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How to Choose the Right HVAC Contractor for Your AC Repair Needs

Although most people enjoy a nice warm summer day, their joy can quickly be taken away when the air conditioning breaks. The summer heat can be brutal in many areas, and not having a functioning HVAC unit can quickly lead to uncomfortable, or in some cases, unsafe living environments.

But when it comes time to get your HVAC system serviced, it’s important to know how to choose the right contractor for your AC repair needs.

When to Call a Contractor

Most HVAC systems are built to last quite a while, and many homeowners can do certain DIY tasks to keep them in good running condition. However, over time, there may be signs that it’s time to call a professional. These include:

  • Obvious Malfunctions:A telltale sign that something may be seriously wrong with your HVAC unit is if it doesn’t turn on at all. It could also be making loud or unusual noises or blowing warm air.
  • Reduced Cooling Efficiency:Most people will be able to feel when an AC unit is not working as it should – although, during the colder months, it may not be as noticeable. However, during the summer, you may start to notice higher-than-normal energy bills and rooms that don’t cool as evenly as the rest of the house.
  • Strange Odors:Since AC units play an important role in filtering and distributing air throughout the house, when something isn’t functioning properly you may start to experience musty or burning smells near air vents. These can be a result of mold, refrigerant leaks, or even electrical issues in the unit.
  • Frequent Cycling:HVAC units run on various cycles. However, if the unit turns on or off too often, there could be issues with refrigerant levels, or the overall size of the AC unit may need to be evaluated for the space it’s trying to cool.

Finding Qualified Contractors

It’s important to keep in mind when getting your HVAC system serviced that not all contractors offer the same level of reliability. Taking the time to research qualified contractors might take a bit of time, but it’s well worth the effort in the long run.

Below are a few considerations you should make before hiring an HVAC contractor:


Most people own a home with an HVAC system and have had their own experiences (good or bad) with contractors. Speaking with friends or family and using their recommendations regarding who to hire can help you avoid working with unqualified contractors.

Referrals can be a way to find out exactly how detailed a contractor’s work is as well as the relative costs you can expect. Be sure to ask your referrers if they’ve worked with this contract for a number of years and how satisfied they were with the experience. This information can give you the insights you need to make the right decision before you make a decision.

Online Research


Most people begin their search for an HVAC contractor online and search for local repair services. There are oftentimes many service companies to consider, so it’s important to take your time reviewing various qualifications.

One thing to look for is how long the company has been in business and looking at review sites like Yelp, Angi, or Google Reviews. It’s important to keep an eye out for red flags from other customers, like negative reviews, and to stay suspicious of pricing that falls well below average for various services.

Hiring the Right Contractor for Your Needs

Once you’ve created a shortlist of the potential contractors you want to work with, the next step you’ll want to take is to verify their credentials. Below are some of the important factors you’ll want to think about before making a hiring decision:

Licensing and Insurance

Your HVAC system is something you use almost every day and has a major impact on your personal comfort and air quality. Because of this, it’s important that you’re hiring a contractor who has proven they’re up for the task.

Licensing and insurance are legal requirements of any professional HVAC contractor you work with, and their validity can be verified by contacting local authority offices or verifying through documentation.

You’ll want to make sure that the contractor has both liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance to ensure you’re not liable in the event of damage to your property or if the contractor is injured while performing services in your home.

Skills and Expertise

Completing work on an AC unit can require a number of technical skills. A contractor’s level of experience and overall expertise can mean the difference between getting the job done right the first time or leading to a number of additional issues with the unit down the road.

You should research or inquire about the contractor’s level of expertise when working with your specific type of AC unit. HVAC systems come in many different formats, so it’s important to make sure you’re deciding to work with a service company that is relevant to your needs.

Communication and Customer Service


It’s important to remember that HVAC systems will usually need some form of regular maintenance over the years. This is why it’s vital to create a longer-term relationship with a trusted contractor.

Like with so many other relationships, trust and communication are crucial to moving forward. From the very first phone call to their first visit, your HVAC technician should put you at ease while keeping you clearly informed on all servicing issues or requirements you have. You should also feel comfortable asking questions about the repair process and timelines and being given transparent pricing upfront.

Guarantees and Warranties

HVAC systems can be a significant investment. Whether you’re buying a home with an AC unit already installed or installing one yourself, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking the necessary steps to protect your investment as long as possible.

One way to ensure your HVAC system has the most life is by ensuring the servicing you’re receiving is backed by certain guarantees or warranty periods. Many contractors will guarantee the quality of their work over a certain period of time. This means that after servicing, if you experience additional issues, there may be a certain level of protection you will have for additional costs when working with certain partners.

While the extent of servicing warranties will vary from contractor to contractor, it’s important to inquire about the extent of a contractor’s service quality guarantee. This can give you the peace of mind of making a hiring decision knowing that the work performed will be the highest quality.

How to Make Sure You’re Getting the Best Value

When you’re thinking about hiring an HVAC contractor, remember that finding the lowest price shouldn’t be the main priority. While you’ll want to make sure you’re not spending more than you need to, you’ll also want to make sure you’re getting the best “value” for your money.

Below are a few tips you can use to make sure you’re getting the best value from your contracted services:

  • Request Multiple Estimates: Receiving estimates from different service companies is a great way to vet a contractor’s ability to provide fair pricing. By getting a service quote from multiple contractors, you can compare the levels of service they offer to the budget you’re looking to stay within. This will help you narrow down your options even further.
  • Thoroughly Review Service Proposals: You’ll want to take your time to review the service proposals you receive while not focusing specifically on the total price points. It’s important to know what these price points represent, and you should compare the parts and labor that are estimated as well as any additional fees they list. Most proposals will stipulate that the “estimated” service costs could change depending on the scope of the work. You’ll want to make sure you have an idea of how different these costs might be to make sure you have an accurate estimate of your final bill.
  • Beware of Red Flags: During the vetting process, you’ll want to keep an eye out for potential red flags. Some of these might be high-pressure sales strategies telling you that you’ll only get special pricing if you “sign right now.” Having an estimate that is too vague can also mean a lot more unexpected costs after a contractor visits your home, so you’ll want to avoid service companies that aren’t as transparent as possible when providing you with a proposal.

Work With a Reliable HVAC Contractor Today

Choosing the right HVAC contractor takes some research, but it’s worth the effort. At the end of the day, it’s important to partner with someone you can trust who has years of experience handling all types of AC maintenance and repair. If you’re looking for a qualified contractor in your area, contact us today at Sierra Air to receive a free estimate.

we are currently experience technical issues with our phone systems and will be down for a short time. We are currently working on fixing the issue and hope to be back up momentarily. Please consider using our live chat at the bottom right of the screen to reach us for now. we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

We are currently experience technical issues with our phone systems and will be down for a short time. We are currently working on fixing the issue and hope to be back up momentarily. Please consider using our live chat at the bottom right of the screen to reach us for now. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.