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Choosing the Best Heat and Air Systems Contractor for Your Home in Big Bear

Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating


When choosing an HVAC contractor, many things come to mind. As a resident of Big Bear, you may wonder what the best choice is for your Big Bear heat and air-conditioning systems; is it staff qualification, years of experience, or is it safe to just call any contractor close to you?

The answer already lies in what you know. But we will consider other more important factors. This article will take you through all the criteria in their order of priority to make the best choice for your heat and air system.

9 Criteria to Choose the Best HVAC Contractor for Your Home in Big Bear

Your heat and air systems directly impact the comfort of your home. HVAC controls the quality of air and temperature of your home. As the weather changes in Big Bear, it becomes more important to pay attention to your heat and air systems. Several components make up your HVAC systems, such as the compressor unit, ductwork, etc. Each of these units needs constant maintenance, so you must have an HVAC contractor that can handle the job.

You may feel confused and reluctant about calling any contractor, and you may also worry about the lousy reputation of contractors in the heat and air industry. However, this is a decision you still have to make to ensure you enjoy your home. Here are a few criteria that can help you decide on the best choice.

  • Licensing and Experience
  • Insurance
  • Equipment specifics
  • References and Referrals
  • Rebates and special offers
  • Home Evaluation
  • Written Estimate
  • Quality Guarantee
  • Thoroughness and Efficiency

Fortunately, you can quickly gather contacts of HVAC contracts to check out by speaking to your neighbors and friends. You can also search online for the best Big Bear heat and air systems contractors. Once you know where to start, you can check out the contractors with these criteria.

Licensing and Expertise

Your HVAC system is your home’s central system, and it is expensive. This means you don’t want to leave it to just anyone. So, whoever you contract it out to should be able to perform installation, repairs, and maintenance.

When searching for a contractor, ensure that you are specific about certification and licenses. Having a license means that the contractor can work in Big Bear. A license also means that the contractor has been working in the field for some time.

For example, only technicians who have worked in the industry for four years can acquire the California HVAC license. While experience is not equivalent to excellence, being in the business long enough is proof that the company is doing something right.

You can also ask if the company has NATE and EPA certifications. EPA ensures that you deal with people who can also handle your refrigerants. Most NATE certified technicians also have educational and apprentice-based experience in heat and air technology.

Also, you can do your research on specific industry equipment or top brands and ask if the company has them. You should confirm that the employees have the appropriate training to use that particular equipment if they do. Each piece of equipment is unique, so a good contractor knows to provide proper training.

Some HVAC companies go the extra mile in organizing training for their staff so that the team is fully aware of industry trends and can recommend the best product for clients and deal with any system.


Another critical consideration is insurance. Ask the company if some level of bonding and insurance covers them. Insurance can save you a lot of hassle. When a company is adequately insured, the insurance company will quickly resolve any accidents or injuries that may happen while they are working on your property.

While accidents are rare, the last thing you want is to compensate for injuries on your property just because you called in a professional service.

Equipment Specifics

Before you call any contractor, ensure that you have the correct details about your HVAC system. The last thing you want is to appear knowledgeable. Being knowledgeable about your system will help you have the needed conversation about whether a contractor can help you or not. Note down things like:

  • Age of your HVAC system
  • The model number of your HVAC equipment
  • Brand
  • Serial number of your AC system and furnace

You can take a picture of the Product ID for easy reference. You should also know how often your product has been serviced or has undergone repair. Also, it would help if you raised any questions or concerns you have about your system. These go a long way in helping a contractor know if you need a new system or what design will suit your needs. You can also determine how well your questions were attended to and use this to decide.

References and Referrals

Nothing says a contractor is good like friends and neighbors singing their praises. If you find a Big Bear heat and air conditioning contractor that everyone is eager to recommend, you shouldn’t hesitate to check them out.

You can also check your local Facebook groups and ask for references. If you don’t have a Facebook group, Google the best HVAC contractors near me and read through the reviews.

If you see a contractor that ranks high on other aspects but very low on reviews -especially from direct neighbors — it may be better to hesitate with them. Also, while it may be a good idea to check out the company’s site for testimonies, independent reviews are better in this situation.

Home Evaluation

After your first discussion, a contractor who knows the in and out of business will set up an appointment to check out your home. This is because it is only after a proper inspection that a good contractor can give an estimate.

A home evaluation is not optional; it allows the contractor to access your home, the HVAC, and the flow of heat and air. This will help you prevent improper sizing.

For example, if you are looking to install a new HVAC, the contractor should assess the number and size of your windows, the insulation system, the airflow, and the number of rooms and home square footage. This will help in choosing the right equipment brand and size for your home.

Rebate and Special Offers

HVACs can put a drain on your pocket, so you need to ensure you are getting the best deals. Affordability is not really about the service fee. Instead, you should look at whether the company has partnerships with certain HVAC brands. Contractors that have special relationships with brands may be able to offer you discounts by getting the product on your behalf.

Some companies also offer independent rebates if you switch from an old system to a new one. So, you can go along with a contractor to check out offers from Big Bear heat and air conditioning systems stores. You can also browse online for rebates and discounts during holidays.

Another good way to get a discount is to check out ENERGY STAR for energy-efficient systems that you can buy. Also, ask contractors if they know of tax credits you can get by purchasing an energy-efficient system.

Written Estimate

As you continue your search, ensure you get a written and detailed estimate from each contractor you call.

This will allow you to compare the estimates and check out differences in warranty, costs, and energy efficiency. For example, a company may offer you a lower price for your air conditioner, but you may find that it’s not energy-efficient and will cost you more in the long run in terms of higher energy bills. So ensure you run through the estimates you have along with other factors.

Quality Guarantee

Ensure you ask the company if they have a quality Guarantee policy. For example, some companies can offer a redo on a poorly installed system at no additional cost to you. In contrast, others may provide a standard check for a period after installation or repair.

What’s important here is that you can sense some confidence from the company about its work quality.

Thoroughness and Efficiency

Before you work with any Big Bear heat and air conditioning contractor, ensure they offer maintenance service and can attend to you when you have an emergency.

Big Bear can reach freezing temperatures, and the last thing you want is to be stuck with a flawed heating system because you can’t contact your contractor. So as you go about asking for referrals, make sure that you ask specifics like:

  • Did they arrive on time?
  • Did they clean up after the job?
  • Did they test your new system for optimal function before leaving?
  • Did they suggest regular maintenance for the HVAC system?
  • These questions can help you see how efficient and thorough a company is before working with them.

The Best HVAC Contractor in Big Bear

As you can tell, finding the best HVAC contractor is about getting a company that can meet a good number of the criteria we have discussed above. You must have a good idea of what you’re looking for before setting out.

Contact Us Today in Big Bear

Bear Valley Plumbing and Heating is the best Big Bear heat and air conditioning company providing installation, repair, and maintenance for HVAC systems to homes and businesses in Big Bear, California. Visit our website to know more about the services we offer and how to contact us. You can also request an urgent service as our experts are available all-day or request an appointment for a later date.

If you are looking for a Big Bear plumbing, heating & air conditioning contractor, please call (909) 584-4376 or complete our online request form.