10 Questions to Ask When Hiring an Air Conditioning Contractor: A Comprehensive Guide
Chances are you are reading this because your air conditioner needs a tune-up.
As a homeowner, you know that having a reliable and efficient air conditioning system is essential for those hot summer months.
While there may be many air conditioning contractors available in Barrie, Ontario, you should make sure you’re hiring the best contractor for the job. But how do you know which AC contractor is the right one for you?
An ideal contractor should be experienced, have good reviews, use top-tier equipment, and provide timely and efficient air conditioning services.
In this guide, we will outline all the key questions to ask when hiring an A/C contractor in Barrie. Asking these questions can help you find a trustworthy and reliable air conditioning contractor in Barrie, who will provide you with the best service possible.
10 questions to ask when hiring an AC contractor in Barrie
1. Are they licensed, insured, and bonded?
Does your chosen AC contractor meet local license and insurance requirements? The answer to this can give you an idea if they meet the necessary requirements and standards set by the local government
In Ontario, HVAC contractors are required to have a valid license issued by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA). This license ensures that the contractor has met the necessary training and safety requirements to work on your A/C system.
A license ensures that the contractor has the necessary skills and knowledge to perform the job, while insurance protects you from any damages or accidents that may occur during the project.
Additionally, you can look for reviews and ratings from previous customers to get an idea if they are able to complete previous air conditioning projects safely.
2. What is their process for troubleshooting an A/C issue?
Ask your A/C contractor about their troubleshooting process. You want to ensure that they have a structured and efficient approach to identifying the root cause of the problem.
Do they perform equipment evaluations? Do they visit your home to assess your A/C and your household’s needs? Do they claim to be able to offer potential solutions to problems without seeing your air conditioner? (Red flag! Even an annual service requires a contractor to see the home.)
A good contractor should have a thorough checklist of possible AC issues and should be able to walk you through their process step-by-step.
They should ask you questions about the symptoms of the issue, such as whether the unit is blowing warm air or making strange noises. They should also perform a visual inspection of the unit and check for any obvious signs of wear and tear. From there, they may perform diagnostic tests to identify the specific problem and provide you with a detailed explanation of the issue and how they plan to fix it.
3. Do they provide a written estimate and scope of work?
Ask potential contractors if they put the agreement in ink. Having everything in writing is crucial to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes later on.
A good AC contractor should provide you with a written estimate that includes the scope of work, timeline, and cost. They should also provide you with a contract that outlines the terms and conditions of the project, including payment terms, warranty information, and any other important details.
Remember to get written itemized cost estimates when collecting contractors’ bids. After you choose a contractor, they should sign their proposal.
4. Are their services guaranteed after installation or repair work is completed?
It’s important to ask an air conditioning contractor about their guarantee or warranty on their services. A good contractor should stand behind their work and offer a guarantee or warranty on their installation or repair services.
Remember that the length and terms of the warranty may vary depending on the contractor and the specific services provided. Don’t forget to read through the warranty information carefully (10x if you can) and ask any questions you may have before agreeing to the services.
5. Do they have references from past clients?
Look up the contractor’s Google My Business reviews to get a good understanding from previous customers about their experience with the contractor. This is a great way to gage the quality of work, timeliness, professionalism, and overall satisfaction with the services provided. Try to dig for any issues that may have arisen during the project.
6. What AC brands and models do they recommend and why?
There are many different brands and models of air conditioning systems available, and the best choice for your home will depend on factors such as your budget, the size of your home, and your energy efficiency preferences.
A knowledgeable A/C contractor should be able to recommend specific brands and models based on your needs and explain the benefits of each option.
If this energy efficiency is important to you, ask your A/C contractor about any energy-efficient options they offer, such as ENERGY STAR-rated systems or variable-speed air conditioners.
But what’s more important is the installation. AC contractors are building a custom fridge in your home. Be mindful of these key aspects to ensure you’re getting the best service possible:
- Efficiency and energy savings: Choose a professional installer who can ensure that the air conditioning system operates efficiently, minimizing energy consumption and reducing utility bills. Proper installation includes proper sealing, insulation, and airflow management, maximizing the system’s efficiency and reducing wastage.
- Longevity and reliability: A correctly installed air conditioning system is more likely to last longer and experience fewer breakdowns. Choose an AC contractor who has the expertise to handle the installation process, ensuring all components are properly connected, calibrated, and maintained, thus increasing the system’s reliability and lifespan.
7. Do they offer ongoing AC maintenance and service plans?
Regular maintenance is essential for prolonging its lifespan. Many A/C contractors offer ongoing maintenance and service plans to help you stay on top of routine maintenance tasks and address any issues that may arise.
Ask the contractor about their maintenance and service plans, including what tasks are included, how often they are performed, and the associated costs.
8. Do they handle emergency air conditioner repairs and after-hours service?
A/C issues can arise at any time, and you want to ensure that your contractor is available to address them promptly. Ask the contractor about their availability for emergency repairs and after-hours service, as well as any additional charges you may incur for this service.
Get all the details! Make sure there are no hidden fees and review their warranties, guarantees, and customer service policies.
9. How long have theybeen in business?
The length of time that a contractor has been in business can be an indicator of their experience and expertise. A contractor who has been in business for a longer period of time may have more knowledge and skills compared to someone who is just starting out.
While a newer company may offer lower prices, they may not have the same level of expertise as a more established contractor.
However, it’s important to note that experience alone doesn’t necessarily guarantee quality work. You should still ask for references and check reviews to get a better idea of the contractor’s reputation.
10. Do they have available rebates or incentives for installing energy-efficient systems?
HVAC companies offer rebates or incentives for energy-efficient systems.
If you’re planning on installing energy-efficient systems, such as air conditioners with a high SEER rating, ask this and you will save money on your installation or upgrade.
Be wise and offset the upfront cost of the installation and provide long-term savings on your energy bills. That’s like hitting two birds in one stone!
Get the best value for your A/C system installation with Custom Comfort
Custom Comfort ClimateCare checks off all the questions you may have.
We are licensed, insured, and bonded. As a reputable AC contractor in Barrie, we carry liability insurance and are bonded. We also secure permits before we perform the job. This protects you in case of any accidents or damages that may occur during the installation or repair process.
We have 35 years of experience in A/C installation, repair, and maintenance. Having encountered a wide range of issues, we will be better equipped to handle any problems that may arise during your project.
We have references from previous clients. Check out our customer reviews. These will give you firsthand info about the quality of the work and level of customer service we do at Custom Comfort ClimateCare.
We offer written everything. Custom Comfort provides an estimate free of charge and without any obligation on your part. Once you’ve agreed to move forward with our air conditioning services, you will receive a written contract to sign.
We offer energy-efficient options. We understand that homeowners want to reduce energy bills and minimize their environmental impact. We carry top brands including our home brand, ClimateCare, which is an ENERGY STAR-rated system and even comes with variable-speed air conditioners.
Custom Comfort ClimateCare has affordable AC maintenance plans and offers 24/7 emergency AC repair services in Barrie. We also provide preventative maintenance services, which can greatly extend the life of your A/C system. Finally, we always have available rebates or incentives for installing energy-efficient systems.
Ask your AC contractor the right questions. The right Barrie and Simcoe County area contractor can provide you with the best service and help ensure your A/C will run as long and as efficiently as possible.
If you have questions about air conditioning system or what to expect during installation, repair, or maintenance, feel free to contact your personal climate experts at Custom Comfort ClimateCare today. We’re here to help keep our Simcoe County neighbours comfortable year-round.