10 Tips for Hiring a Heating and Cooling Contractor

As the temperature rises outside, it’s time for you to cool down your home or business. The contractor you choose to welcome into your home or business and install a heat pump can make or break the whole experience. Luckily Energy Star has put together 10 great tips for hiring a heating and cooling contractor. The tips are as follows, with some of our own resources and input added in!

1. Study up – Find out about license and insurance requirements for contractors in your state. And before you call a contractor, know the model of your current system and its maintenance history. Also make note of any uncomfortable rooms. This will help potential contractors better understand your heating needs.

2. Ask for referrals – Ask friends, neighbors, and co-workers for contractor referrals. You can also contact local trade organizations for names of members in your area.

3. Call references – Ask contractors for customer references and call them. Ask about the contractor’s installation or service performance, and if the job was completed on time and within budget. You can read testimonials from our customers here.

4. Find special offers – A heating and cooling system is one of the largest purchases you’ll make as a homeowner. Keeping your costs down by checking around for available rebates on energy-efficient ENERGY STAR qualified heating and cooling equipment. Begin your search at www.energystar.gov. Efficiency Maine also offers great rebates for heat pump installations. Those rebates can be up to $500 for a qualifying heat pump installation!

5. Look for ENERGY STAR – ENERGY STAR qualified products meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and offer significant long-term energy savings. Contractors should be able to show you calculations of savings for ENERGY STAR heating and cooling equipment.

6. Expect a home evaluation – The contractor should spend significant time inspecting your current system and home to assess your needs. A bigger system isn’t always better; a contractor should size the heating and cooling system based on the size of your house, level of insulation, and windows. A good contractor will inspect your duct system (if applicable) for air leaks and insulation and measure airflow to make sure it meets manufacturers specifications.

8. Get it in ink – Sign a written proposal with a contractor before work gets started. It’ll protect you by specifying project costs, model numbers, job schedule and warranty information.

9. Pass it on – Tell friends and family about ENERGY STAR (and Royal River Heat Pumps!). Almost one-quarter of households knowingly purchase at least one qualified product last year, and 71% of those consumers say they would recommend ENERGY STAR to a friend. Spread the word, and we can all make a big difference.

10. Get ENERGY STAR guide – For complete information on keeping your home comfortable year-round, get the ENERGY STAR Guide to Energy Efficient Cooling and Heating PDF (2.6 MB).

Remember finding a quality contractor is just as important as installing a quality heat pump!

Contact Royal River Heat Pumps to find out if we’re a good fit for you. Call us today at 207-400-4065 or visit our showroom located across from Freeport’s Big Indian!

5 Responses to 10 Tips for Hiring a Heating and Cooling Contractor

  1. I didn’t realize that the best heating and air conditioning contractors should do a thorough inspection of your current heating system before they do any work on it. It makes sense that the should understand the system they’re working with though. I’ve heard that there are HVAC contractors that specialize in heat pump replacement and maintenance, is that true or do most HVAC contractors know how to do that?

  2. Our heating system has been acting strangely the past few weeks. We haven’t had it looked at in a long time, so I appreciate the tips for hiring a good contractor. I will make sure to ask all my neighbors for referrals!

  3. I’ve been needing a new heat pump installed in my home, and I wanted to learn how to hire the best contractor for the job. You wrote that you should definitely get referrals, as it’s a great way to locate reputable service. I’ll have to ask friends who have had a similar service done, as their recommendation also has the exact service in it, and you can know how they did the job. Thanks for the tips.

  4. I like your tip to make sure you understand the model and year of your residential heating system before you call a contractor. Our system has been acting up for a few days now and I was planning on calling a service to come take a look at it. Before I do, I’ll be sure to check on the model of the residential heater so I’ll be able to tell the contractor when he asks.

  5. The weather where I live is starting to get colder and this has me worried about what I’ll do if my heating isn’t working this year. I liked that you had mentioned that it can be important to ask for referrals for a contractor from the people around you to see who they’ve had good experiences with. I might have to look into having a heating contractor come out and look over my heater to make sure everything is operating correctly, I’ll just have to start asking around.

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