What Does a Heating and Air Conditioning Contractor Do?
A heating and air conditioning contractor handles the installation, regulation and maintenance of climate control systems. These systems transport heated and cooled air throughout the interior of buildings, promoting thermal comfort with acceptable indoor air quality. HVAC contractors also provide repair services for existing systems. They may work in residential structures like single-family homes, apartments or hotels; commercial or office buildings; vehicles like trains, planes and cars, as well as marine environments like hospitals and ships.
The steps to becoming a heating and air conditioning contractor vary somewhat by state, but generally, you need a high school diploma or GED certificate. You can then pursue formal post-secondary training in HVAC technology, electrical and plumbing. Vocational schools and community colleges offer such programs. You can then take certification exams to become a licensed contractor. Some states require that you pass a criminal background check and carry performance bonds or liability insurance to get your license.
Most HVAC contractors specialize in three core areas: installation, maintenance and repair. Installation processes typically include hooking new units up to ductwork, pipes and tubes, testing those connections and ensuring that the system is functioning properly. The maintenance portion of the job focuses on things like inspecting and testing thermostat systems, checking fans, refilling refrigerant levels, cleaning air ducts, and troubleshooting different components for faults or optimal efficiency. Repairs are the last portion of this job, and they usually involve replacing or fixing specific faulty parts or fittings on HVAC equipment.
Some HVAC contractors also provide energy-efficiency advice and consultation. This can be a great way to reduce your monthly utility bills while improving the overall comfort of your home or office. They can often recommend simple solutions like weatherproofing your doors and windows, adding insulation in your attic or basement and sealing ductwork.
If you’re thinking about hiring an HVAC contractor, it’s important to find one with a good reputation and experience in your local area. Look for reviews online and ask friends and family about their experiences with different HVAC companies. It’s also a good idea to compare their focus, skillset and experience before making a decision.
It’s also important to understand that not all HVAC contractors are created equal. Some are better suited to specific types of service, like air conditioners or furnaces. Some are more experienced at installing energy-efficient equipment, while others have a greater understanding of older heating and cooling technologies. In addition, some HVAC contractors have more specialized skills, such as working with boilers and water-based heating systems that are very different than force-air systems. Make sure that you hire a company that has a broad range of experience and can tackle any type of problem you may have with your HVAC systems.