Handy Tips for Choosing Your Contractor
Check the License
HVAC contractors must be licensed in Virginia and hold a current, valid license from the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. Ask to see the contractor's pocket license and another form or identification.
The name on the pocket license should be the same as the contractor (or the name of the business). To find out if an HVAC specialist is licensed in Virginia, call the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (804) 367-2945 or go to www.state.va.us/dpor and look up the license.
Remember, it is illegal for a contractor to use another contractor's license, just as it is illegal for someone to use another's driver's license.
New River Heating & Air, Inc. Contractor License #2705 068048A
Professional and Trade Memberships
Is the contractor a member of North American Technician Excellence (NATE)?
NATE is the leading certification program for technicians in the heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC/R) industry. As an independent, non-profit national organization supported by a broad-based coalition of industry leaders, NATE represents a shared commitment to improving the HVAC/R industry through voluntary testing and certification.
NATE supporters include contractors, distributors, education and training providers, manufacturers, technicians, utilities, and their respective trade associations. To learn more about NATE, go to www.natex.org.
New River Heating & Air, Inc. NATE Member since 1986.
Is the contractor a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB)? The BBB is a nonprofit organization supported by local businesses. It is dedicated to promoting and fostering the highest ethical relationship between businesses and the public through consumer and business education and voluntary self-regulation. BBBs have a national reputation for fairness because they remain neutral in a dispute.
New River Heating & Air, Inc. is a member of the Better Business Bureau.
Ask the HVAC contractor for local references. Call to see if they were satisfied with the work. A reputable HVAC contractor will be proud to list their references. If possible, visit a job in progress to see how the contractor works. Talk to the customer about work habits, costs, and the contractor's level of cooperation. Find out if the contractor has maintained the work schedule and honored the terms of the contract.
New River Heating & Air, Inc. has Customer References listed on our testimonials page.
Is the HVAC Contractor Insured?
In Virginia, the law requires workers compensation insurance coverage for licensed contractors. Ask the HVAC contractor if his company is insured against property damage, and personal liability in case of accidents. Ask to see a copy of the certificate of insurance (or ask for the name of your contractor's insurance carrier and agency) to verify that the contractor has insurance.
New River Heating & Air, Inc. Insurance through Nationwide Insurance.
Get Competitive Bids
Do not automatically accept the contractor with the lowest price. First, make sure all bids are based on the same set of service and equipment specifications. Discuss the bids in detail with each contractor and make sure you understand the reasons for variations in price. A higher price may be your lowest overall cost if the materials used are of higher quality or the work is more complete.
Beware of a bid that is substantially lower than others. It indicates the contractor has made a mistake or is not including all of the work (and/or material) quoted by competitors. You are sure to have a dispute with a contractor if you accept a low bid based on an error or misunderstanding.
New River Heating & Air, Inc. Call (540) 731-1979 or email us for a bid.