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How to Find a Good Heating and Air Conditioning Contractor

HVAC, or heating, ventilation and air conditioning, systems are an integral part of most residential buildings, small to medium industrial and office buildings, and automobiles. They promote thermal comfort with acceptable air quality in these environments through regulating temperature and humidity using fresh, outdoor air.

Generally, HVAC contractors offer services in three broad categories: inspection and maintenance, repair, and installation. They also consult or assist with other matters, such as reducing energy costs or improving air quality in residential and commercial settings.

Inspection and maintenance
The first aspect of an HVAC contractor’s work involves inspecting the function of a home or business’s heating or cooling system. This includes checking pipes and tube joints for leaks, testing thermostats, changing filters, refilling refrigerant levels, testing electrical circuits, examining different components, and cleaning air ducts. If problems are found, the technician will fix them as quickly as possible and get the HVAC system back into working order.

If the problem is a more serious one, the HVAC contractor will replace or repair specific parts on the system. This can involve replacing a motor or the compressor or repairing electrical circuits, fans or air ducts.

EPA certification is important for an HVAC contractor who works with refrigerants that can be harmful to the environment if handled improperly. To earn a certificate, you must pass an exam that covers topics such as recovering refrigerants, safety, recycling procedures and disposal of refrigerants. You can earn a certificate from any EPA-approved community college or trade school.

Depending on the kind of work you plan to do, your local building department or fire department might issue licenses for your HVAC work. These can vary in terms of how long you need to have the work done, but they usually require a certain amount of experience.

Ask for referrals
Fortunately, you can usually find an HVAC contractor with a good reputation by asking friends and neighbors for recommendations. The chances are good that someone you know has worked with the contractor in question before and they will be able to tell you if the service was professional, timely, and friendly.

It is also helpful to inquire about the company’s insurance and bonding. You want to make sure you are protected if the contractor’s negligence causes any harm to your property or people.

In addition, you’ll need to be bonded and insured if you’re in the business of selling or installing heating or cooling equipment. Most state laws require that you carry liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage, as well as a license.

Employment Opportunities
Demand for Heating and Air-Conditioning Contractors is primarily linked to domestic construction activity, since HVAC and refrigeration systems are typically required in virtually all residential, commercial and industrial projects. This is a growing industry that offers stable, predictable employment.

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