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Hiring an AC repair contractor for home heating, cooling, ventilation or refrigeration job means getting expert HVAC service from a knowledgeable professional who can service, repair or install equipment safely and efficiently.

Consider these factors when looking for an AC repair technician.

Ask friends and neighbors for their recommendations for AC repair contractors they have hired in the past. By asking people you trust, you’re more likely to find a good AC repair contractor. If necessary, ask friends online in various social networks.

Ask at least three potential contractors for detailed written bids. A contractor who responds to a formal bid demonstrates genuine interest and professionalism. If they cannot be bothered to submit a bid properly or on time, that tells you how reliable they’ll be.

Contact your state and local offices to check on the contractor’s licensing status. State licenses are required, and some cities may require additional licensing or credentials. If a contractor is unwilling to show his licensing information, that’s a deal breaker. Similarly, find out whether they are fully bonded and insured.

Ask potential contractors for references from local customers. Contact at least three of these references and ask detailed questions. An AC repair tech with a large number of satisfied customers means they do good work.

Check and understand the financial terms being offered. See if there needs to be a down payment made before work begins and if there will be a schedule of payments. Make sure there is a cancellation period during which you can cancel the contract without penalty — three-day cancellation periods are common.

Finding a qualified AC repair technician is not too difficult, provided you do some proper initial research. Not only will you be satisfied, but you can rest more easily knowing you have an AC repair tech that is committed to their work and doing the best job they can.