pay for repairs in the first year of system operation. Typically, these warranties range from about a year to more than 10 years.
While a lot of HVAC contractors do not offer this type of guarantee, they should provide one. This is because it’s not uncommon for the equipment to start malfunctioning after it has been installed.
Many homeowners are disappointed to find out that they have been charged for a repair that wasn’t covered by the warranty. Luckily, the best home warranties will clearly spell out what’s and isn’t covered in their contracts. It’s up to you to read them carefully and ask questions where necessary.
As an HVAC contractor, you need insurance to protect your company from a variety of risks and liabilities. Your policy will cover damage or theft of your tools, equipment and inventory, as well as third-party property damages and bodily injuries.
Workers’ compensation is a requirement in most states, and can help pay medical bills, lost wages and legal fees if your employees get injured on the job. It also protects your business from lawsuits and claims.
General liability is another insurance policy that can protect your company against a variety of claims and lawsuits. It can also protect your reputation if a customer sues you over a personal injury or libel claim.
In addition to general liability, you should consider adding professional liability, also called errors and omissions (E&O) insurance. This policy can help prevent civil lawsuits against your HVAC business if a customer accuses you of making a mistake or mishandling a job.
As an HVAC technician, you can prove your expertise by obtaining and maintaining industry-specific certifications. These can help you meet local, state and federal government requirements; demonstrate your skills to employers; and assist in career advancement.
One of the most respected and credible certifications is NATE. It offers a range of levels, from Ready-To-Work to Master Specialist, that can be earned at different points throughout your career.
Another is HVAC Excellence, a nonprofit organization that offers two types of certifications for technicians. The professional level requires two years of industry experience and a comprehensive exam, while the master specialist level requires three years of industry experience and a more extensive exam.
Licenses and certifications are not required by all states; check with the state in which you plan to work for details. However, you should keep in mind that getting a business license is usually not as easy as just showing up at a city or county office.