As the weather changes, your thoughts will more than likely turn to the state of your heating and cooling system. Homeowners in Billings, MT know that the weather can change in an instance, and you need your heating and air conditioning system to work when you need them.

However, many homeowners let their HVAC system go without maintenance because they are worried about having to deal with HVAC technicians. Aside from installation and maintenance costs, the HVAC industry has a bad reputation and you may worry that a contractor will be dishonest and rip you off.

These are all legitimate concerns for every modern household that depends on an HVAC system for clean indoor air quality and comfortable indoor temperatures.

While you and your family depend on an air conditioner and heater, you need to know that the residential HVAC company you choose is honest, dependable, and knowledgeable. Here are some ways to find the best HVAC company:

  1. Review licensing and experience
  2. Make sure the HVAC company provides home evaluations
  3. Request references and referrals
  4. Ask about the training and experience of technicians
  5. Ask for current discounts and coupons for HVAC services

The good news is that an experienced HVAC contractor can assess your needs and help you to pick the best HVAC system for your home. Selecting the right company from among many local HVAC contractors can be challenging.

Here are five things to consider when picking an HVAC contractor to maintain, repair, or replace your HVAC system.

1. Licensing and Experience

Your HVAC system is an expensive and complex appliance, and you’ll want only a licensed contracting company to install or service it. Whether you are looking for regular repairs or you need a contractor to oversee the installation of a new system, you need a heating and air conditioning contractor that you can trust.

Besides making a contractor legally able to work on heating and cooling units in Montana, a license indicates that the company’s principals have the knowledge and experience to get the job done correctly and safely.

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While accidents are rare, a licensed HVAC contractor will have insurance that protects you from financial liability if a technician is injured on the job or causes damage to your home.

You should request proof of insurance before hiring an HVAC company for services like:

  • Air conditioning repair & installation
  • Furnace installation & repair
  • Air duct cleaning
  • Fireplace installation & maintenance
  • Heat pump replacement & repair

Many local HVAC contractors like R & T Services hire technicians who have both formal and apprentice-style training.

You’ll want an HVAC installer who has training and experience for calculating HVAC loads, using the latest diagnostic tools and recommending energy-efficient systems.

Look for technicians who have earned certifications through the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) organization. NATE-certified technicians are known to install and service all types of HVAC systems right the first time. This equates to better performance and energy efficiency for the life of your heating and cooling unit.

2. Home Evaluation

Does your chosen HVAC installer do home evaluations? The best HVAC system installers perform detailed home evaluations before giving customers quotes for replacement HVAC units.

Not every HVAC system works with every home. Size matters when it comes to installing the best HVAC system and you should only pay for an HVAC system that will work for your home.

Experienced HVAC technicians check out your home’s heating and cooling requirements by considering home square footage, the number and position of windows, the type and quantity of insulation, and the condition of your ductwork.

Have you ever experienced hot or cold spots within your home? It’s possible that your HVAC unit isn’t the right size for your home. This can happen when you have an HVAC system installed by a novice technician who doesn’t follow the industry’s guidelines for load calculations.

It can also occur when a homeowner builds a room addition without factoring in his or her family’s increased heating and cooling needs.

Hiring a knowledgeable HVAC installer to replace your unit is an opportunity to correct improper sizing and get the comfortable interiors that your family deserves.

3. References and Referrals

Word-of-mouth advertising is still one of the best ways to find great local HVAC contractors. Consumer review sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, and Home Advisor help homeowners to choose HVAC companies based on past performance.

You’ll find that most testimonials that prior customers write are sincere and unbiased. If they received exceptional service, you’ll know it by reading their glowing reports. If something went wrong, they usually won’t hold back on the criticism.

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Pay close attention to the testimonies of homeowners who have similar HVAC systems and home configurations as yours.

HVAC contracting companies that have successful track records that extend back many years usually have no problem tooting their own horns. You’ll often see pages on their websites that are dedicated to online testimonials.

These are great to view, but you’ll want to speak to some of their former clients if possible. Ask for these references before you have an HVAC system installed.

Also, check the company’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. R & T Services has been serving the Billings, MT area for over 30 years, and during that time we have earned several positive reviews from past customers. We are also proud recipients of A+ BBB rating, so you can trust that we will work for your trust and business with each HVAC project.

While the BBB is limited in the type of help that it gives to consumers who have bad experiences with its corporate members, the organization is wonderful about publishing prior complaints and corrective responses from businesses.

4. Staff Training & Licensing

Advances in technology make modern HVAC systems more efficient than ever before. You’ll gain the optimum benefits from these units when they are installed by HVAC technicians who undergo continuous training in their field.

Besides training courses that are offered by NATE, HVAC technicians can earn factory certifications on specific HVAC brands and models. At a minimum, you’ll want to verify that an HVAC contractor employs technicians who have valid professional licenses that are issued by a state or local municipal authority.

HVAC contracting firms that go the extra mile also sponsor continued education for their technicians that include awareness of industry trends in equipment and common safety issues for new HVAC units.

5. Rebates and Special Offers

Affordability is a factor that most people consider when choosing an HVAC contracting company to install a new heating and cooling unit. However, it’s important to assess the total cost of ownership before selecting a unit and an installer.

Many HVAC companies have special partnerships with popular HVAC brands. This allows them to offer you incentives such as rebates and other sale offers that lower the overall price of your unit.

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Additional tax incentives can make buying an energy-efficient HVAC system more affordable in the long run. Local HVAC contractors usually know about state and federal tax credits that you can get by installing a new HVAC system that meets certain energy-efficiency criteria that the U.S. Department of Energy establishes.

Find The Best HVAC Contractor Near Me

Knowledge, integrity, and dependability are essential attributes of reputable HVAC contractors. Technicians must have experience servicing your brand of HVAC system.

You can learn about the company’s level of expertise with your HVAC system by asking about brand certifications, talking to brand representatives, and relying on word-of-mouth testimonies from people in your local community.