Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC)

HVAC stands for “heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration,” . Almost every homeowner will eventually have a reason to contact an HVAC contractor, whether you need help to fix a broken freezer or need a professional to manage heating and cooling installation. Qualified HVAC professionals are experts in many of the systems that keep your home comfortable throughout the year. Whether you’re going with an HVAC company or an independent contractor, knowing what qualifications to look for and what questions to ask can help you save time, money and stress during the process.

The stakes of choosing the right HVAC contractor depend on the scale of your project. Finding someone to fix a broken icemaker is one thing, but hiring an HVAC contractor to design and install a complete system is on another level. In either scenario, you want to be confident that you are making the right choice—but the HVAC professional fixing an icemaker may not need quite the same level of experience as the professional handling a household system. As you search for an HVAC contractor, keep this in mind:

Checks

  • Check the reviews for an HVAC contractor on multiple platforms and contact references.
  • Contact multiple HVAC contractors to ask about experience, availability and rates.
  • Ask about experience with your type of job, including their knowledge of the specific equipment and/or brands.
  • Before hiring, get an estimate in writing and understand how changes to the estimate are managed.

Questions to Ask an HVAC Contractor

  • What is your training and experience?
  • What are your HVAC certifications?
  • If you manage a team, what standards are the HVAC technicians held to?
  • How do you determine and charge rates—fixed or hourly?
  • Could you provide references?
  • Are you experienced with this type of HVAC system?
  • What are your payment terms?
  • How do you determine a project estimate?
  • How are changes to the estimate handled?

The correct answers vary. However, you’re ultimately looking for an HVAC contractor with at least a few years of experience with a rate that you’re comfortable with. They should provide references and proof that they have worked on similar HVAC systems. This person should also not request cash upfront and should provide full transparency into the estimate-to-payment journey.

What Is an HVAC System?

There are many components that work together to create comfortable indoor temperatures. Your home uses one or more of these systems to adjust the temperature and purify the air of your home:

  • Furnace
  • Ductwork
  • Thermostat
  • Central AC system
  • Window AC unit
  • Ductless air conditioner

How Can I Prepare an HVAC System for the Summer?

  • Check the Filter
  • Clear the Area
  • Clean Out Vents

What Are Common HVAC Upgrades?

  • Window Treatments
  • Modern Thermostats
  • New Fans

What Are the Signs I Need HVAC Repairs?

  • Inefficient Operation
  • Costly Energy Bill
  • Annual Maintenance

It is the industry standard for HVAC contractors to offer free estimates. For smaller jobs or repairs, the HVAC contractor may be available to provide an estimate over the phone before an in-home consultation. This is especially helpful in cases where there is an urgent repair and you need to hire an HVAC contractor quickly—such as if the heat goes out in the winter.

For larger projects where you have more flexibility with time, narrow down the field of HVAC contractor candidates and then ask the select few to meet in person. Along with a free estimate, the HVAC contractor may also be able to offer some different options within the budget. For example, if you are installing a new A/C system, the estimate will vary based on the efficiency of the equipment you select. A good HVAC contractor should be patient and willing to explain these options to you.

Many HVAC contractors charge an hourly rate, but that can be slightly deceiving if there are additional costs for parts and equipment. That rate represents the minimum you should expect to spend for a house call—even if the repair takes less than 60 minutes. The average actual cost for HVAC repair is PKR Rs. 50,000 and above. These costs, of course, are on top of the cost of a new HVAC system (if you’re in need of one).

Because keeping the heating and cooling systems in a home functional is a matter of safety in some situations, many HVAC contractors and companies are open 24/7. However, you should expect to pay double or triple the standard hourly rate for emergency and after-hours service calls.

Great for you

6 Types of HVAC Systems

  • Electric Furnace/AC System
  • Boiler/AC System
  • Furnace/Split AC System
  • Heat Pump/Air Handler System
  • Mini Split Heat Pump
  • Geothermal Heat Pump

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