Heating Systems, Contractors, And The Questions To Ask Before Choosing One Pro

Does it still feel like the AC is on? Home heating systems keep interior spaces warm, comfortable, and (depending on the filter or type of filtration m method) pollutant-free. But if your system is old, damaged, or just suffers from extensive wear and tear, it may do little to heat your house. Before you hire a new contractor to repair or replace this system, take a look at the top tips for choosing the perfect pro for this job. 

Ask About In-Person Consultations

Does the contractor offer over-the-phone quotes or general price estimates? Some HVAC projects are customized for the client and the space. This means it's not usually possible for the contractor to give a general phone, email, or other similar consultation. Instead, your potential heating contractor should come to your home, assess the area, inspect the current system or set-up, and discuss your repair or replacement heater options in detail. 

Ask About the Estimate

Along with an in-person consultation, a quality HVAC contractor should provide customers with a written (or emailed) estimate. Never accept a verbal quote. This makes it possible for the contractor to suddenly change the prices after the repair or replacement installation job. 

Written and electronic quotes should include the cost estimates for each part or aspect of the service. These include parts (for repairs), a new heater (for a replacement), additional components (such as new ductwork, electronics/wiring, or pipes), installation services, and haul-away/disposal fees. 

Ask About the Options

What type of heater is the best option for your home? There are a few popular choices for residential heating. These include forced air furnaces (natural gas and electric), boilers and radiator systems, and mini-split ductless heat pumps. 

Before you choose one HVAC contractor, make sure the company has extensive expertise and experience in the type of system you want or your home needs. A contractor who specializes in forced air heating may not have the knowledge necessary to install a mini-split heat pump. Companies that don't typically install a specific type of heating system also may not have the products you need in stock. This could result in long wait times or expensive heating components. 

Ask About Energy Efficiency Choices

What percentage of your home's total energy costs comes from the heating system? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the answer to this question is nearly 29 percent. A new heater can reduce your utility bills—but only if you choose the right type of system and have a professional install it correctly. If you want to decrease your utility costs and help the environment, ask your would-be future HVAC contractor what they know about energy-efficient heating.