How to Choose the Right Commercial HVAC Contractor

Choose the Right Commercial HVAC Contractor

You have a building with one or more units needing regular filter changes, and someone you can contact to keep your tenants and employees happy and comfortable.  There are several contractors in the Puget Sound area that can do this work and you want to find the best fit that meets your system reliability and budget needs.

Evergreen State Heat & AC was founded in 1968, over 50 years ago, with owners Russ & Pam Kimball there for over 25 of those years.  We are licensed in electrical and general construction, insured, and bonded for your protection in the state of Washington.  We do regular commercial maintenance on over 1000 commercial units.

Criteria for Choosing a Competent HVAC Provider:

When it comes to choosing a competent HVAC service provider to service, maintain, and eventually replace your equipment in a manner that meets your needs and budget there are a few things to consider:

  • Communication

    Who answers the phone? Are they professional?  Are techs available on weekends and evenings?  Do they get back to you and answer your questions?

  • Capability

    Who are their technicians, and what kind of experience do they have? At minimum, you should walk your site with their foreman and get a feel for his/her skills.  Do they have controls and air quality experience to handle your work and upgrades?

  • Response

    How many techs do they have when you really need one, and what is your priority level on cold or hot days when your employees and/or tenants are unhappy?

  • Policies

    When they do work, how honorable are they? When they replace your equipment, what warranty do they provide?

  • Focus

    Are they familiar with buildings like yours having similar clients? Do they know your specific units?

  • Electrical

    Systems are getting more complex all the time. Having an 01 line voltage commercial tech on staff is getting more important with Washington State moving away from gas systems.


There are two parts to this process.  First, use the internet, as it will provide you with a wealth of information, both good and bad, about each and every company.  Once you have narrowed it down to about 3-4 qualified companies (more than that and you will be overwhelmed with random facts and irrelevant information).  With these companies invite a technician and representative to your home to review your building.

Step 1 – Research Commercial HVAC Companies Online:

  • Company Reviews

    Not as much here as with residential HVAC companies but worth checking for reviews.

  • Company Websites

    These sites are what we say about ourselves and therefore biased. But you can learn about the projects, the people, and the policies of every company you are interested in.

  • Washington Labor & Industries

    ( – This is critical for licensing (both general and electrical construction), as well as safety, customer, or state penalties, etc.

  • Washington Labor & Industries

    ( – While many companies have an A+ rating, some do not. A nice quick litmus test similar to the WA DOH signs for restaurants (Excellent, Good, Okay, Poor)

Step 2 – Meet with the Company Representative at your Site:

  • Professionalism

    How professional does the person answering the phone sound? Do they ask good questions?  Know that if there are problems later this will be a good thing (and all systems, even quality units with quality installers sometimes fail).  If you go into voice mail during regular business hours, know this could well be an issue, there are a lot of small companies working out of their homes in our industry; many of them are low price but you get what you pay for.  Secondly, how professional are the technicians (we recommend knowing who these people are) and representatives who show up at your building?  Do they look the professional part, can they answer your questions, will they promise to keep in touch with you?  Have they been drug tested?

  • Experience

    How long has this company been in business? Have they installed similar systems?  Do they know your municipality well (permits, inspections, etc.)?  Are the technicians experienced?

  • Warranty & Service

    If you are looking immediately to replace the equipment, find out about the warranty. If you are looking for a service provider, find out what they are offering for service and maintenance.

  • Financial Stability

    If the company goes out of business there is no warranty. The manufacturer will not help you, and no other commercial HVAC company will come out for free.  This is one of the big ‘shockers’ in our industry and what makes us very different from buying a car where every dealer can get paid by the manufacturer for a warranty, not just the one you bought it from.

Finding the Right Commercial HVAC Contractor for You:

In summary there are a lot more factors than most people think.  No facility manager or owner wants to deal with angry employees or tenants.  This is a big choice, and we would love to help you with it.