Tips for selecting a contractor

Guide for Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems

Step 1: Focus on Quality Installation

How well your Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system performs, and how much it costs to operate, depend in part on the proper installation of the system.

Improper HVAC installation may cost more in the long run – using more electricity, running up your bill, and making your air conditioning work harder, which can shorten equipment life. Common installation problems such as low air flow, improper charge or duct leakage can reduce the efficiency and capacity of your air conditioner.

Step 2: Contractor Selection:

Hiring a licensed contractor who obtains the required building permit and has knowledge of, and complies with, local codes, ordinances and the requirements of the Building Energy-Efficiency Standards (State Administrative Code, Title 24, Part 6) increases the likelihood that your system will be properly installed and will work efficiently, quietly, and safely.

Licensed contractors, in general:

  • Have a minimum of 4 full years of experience performing the trade
  • Have taken a law and trade exam
  • Are required to have a contractors bond,
  • Have been the subject of a background check
  • Are regulated by the Contractors State License Board.

Installers who perform contracting work without having a license have avoided these quality assurance requirements and, in addition, may be in violation of the law.

Step 3: Quality Assurance

A building permit, issued by a local authority may be required for HVAC installations and modifications including, but not limited to, the following:

  • New HVAC installation
  • HVAC change out/remodel/replacement including the air handler, coil, furnace or condenser
  • Relocation of an existing HVAC unit
  • Removal of an HVAC unit or system
  • Adding ducting

The installation of the equipment may be inspected by a Building Inspector who will perform a quality assurance check that may include ensuring:

  • The system is installed to comply with all applicable State, and County or City codes,
  • The work specified under the permit has been performed properly
  • Required compliance documents have been submitted