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Expertise Makes All the Difference

March 22, 2018

As a homeowner, there are many things to say aware of throughout the year when it comes to maintenance. Perhaps the most major of all maintenance is your HVAC – especially here in Maryland. Because it delivers throughout all four seasons, it's critical to keep current on filters, humidifiers, ductwork/cleaning, etc. When it comes to servicing and maintaining your home AC and heating, it's important understand what you're getting and what's really required for a properly serviced system. While it's easy to use a coupon you might see in mail that offers you the best 'deal', there are specific things you need to look for in any technician when making the decision.

The Basics
The qualifications obtained by contractors can and will vary, depending on their specific education pathways and experiences. Basic vocational training and on-site experience are essential for a qualified HVAC professional. If you want to be sure these qualifications are legitimate, you can do a basic background check of your contractor’s education and find out whether they are from reputable institutions or businesses. While your check will likely end with confirmation of their qualifications, it is important to remain aware that scams occasionally crop up in the contracting world and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

License
In Maryland and many states, technicians must carry the appropriate qualification and licensing. Having a license will be your first clue that the technician has completed the necessary education and expertise in the field. You should ask any technician performing service on your home to provide their license to ensure it is up to date and valid for the state of Maryland. You may find a technician with multiple licenses from other states – which if fine – as long as one of them is Maryland!

Certifications
With any education comes certifications and qualifications. Training that is completed by HVAC contractors/technicians may differ slightly, however the Environmental Protection Agency requires all HVAC professional to undertake mandatory training on exposure to and working with hazardous refrigerants. This particular training is labeled EPA 608 and should be one of the first things your technician tells you when providing their qualifications.

Experience
Having the education and qualifications but you'll want to have more than pieces of paper. Practical experience on the job in another important qualification you should look for in HVAC service providers. Technicians should have between 2-5 years of experience to ensure that they have interacted with a variety of home HVAC systems and can troubleshoot any issues they encounter in your home. Notwithstanding, your technician should have experience with the specific HVAC system in your home.

References
Having the certifications, education, experience and license are all non-negotiable. The last piece worth considering is references from trusted sources. Any good HVAC technician should have a list of customers they’re willing to share – what’s better than word-of-mouth marketing??

Be sure to take your time, do your homework, ask around so that you’ll be ready for another hot Maryland summer – not to mention another winter! Any good HVAC technician should have a list of customers he/she have worked for before. If the technician doesn’t freely offer his/her references, it is good to ask him/her for a list. Be sure to call a few of the references to know if they were satisfied with the technician you are about to hire.