What Is An HVAC Contractor?

 When it comes to maintaining or upgrading your home's heating and cooling systems, hiring an HVAC contractor is wise. But what exactly is an HVAC contractor? And why should you entrust them with the crucial task of keeping your home comfortable and safe?

HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. An HVAC contractor specializes in installing, maintaining, and repairing these systems. But their expertise goes beyond just heating and cooling - they also handle tasks such as indoor air quality control, energy efficiency improvements, and even solar panel installations.

Learn more about what an HVAC contractor does, when you might need one, and how to hire them in emergencies. 

What Do HVAC Contractors Do?

HVAC contractors install, maintain, and repair climate control systems. This includes all the components of an HVAC system, such as furnaces, boilers, air conditioners, heat pumps, and refrigeration units. They also work on related systems such as ventilation and ductwork.

Some HVAC contractors specialize in specific commercial HVAC services equipped to handle both residential and commercial projects. They undergo extensive training and certification to ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge to work on various heating and cooling services. 

In some states, there is a distinction between an HVAC technician and a contractor. An HVAC technician works for an established company or contractor, while an HVAC contractor may work independently.

Installation

Installation is a crucial part of an HVAC contractor's job. They install heating and cooling systems in new homes and replace or upgrade existing systems in residential and commercial buildings. Retrofitting an older building for a new or larger HVAC system is also within the scope of their work.

While homeowners can install some portable air conditioners and window AC units, licensed professionals should install all other HVAC systems. Improper installation can lead to energy inefficiency and high utility bills, making it essential to have an experienced HVAC contractor like MileHi HVAC handle the installation process.

Maintenance

HVAC contractors also provide routine maintenance services for HVAC systems. This includes an annual tune-up, which involves checking refrigerant levels, changing air filters, cleaning fans and vents, and ensuring all components function properly. Regular maintenance is significant in keeping your HVAC system running smoothly and efficiently.

Many local HVAC contractors offer annual maintenance plans for their customers. These plans often include priority scheduling before the peak seasons of extreme temperatures, ensuring that your system is in top condition when you need it most. Some businesses may even offer additional services, such as duct cleaning, to improve air quality.

Repairs 

Unfortunately, HVAC systems can break down and malfunction at any time. When this happens, an HVAC contractor is the one to call. They have the knowledge to fix any issues with your system. It is important to address HVAC problems as soon as possible to prevent further problems and ensure the safety and comfort of your home.

Some HVAC contractors also offer emergency repair services 24/7 for urgent situations. This can be especially helpful during bad weather conditions when a malfunctioning heating or cooling system can pose serious risks.

Upgrades and Improvements

As technology advances, so do HVAC systems. An experienced HVAC contractor can help you upgrade your system to be more energy-efficient and cost-effective. This can include installing smart thermostats, upgrading to a newer, more efficient furnace or air conditioner model, or even incorporating solar panels to reduce your carbon footprint.

When Should You Call an HVAC Contractor?

 If you are experiencing any issues with your HVAC system, it is best to call a licensed contractor. Common signs of problems include:

  • Unusual noises or vibrations coming from your HVAC system
  • Dramatic increase in your energy bills
  • Inconsistent temperatures throughout your home
  • Your HVAC system frequently turns on and off
  • Unpleasant odors coming from your vents
  • An HVAC system that is more than 10 years old and hasn't been upgraded
  • The need for frequent repairs on your HVAC system
  • Poor air quality in your house, including excessive dust or humidity levels.

Here are more details about how HVAC contractors can help you in certain tasks:

Air conditioning 

Air conditioners use a forced-air system and refrigerant to remove heat from indoor air & send it outdoors. However, refrigerant can be hazardous if it leaks, making it important for all air conditioning contractors to have an EPA 608 certification. This ensures that they are trained in handling the chemical properly.

Aside from refrigerant leaks, a licensed technician should address other issues with your air conditioner. If your AC is making unusual noises or not cooling your home evenly, it could be a sign of a larger problem needing professional attention. Similarly, if you notice a sudden increase in your energy bills without any temperature change, there may be an issue with the efficiency of your system that requires repair.

Heating 

Heating systems can come in various forms, including furnaces, boilers, and heat pumps. They may also use different energy sources such as electricity, natural gas, propane, fuel oil, solar energy, or wood. Some heating systems use airflow to distribute heat throughout a building, while others utilize radiant heating through floors or walls.

If you notice weak or uneven heating in your home or strange sounds or odors from your HVAC unit, it is best to call a licensed HVAC contractor for repairs. While these systems do not use refrigerants like air conditioners, they can still pose safety hazards and generate high levels of heat, making it important to leave any repairs or maintenance to the professionals.

Ventilation

Ventilation systems are often overlooked but crucial in maintaining indoor air quality and distributing warm or cool air throughout your home. This system consists of your home's vents, air ducts, and fans that exchange stale indoor air with fresh air and circulate it throughout your living spaces.

Problems with ventilation can be subtle but can have a major impact on your home and health. Poor ventilation can lead to high humidity levels, which can cause mold and mildew growth or attract pests. You may also notice stale odors or increased allergens in your home. Addressing ventilation problems may involve cleaning or unblocking ducts and vents, installing additional fans, or adding filters to improve indoor air quality.

How to Hire an HVAC Contractor?

 Hiring the right HVAC contractor ensures that your heating and cooling systems are installed, maintained, or repaired correctly. Here are some tips to help you find the right contractor for your needs:

Step 1: Research

Start by researching HVAC contractors in your area. Look for companies with a Better Business Bureau rating, valid licenses, and insurance.

Step 2: Check Certifications

Ensure your chosen contractor has the proper certifications and training to handle HVAC systems. This includes EPA 608 certification for handling refrigerants and any other relevant licenses or certifications in your state.

 Step 3: Ask for Recommendations

Ask friends, family, or neighbors for recommendations. They may have recently worked with an HVAC contractor and can provide valuable insight into their experience.

Step 4: Get Multiple Quotes 

It is important to get quotes from multiple contractors to compare prices and services. Be cautious of choosing the lowest bidder, as they may need to offer quality service or use proper equipment and materials.

Step 5: Read the Contract Carefully 

Before signing any contracts, read and understand all terms and conditions. Feel free to ask the contractor for clarification if you have any questions or concerns.

HVAC Contractor FAQ

1. How often should I have my HVAC system serviced?

It is recommended to have your HVAC system serviced at least once a year, preferably before each heating and cooling season starts.

2.Should I repair or replace my HVAC system?

This depends on the age and condition of your system. A licensed contractor can assess the situation and recommend repairs or replacements.

3.How can I improve the efficiency of my HVAC system?

Changing air filters and cleaning vents improves the efficiency of your system. Upgrading to a newer, more energy-efficient model may also be beneficial.

4.Are there any rebates or incentives for upgrading my HVAC system?

Depending on where you live, rebates or tax credits may be available for upgrading to a more energy-efficient HVAC system. It is best to consult an HVAC contractor to research local incentives.

5.Can I install my HVAC system?

It is not recommended to install your HVAC system, as it requires specialized knowledge and training. Improper installation can lead to safety hazards and potential damage to your home. It is best to leave the installation to licensed professionals. 

For more information about HVAC contractors or to book a service, contact MileHi HVAC or give a call today at (720) 770-0055

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