It can be a little unnerving allowing a stranger inside your home. When you work with a company you are familiar with or has been recommended to you there is some peace of mind. Let’s say you move, and are in a new town without a strong social network and no one to ask advice from. Something happens to your HVAC system and you need a technician. With no one to ask a recommendation from, our primary tool to locate a technician is the internet.

The internet is a great source, but common sense needs to be used when looking for a technician. Here are some hints on how to find a reputable technician.

Don’t hire an individual you randomly found on a site such as Craigslist. You don’t know the background of the person you are inviting into your home. Are they a scam artist? Are they scoping out your house for a possible future break in? Do they have a criminal background? Angie’s list may cost more money, but they carefully review anyone they list on the site. They provide links to individual states and their licensing requirements for contractors including HVAC technicians. This is crucial because you do not want to have someone work on your HVAC system who isn’t licensed, bonded and insured.

Ask for references to be provided before you hire a technician. It is wise to ask for an estimate of what the repair will cost so they don’t start working and then present you with a high, exaggerated bill. It can be hard to negotiate after the work has been completed. Is there a warranty provided on work performed? Will the technician stand by his or her work? Ask about their equipment and what brands they carry. Do they have a warehouse stocked with parts? Or will you be left hanging while the technician has to locate a part you may need and prolong the time you are left without a working HVAC system.

The internet can be a great place to find a HVAC technician if you are smart about it and cover your bases. A qualified HVAC technician and company will never mind answering your questions and showing evidence of their good work. If someone starts to get antsy or irritated by your questions, consider that to be a red flag and move on to another company.