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How to Find the Best Local Central AC Installers
Installing a new central air conditioning unit can become an urgent situation when your home’s temperature starts to become extremely hot. A central AC unit installation can become a pricey HVAC project and you want to make sure your air conditioning installer is qualified and reliable before committing to any job.
At Modernize, we frequently speak to homeowners about their heating and cooling projects. In our recent interviews, 90 percent of homeowners requested a checklist to help them find and vet their air conditioning contractors. We offer our homeowners a free, digital Air Conditioning Contractor Checklist as a simple, step-by-step HVAC guide to assist with your air conditioner repair or replacement.
You may also be interested in learning how to evaluate each of the HVAC quotes you receive from different local installers.
How to Start Your Local Search
Here are a few things you can do to start your search for a reliable AC unit installation contractor in your area:
- Ask your family and friends for a recommendation on someone they have used in the past and what kind of experience they had with local contractors.
- Check the Better Business Bureau site for local AC installer ratings.
- Let Modernize help you find the best contractor for the central A/C installation job and help you compare up to four quotes from installers in your area.
Vetting Your AC Installation Contractor
It is important to find a reliable A/C system installer so that your HVAC installation can be done as quickly as possible. To determine the best local professional fit for your project you’ll want to follow a few guidelines:
- Request quotes from three to four local contractors.
- Check out the websites for each contractor in your area.
- Is it updated and professional looking?
- Check the air conditioning contractor’s social media pages.
- Many customers will leave valuable feedback on social media pages of businesses, whether it’s positive or constructive.
- Explore the customer reviews for each installer who sends a price quote.
- Are they mostly positive? Consider negative reviews and responses. How did the contractors respond to criticism of their AC installation jobs?
- Ask each A/C installer the following questions:
- How long have you been in the HVAC business?
- How much experience do you have with air conditioner repair or installation for my particular air conditioner?
- What is your total installation cost 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 Multiple AC Installers in Your Area
Your next step will be to meet in-person with your choice of best contractors to review the specific details and expectations of your HVAC installation project. 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 for your AC unit.
- Make sure to get a fixed price on the air conditioner installation before signing a contract.
Use our homeowner checklist when meeting with each contractor to make sure your AC unit installation is going as smoothly as possible.
Local Contractor Warning Signs
Unfortunately, there is a small percentage of AC installers who may be inexperienced or unprofessional. The best way to avoid scams is to choose a local, trusted contractor. You can confirm this by checking their physical business address and making sure to fully validate all of their licenses.
Here are some additional warning signs to keep in mind:
- Avoid local air conditioning installers who request the entire project cost, or large cash deposit, up front.
- Avoid anyone who pressures you to sign a contract for your new AC installation project immediately.
- Be wary of any outliers in your price quotes. All installation estimates should be relatively similar unless the HVAC unit type is significantly different for each price quote.
Preparing for an Air Conditioner Installation
At the final meeting, there a few steps to go over before the AC contractor begins your HVAC unit installation project:
- Reconfirm your initial price quote.
- Agree upon a payment plan.
- Make sure to have all of these before hand:
- Your contract
- Project plans
- Order changes
- Bills and invoices
- Proof of your contractor’s insurance and/or permitting, and
- Contractor correspondence