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Energy Savings at Home

Advice, tools, resources and inspiration to help you save energy

How to Find a Good Heating & Cooling Contractor

Look for contractors whose technicians are certified by NATE.

(North American Technician Excellence), the leading industry-supported testing and certification program for heating and air conditioning technicians. Use NATE's contractor connection Exit ENERGY STAR to locate a contractor who employs NATE certified technicians.

Hire a professional contractor who is licensed and insured.

Look for more than the lowest price.

The lowest price may not represent the best value. A contractor who follows good sizing and installation practices may cost more, but the results can dramatically affect how well your new equipment will deliver comfort and savings. Although the initial cost of ENERGY STAR qualified equipment will be higher than standard equipment, when installed correctly, it will save you money on your utility bills for many years to come. Ask your contractor to use EPA's HVAC Investor software to show you if it is cost-effective to replace your equipment with equipment that has earned the ENERGY STAR.

Most contractors are least busy during the weeks between the warmest and coldest weather. While pricing doesn't vary widely on a seasonal basis, you may find that your installation can be scheduled and completed more rapidly during this off-season time.

A good contractor will not give a quote over the phone.

A good contractor will not be able to quote an exact price over the phone. The contractor will need to come into your home to determine the size and type of equipment you need and custom details needed for the installation. The person who comes to give you an estimate could be a salesperson or a service technician employed by the contractor.