How to find a good contractor !
From everything I've been reading on this very informative forum it is becoming pretty clear that having your HVAC installed properly is just as important as quality of the HVAC itself.
How would a total newb go about finding a good, reliable contractor who knows what they are doing -- is there any web site with reviews ? I've used ServiceMagic on couple of occasions but not sure how good it really is.
Thank you very much for your help !
stop by a local supply house and ask someone who has worked at the counter for many years who they would use to do their HVAC work
That is a really good question.
I think that the problem with most reviews is that John Q. Public is often not a good judge of a quality installation.
As one of the more informed members of John Q. Public, I suggest you ask any prospective contractor at least some of these questions.
1. Is a manual J a normal procedure for your new installs?
2. Do you use micron gauges for new installs?
3. Do your technicians receive regular training?
Don't expect to get the lowest bid from a contractor that can honestly answer yes to al of the above. But, you should get a contractor that takes pride in their work.
Replacing,new construction,or adding A/C??
Any issues wit an existing system?
Existing system (12 yr old Rheem single speed 80% furnace) works "fine", but it is getting older and less efficient, uses archaic humidifier. I am upgrading to high efficiency 2-stage natural gas furnace/heat pump/on demand water heater. With rising gas prices (I think lots of people will be for quite a shock this winter) savings on natural gas alone should pretty much pay for the system.
Originally Posted by dash
Originally Posted by paul42
That again is the problem...how do you know they are giving honest answers?
My experience has been that you have to look under a rock to find a contractor.
I found some contractors with ServiceMagic, some of them have very high ratings. But then again, they are rated by a J6P on how punctual they have been, etc. More and more it seems like a gamble to me
Originally Posted by troyorr
Some one knowledgable in Manuals J,D,and S,is always a good sign.
Looking for the contractor with the largest service dept.,I think is also a good sign,but there can be smaller shops of equal or better work.
www.acca.org www.nate.org those listed would be a good start,but not for sure every time.
IMHO it's very difficult for a homeowner to judge.
There are never any guarantees in life. In my very limited experience - All of the HVAC contractors that I have worked with have been very honest. Most of them have been knowledgeable enough for the typical system repairs. None of them would have been able to answer yes to all three of the questions that I listed.
Originally Posted by air2spare
If they do answer yes, then they have no choice but to do a manual J, show up with micron gauges and know to use them.