How to Choose the Right Portland HVAC Contractor

You can’t see home comfort or touch it, but we all know what it feels like when we don’t have it.

Whether you’re replacing your old heating and cooling system or looking for ways to lower your energy costs, Heat Relief Heating & Cooling can help. First, you need the right contractor. With so many HVAC contractors to choose from out there how do you know if you are making the right choice for your Portland area home improvement project?

Heat Relief is Oregon’s premier home comfort specialists, and we've gathered ten time-tested tips for selecting the best contractor for your project.

  1. Don’t make any decisions before you check with state and community agencies for a company history of complaints and resolutions to make sure the dealer is reputable.
  2. Always ask for references: Current customers are an excellent source of information and are often willing to share their experiences.
  3. Check local licenses: Ask to see any applicable state and local licenses, bonding, and insurance coverage.
  4. Get a detailed written proposal: A detailed written proposal is one sign of a quality contractor. Beware of a dealer that does not back-up their offer in a detailed written proposal.
  5. Heat loss-heat gain calculation: Expect a thorough calculation performed with an on-site evaluation. A good contractor should measure your home, check insulation factors and evaluate your overall comfort needs.
  6. Equipment/labor warranties and guarantees: Warranties and guarantees vary according to manufacturer and dealer. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and demand that they are included in the written estimate.
  7. Follow contract law: Demand that your contractor follows contract law. A new comfort system is a big decision and with big decisions comes responsibility. According to Oregon law, all home improvement contracts include a 3-day right to cancel.
  8. Ask your contractor about the maintenance requirements of your new system: What can you do yourself and/or does the contractor offer maintenance services? A maintenance agreement is one of the best ways to ensure your system's performance, reliability and safety.
  9. Know and understand the contract: Beware of ambiguous contracts and again, ask lots of questions. It is very important to understand all aspects of the agreement with your contractor before any work begins.
  10. Get more than one estimate or reference: If you are uncomfortable making your decision for any reason, get two or three estimates or references and compare. More information is better than less; however, compare more than just price when evaluating estimates. Look for the best value!


The Consequences of Choosing the Wrong Contractor:

By selecting a qualified heating and cooling contractor you will avoid many of the common home improvement hazards including:

  • Frequent system breakdowns
  • Improper installation
  • Unsafe and/or inefficient operation
  • Shortened equipment life
  • Lack of timely service
  • Unusually high energy bills
  • Voiding of factory warranties
  • Theft, property damage, or worse
  • Building code Infractions and penalties


Heat Relief is among Oregon’s largest and most trusted home comfort specialists, and we encourage our customers to do their homework. We’re confident that, in the end, we can earn your business and help you avoid the perils of selecting the wrong contractor. There are no shortcuts when it comes to selecting the right Portland heating & cooling contractor; however, given the opportunity, we hope to earn your business.

For more information Ask an Expert.

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