I have a 21 year old air handler which is installed badly and is just about rusted through. The outside AC went out on the previous owner - who replaced ONLY the dead AC with probably one of the cheapest units he could get and left the rusting air handler sitting in the attic.

At this point I think I would rather spend the extra money and just get an entire new system rather then trying to match the cheap unit outside (which is ~4 years old). Does that sound reasonable? I've been getting adds for York systems in the mail which seem fairly decent from reading about them... but my main concern (after reading some forums here) is finding a good contractor.

EVERYBODY here seems to always say the most important part of a new system is a good installation - but nobody says exactly how I can find the person who will do that!

How can I as a customer know who is good and who isn't? I don't really want to get 20 different estimates all the while trying to divine who would do the best job. I don't have any friends who have any recommendations either.

Where do I start and what do I look for so that I can get a contractor that will do the job right?