Here's some helpful tips from your BBB on Heating & Air Conditioning Contractors:
To begin your search, get the name of several contractors from friends or neighbors, and always get at least three written estimates for the work that needs to be done. Check the companies out with the State Board for Contractors, 804-367-8511 in Virginia, and 919-571-4183 in North Carolina.
Your written estimates should always include a full description of the services to be provided. If the heating and air conditioning system needs to be replaced, the estimate should include a full description of additional work required for the installation of ducts, registers, electrical wiring, and repair of the adjacent surfaces.
Compare more than cost when examining the bids. Check the size of the equipment each contractor recommends and ask each contractor to explain how the estimate of the required heating and/or air conditioning capacity and equipment was determined. Make sure to check the written warranty offered. It's important to know what is covered in the warranty, how long is it covered, and who will honor it. Always keep a copy for your records.
Your chosen contractor should provide at least one "call back" free of charge after installation to check the system, make sure that this is written into your contract. Find out if a service contract is available providing you with annual inspection and maintenance. Always read your owner's manual for details on routine maintenance you can perform on your own. Make sure that you thoroughly read and understand your contract before you sign it and always get a full copy.
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