How to Choose the Right HVAC/Refrigeration Contractor: Part I

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who’s the greatest of them all?”

If only choosing an HVAC & Refrigeration contractor could be so easy.
While many of us might wish for a magic mirror to help us decide on some of life’s more perplexing issues, you don’t need one to help you pick a reputable HVAC/Refrigeration company to service your home or business. By following the guidelines below, you’ll confidently identify a skilled contractor who is qualified to meet all of your cooling needs.

1) All Contractors Are Not Equal

That’s right! The most important part of having your home or business’ cooling needs met is choosing the right contractor. Choose the wrong one, and it can cost you time, money and even sleep!

So what constitutes “the right contractor?” First and foremost, integrity. Look for a contractor who lives, breathes and services its clientele with honesty and fairness. Unfortunately, the heating and cooling industry ranks among the top for unethical behavior. You can protect yourself from becoming a victim by doing your research:

  • • Check out a contractor’s website – do they articulate their business’ values?
  • • Read reviews on user generated sites such as Angie’s List, Yelp and Google+
  • • Get a referral from a trusted friend or business colleague. After all, isn’t word of mouth the best?


Second (but equally important), make sure the contractor you are considering is licensed, and insured. Illegal contractors are a dime a dozen offering to perform service and installation “cheaply.” Remember, you’ll get what you pay for, so don’t be duped! The state of Florida mandates that all HVAC and Refrigeration contractors doing business must be licensed and insured because this field is highly technical and risky. It requires specific training and many on-the-job hours to become proficient and to perform the work safely.

To assess if the contractor you are considering is licensed and insured, contact your county’s construction licensing board via phone or their website. Every contractor listed in these databases is licensed and insured. For residents and business owners in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties, the construction licensing boards’ links are provided below:

  • • Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board – Click here
  • • Hillsborough County Construction Licensing Board – Click here
  • • Pasco County Construction Licensing Board – Click here


Want to know more guidelines for identifying a skilled HVAC & Refrigeration contractor? Stay tuned. The series continues next week.