Why use a NW Natural Preferred Contractor?
- Get exclusive access to NW Natural offers and incentives, not available from other contractors.
- Get free in-home consultations, conveniently scheduled for you.
- Inspection, repair, and installation all from one contractor.
- Quick response –one business day.
- All necessary permits and inspections arranged by Preferred Contractors for you.
- Preferred Contractors offer parts and labor warranties.
- Assurance that contractors are fully licensed, insured and bonded.
- No surprises – proposals include all costs.
- Contractors understand and comply with NW Natural service requirements.
- HVAC technicians certified by NATE, an independent, third party certification.
How can I be sure a contractor is qualified to install equipment?
NW Natural checks contractors to make sure they meet our strict criteria:
- Maintains a contractor's license in good standing for more than the last five years in the state they serve.
- Maintains high levels of liability insurance plus a surety bond.
- Maintains good ratings with the state licensing board and Better Business Bureau.
- Maintains a high level of customer satisfaction when recommended by us.
- Maintains our required high level of NATE certified installers on staff. (NATE is a nationally recognized technical excellence credential for HVAC technicians.)
- Provides a minimum one-year parts and labor warranty following installation of new equipment.
- Maintains a local telephone number and professional office staff with answering service or voice mail messaging.
- Responds to inquiries by telephone within one business day.
- Sets in-home appointments and places a courtesy call if running late.
- Performs furnace sizing and installation following all local codes, industry standards and manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Provides a free written installation estimate based on an in-home consultation within three working days after the appointment.
- Includes all costs (permitting, electrical, dismantling and/or removal) in the written estimate. If you, as a homeowner, will be responsible for any permitting or removal of equipment, this must be clearly explained and detailed in the estimate. You may be asked to call for the final inspection.
- Keeps your home clean during installation and cleans up the job site after the work is complete.
- Informs you of any rebates, tax credits or other incentives, and assists in the completion of the appropriate forms when the invoice is provided.
- Assists you in ordering new gas service when applicable.
How can I prepare when interviewing contractors?
Know which questions to ask. Here are some examples.
Q. What equipment do I have now, how old and efficient is it?
Your contractor can help confirm the type of equipment and its age.
Q. What are the advantages of converting from electric or oil to natural gas heating?
Explain how many people live in your home and note any special concerns, like family sensitivity to dust or allergens, infants, elderly, a home office or pets.
Q. How does a natural gas furnace compare with a heat pump for comfort, maintenance and lifespan?
Ask about the quality (degrees) of heat at the register, typical maintenance required for each type of system, and typical life of a gas furnace heat exchanger compared to a heat pump compressor.
Q. How much can I save on my monthly utility bill with new equipment?
Be sure to have your monthly electric or oil fuel bills ready for the last 12 months so your contractor can make accurate and informed comparisons.
Q. What kind of thermostat should I select?
Know that choices range from simple touchscreen to networked, self-learning thermostats. Options include 7-day programming and Wi-Fi thermostats accessed that continually learn when to pre-heat/cool your home.
Q. What is the typical payback period for my investment?
Ask about bids on good/better/best equipment, all with different paybacks.
Q. What rebates and incentives are available?
NW Natural Preferred Contractors have exclusive access to enhanced incentives.
Q. Are there financing options available?
NW Natural Preferred Contractors in Oregon offer a program called Savings Within Reach that includes on-bill repayment on your natural gas bill. In Washington, Preferred Contractors offer on-bill repayment, too. Other financing options may be available.
Q. How long before I can expect a written bid or proposal?
It's customary for the bid process to take no more than 3 working days. Be sure to confirm it will include all costs, including permitting, electrical, dismantling and/or removal.
Q. If I switch from electric or oil to gas, what are the steps and how long does it take?
Know that the duration depends on several factors including gas availability, permitting, construction schedules, etc. Your contractor can detail this for you.
Q. Will my home be without heat during the conversion process?
Talk with your contractor about setting up temporary heaters in your home to keep your family comfortable during the conversion process.
Q. What are the manufacturer and contractor warranties?
NW Natural Preferred Contractors provide a minimum one-year parts and labor warranty following installation of new gas equipment.
What is the NW Natural Service Solutions program?
The NW Natural Service Solutions program helps customers who might have unique repair or maintenance situations, or who are unsure what they need.
For example, if your natural gas equipment isn't listed in the self-service form above, or if the service you need isn't specified, you can contact a Certified Service Solutions Contractors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A Service Solutions team member will help you find the right contractor for your need.
If you're still not sure about your next step, call NW Natural customer service at 800-927-6123.
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