Professional associations are another good way to screen for
high quality local heating and A/C service companies. This can
have a big influence on the caliber of technician that arrives
at your home or business, how well your system works, and your
overall experience. Look for organizations that belong to Air
Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA).
Choosing a HVAC contractor should include checking with the
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). Be sure
that the HVAC contractor's license is current and check if the
TDLR has a history of disciplinary actions or complaints
published on their website at
Another source for finding a competent HVAC contractor is the
local permits office for your municipality. The municipal
inspectors know the HVAC contractors who do good work from the
HVAC contractors who do poor work.
Once you identify and contact several HVAC contractors set up an
appointment with each of them to visit your home. You should not
be charged for this initial appointment. During the meeting the
contractor should inspect your existing air conditioner and
collect a wide range of information about your home, how many
windows and type, which direction they face, and R-value of the
insulation. The contractor uses all of this information to
calculate the heat load to verify that the existing equipment is
correctly sized and proposed equipment is also correctly sized.
You should receive a written estimate from each contractor. If
one contractor submits a bid that is dramatically different from
the other bids ask the contractor to explain the difference.
Some HVAC contractors represent only one line equipment and
using these contractors has advantages and disadvantages. On the
plus side the contractor has probably gone through specialized
training offered by the manufacturer. Should there be any
problems with equipment performance you may have additional
leverage because you may be able to involve the manufacturer. If
you get estimates from contractors that sell other brands make
sure they are recommending equivalent equipment.