SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – Owning a home or business inevitably comes with maintenance and repairs, and the structure’s HVAC system is no exception. The question then is how to go about hiring a reputable contractor to complete the work.

Gabriel Carini, owner of Carini Heating, Air and Plumbing, is helping people weed through the options with his how-to tips to identify the right fit for their project needs.

1- Collect recommendations. Word of mouth is a great way to get recommendations for cooling and air conditioning contractors. Start with friends and family, ask around the community or use directory listings to compile a list.

2- Call them up. This ensures they offer the services needed and gives a snapshot of the company’s approach to customer service. They should be able to provide a list of previous clients as references.

3- Verify the information. Contact the references and ask to see their final results. Be sure to ask for information about the company’s employees’ punctuality, accuracy, customer service and experience in the industry.

“Online reviews like the ones on Google and Angie’s List can provide helpful clues to a company’s reputation in the community and the quality of their work,” says Carini, a San Diego heating and cooling expert.

Check in with California’s consumer protection agency and the local Better Business Bureau to make sure contractors hold the proper licenses and do not have a history of disputes with clients.

4- Get written estimates. Many companies offer free estimates on whole house system installations and replacement. For the most accurate comparison, get written estimates with the same work and specifications but keep in mind that the least expensive option may or may not be the best overall deal.

Whether the project is routine maintenance, a simple cooling or heating repair or a whole-house system installation, the client deserves quality work done by courteous, professional technicians in a timely manner and that is our main goal.