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Hiring A HVAC Contractor: Contractor Checklist

When your heating and air conditioner breaks, it becomes an emergency that disrupts your entire household. The goal is to repair or replace the unit as quickly as possible, but care should still be taken to find the most reliable and trustworthy HVAC contractor for your project. This helps ensure that your home is restored to its original condition as quickly as possible.

At Modernize, we frequently speak to homeowners about their home improvement projects. In our recent interviews, 90 percent of homeowners requested a checklist to help them find and vet contractors. Modernize now offers homeowners a free, digital Contractor Checklist as a simple, step-by-step guide to assist with your HVAC repair or replacement. 

Table of Contents

How to Find a Reliable HVAC Contractor

To restore the comfort, safety, and privacy of your home, you will need to have the repair or replacement done as soon as possible. That’s why you’ll want to find a contractor you can trust— a local professional who can get the job done quickly:

  • Ask trusted sources (friends, family, and neighbors) for a referral.
  • Contact your local Better Business Bureau.
  • Connect with trusted HVAC contractors in your area with Modernize.

Compare local HVAC contractors with our Best HVAC Contractors Near Me page to compare quotes from reliable heating and cooling installation contractors in your area.

Vet Your Contractors

It’s important to find a reliable heating and air conditioner contractor so that your repair or replacement can be done as quickly as possible. To determine the best professional fit for your HVAC project:

  • Request quotes from three to four contractors in your area.
  • Visit the website of each contractor.
    • Is it updated and professional looking?
  • Explore the customer reviews for each contractor.
    • Are they mostly positive? Consider negative reviews and responses.
  • Ask each HVAC contractor on the phone the following questions:
    • How long have you been in business?
    • How much experience do you have with HVAC repair or installation?
    • What is your project estimate?
    • Can you provide a list of references?
    • Can you provide proof of insurance for personal liability, worker’s compensation, and property damage coverage?

Meet With Your Top Contractors

Meet in-person with your top contractors to review project-specific details and expectations. Be sure to discuss the following with each contractor:

  • Ask for proof of insurance, which should provide their insurance company name, policy number, and policy limits.
  • Discuss who will manage warranty details and responsibility.
  • Make sure to get a fixed price before signing a contract.

Be Aware of Warning Signs

Unfortunately, there is a small percentage of contractors who are not honest professionals. The best way to avoid scams is to choose a local, trusted contractor. You can confirm this by checking their physical business address and validating their licensing.

Here are additional warning signs to keep in mind:

  • Avoid contractors who request the entire project cost, or large cash deposit, up front.
  • Avoid anyone who pressures you to sign a contract immediately.
  • Be wary of any outliers in your quotes. All estimates should be relatively similar unless the unit type is significantly different.

Prepare for Your Final Contractor Meeting

At the final meeting, there a few steps to go over before the HVAC contractor begins your project:

  • Reconfirm your initial quote.
  • Agree upon a payment plan.
  • Obtain a paper trail of the following:
    • Your contract
    • Project plans
    • Order changes
    • Bills and invoices
    • Proof of insurance and/or permitting, and
    • Contractor correspondence

If you missed before, download the Modernize Contractor Checklist here. You can also refer to our HVAC Financing Checklist to plan your HVAC project at each step to stay under budget or use external sources when needed.

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