Six Traits to Look for When Hiring a Quality HVAC Contractor

Updated: September 2023
Hiring an HVAC contractor

When it comes to your family’s HVAC needs, you want the best technician around. Although a quick internet search will likely provide dozens of potential contractors in your area, how do you choose? 

Is it best to go with the company at the top of the list, one offering same-day service or a contractor with a high rating from the Better Business Bureau?

Here are six traits the HVAC market’s top contractors possess – ones you should strongly consider before hiring a professional for your home’s heating and cooling needs.

1. Technical expertise

A qualified technician should be able to install, maintain and repair conventional systems as well as all-electric heat pump solutions. If they only provide one product recommendation, chances are this person is being incentivized to sell that system only. Although there is nothing necessarily wrong with that, they should have the know-how and flexibility to install a wide range of products and solutions.

For instance, do they offer products that will meet future standards that are quickly changing? As the country moves toward electrification, your contractor of choice should be well-versed not only in conventional HVAC systems but also in more sustainable options such as energy-efficient mini-split ductless and ducted heat pumps.

Whether building a brand-new state-of-the-art house or retrofitting a historic family home, a knowledgeable contractor can help you choose the best products or solutions.    

2. Accreditation and training

Verifying that the professional you choose has local licenses and certifications is important since anyone can print a business card or take out an ad for their services. Look for a licensed contractor with accreditation through an organization like North American Technical Excellence® (NATE®), a nonprofit organization that works to make your wish for a great technician come true. NATE certifies HVAC technicians through a series of knowledge and experience-based testing, then initiates follow-up training and testing every two years.

Additionally, Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US (METUS) provides training on METUS equipment. The Diamond Contractor® program is a multi-stage, in-depth training that ensures contractors installing METUS equipment are kept up-to-date on those systems and learn about new technologies and best installation practices.                                               

Homeowners consulting with a Diamond Contractor will get an in-home evaluation that includes understanding their specific heating and cooling needs and making recommendations based on those requests. 

3. Reputation

Specific to heating and cooling needs, one of the best ways to find a great HVAC technician is to ask for referrals. According to Nielson, 92% of consumers trust word-of-mouth referrals more than all other forms of advertising. Upon contacting the referred contractor, ask them to provide references. 

4. Reliability

A superb contractor is punctual for appointments and completes the work within an agreed-upon timeframe. When issues arise, such as being stuck in traffic or running late for an appointment, reliable HVAC professionals will call or text you to keep you updated. 

5. Good communication skills

This segues into the importance of communicating with you every step of the way. Although you may not be interested in the minutia of your HVAC system, a top technician should be able to clearly explain any issues with your HVAC system and provide recommendations on repairs or replacements. 

Ask for the explanation in writing so you can remember and explain the issues to a family member who wasn’t present during the service call.

6. Price transparency

Look for a professional who is upfront about costs and potential additional charges. Make sure to get a written quote. The contractor should also offer incentives available at the time of service. This might include dollars off the price of an all-electric heat pump, a rebate or other pricing specials. It never hurts to ask whether the contractor is offering a promotion.

Choice – your best option

You might live in an area with just a couple of HVAC contractors to choose from, or you may have dozens pop up when doing a nearby search. 

Consult with a contractor who presents options, not just the same old conventional solutions, especially as homeowners move toward more sustainable HVAC systems – like all-electric, all-climate heat pumps. For more information, visit

Diamond Contractor
Qualified Contractors
Heat Pumps