abingdon va residential air conditioning and heatingWhen it matters most, do you know how to make the right choice when choosing an HVAC contractor?

Whether you need routine heating and cooling system work, or you’re in the midst of an HVAC emergency, making the smartest decision about who to hire is important. These hints will make the job of picking the right HVAC contractor easier.


Your HVAC unit is among the most expensive pieces of equipment in your household, so you want assurance the person servicing or repairing the unit has the right amount of training.  Good news — many states require HVAC contractors to be licensed before they can even begin working. In some states, in order to qualify for a license, technicians must have at least five years of experience.  In other states, HVAC companies are also required have a minimal level of insurance and bonding. Did you know if a company that is working at your home or business is not insured YOU are responsible if they are hurt. Regardless of your state’s requirements, make sure you ask how long a company’s technicians have been servicing HVAC systems.  There’s no replacement for hands-on experience when it comes to your investment.  Reputable companies like Starnes will welcome your inquiry. Starnes Heating and Cooling is Class “A” contractor in Virginia and Tennessee and carries 5 million in liability insurance for your protection. We also have a combined 267 years of experience in the HVAC industry.

Home Evaluation

If you’re considering a complete HVAC unit replacement, take the time to find a contractor who offers an evaluation of your home before installation.  This in-person inspection will help you determine both the right heating and cooling solution for your home.  A good contractor will inspect the air ducts to look for leaks and loose segments, factor in your home’s square footage, consider the number and angles of windows, and evaluate your home’s insulation.


Don’t be shy — ask for references from any HVAC company you’re considering.  Ask if the heating and cooling company has a record of completing jobs on time.  Ask previous customers if the technicians respected your home and property.  Find out if the company you’re considering tests every system after installation to make sure it runs properly.  Doing your homework may prevent future headaches.


How contractors present themselves can a leave lasting impression.  Pay attention to whether HVAC technicians appear work-ready when they arrive.  Do they have the right equipment and supplies?  A reputable HVAC company will approach every job professionally and with respect.


A majority of HVAC contractors are certified through organizations like North American Technician Excellence (NATE).  Helpful hint: contractors who are certified will often have a patch on their uniform to alert you to the designation.  Keep an eye out for this sign of certification, it is a mark of high standards and quality work.


A good contractor will keep in touch with you in the days leading up to your appointment, either by email, text or phone call.  If there are any schedule changes, they’ll be sure to let you know ahead of time.  A lack of this type of customer service should be a red flag.

Do Research

Be sure to do your homework about local heating and air conditioning companies in the area.  Use what you learn about local HVAC companies to compare the pros and cons of each before you make a call for service.  The extra steps will save you money and trouble in the long run and ensure you’ll get the best service.  Don’t forget to read customer reviews – they’ll provide first-hand information about the reliability of each company you consider.

Service Expectations

To get the best value, it’s essential you choose the right service company for your particular HVAC need.  For example, if you’re looking to install a brand-new HVAC system, you’ll want to be sure to work with a certified and licensed HVAC contractor.  They will provide you with a limited warranty for their work as well as the products they’ve installed. Having the job done properly the first time can eliminate the need for constant visits and ensure that the new system works to the best of its ability.

Finding a reliable HVAC contractor doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does take a little time, research and dedication to determine which one will best fit your current and future HVAC needs.