Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

Extreme weather can happen just about anywhere, so most homeowners are familiar with storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can damage many aspects of your property, like the landscape, roof, siding and windows.

Strong winds and flooding are also common problems for outdoor heating and cooling equipment. In severe weather, systems could be pushed out of position, frequently toppling over and damaging electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even in situations where systems remain upright, they may accumulate mud and other materials, which has to be cleaned out before they can operate correctly.

For your safety when assessing your storm-damaged home, don’t turn on the HVAC system until it has gotten the all-clear from a heating and cooling technician. The trick is knowing who to hire for the job. After all, any random guy with a truck can claim they’re an HVAC technician. Someone unqualified and tampering with your equipment might make matters worse, plus overcharge you and then vanish without a trace.

Incidents like these tend to escalate around storm cleanup. To avoid being exploited, learn about the top six questions to share when hiring a heating and cooling contractor.

1. Are you licensed, insured and certified?

Most states implement licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This delivers peace of mind that anyone who works on your system has the correct training and coverage in the event an accident unfolds. Continued ACE certification only further helps a contractor’s ability to ensure high-quality service.

2. What can you tell me about your experience and reputation?

While longevity alone doesn’t guarantee a contractor will do a good job, it indicates that they are proficient enough to remain in business for the long term. If you’re able to, search for the company’s name online to verify that they’re telling the truth about their experience.

While you’re at it, look into the contractors you’re considering on Google and other third-party review websites. Reviews from previous customers provide a good idea of what to expect.

For even more definite answers, inquire with potential contractors for the contact info of past customers. As you get in touch with these references and check online reviews, seek out answers to these questions:

    • Did the contractor finish the job on time?
    • Did the contractor leave the customer feeling satisfied?
    • Was the total bill the same amount as the up-front estimate?
    • Did a live person always answer calls, or did an answering machine pick up?

3. Are the technicians background-checked and drug-tested?

You want assurance that the HVAC technicians who perform the work are clean, reliable and safe to have around your family. For your peace of mind, check with the contractor if background checks and drug tests are required before bringing new hires to the team.

4. Can you evaluate the entire home comfort system?

If the storm damage is significant enough to wipe out your HVAC system, you might need another one. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to just swap out one furnace and air conditioner for another. After all, an HVAC system is only as effective as the ductwork it uses. So if you’re thinking about HVAC replacement after a storm, ask potential contractors these questions:

    • Do you offer heat loss/gain evaluations?
    • Do you assess insulation levels and air leaks?
    • Do you determine the duct system to guarantee appropriate sizing and configuration?

5. Can I get an estimate in writing?

A written, itemized estimate is crucial when comparing bids from multiple HVAC contractors. Try to find a company that includes free estimates and trustworthy, fair pricing. Also, be sure to ask if the company charges hourly or by the job so you recognize what you’re paying for. Just be aware that the lowest bid isn’t automatically the best deal, particularly if it’s much lower than the others. Chances are the contractor could attempt to cut corners to make the price attractive or surprise you with hidden fees at the end.

6. Do you have any special promotions?

Getting your HVAC system back online after a serious storm isn’t always low cost. That’s why it’s beneficial to ask about any savings you might qualify for when repairing or replacing your HVAC system. Also, look for what financing and leasing options the contractor can offer as a better way to afford unexpected HVAC services after a storm.

Choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

Do you need a proven contractor to fix your HVAC system after a nasty storm? You can’t go wrong with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We are a national company with hometown heart, a pairing that helps us stay above the competition. If you prioritize fair prices, long-lasting results and total satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office for help examining and fixing your HVAC system.

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