Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

Severe weather can appear anywhere, so the bulk of homeowners have experienced with some degree of storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can impact many portions of your property, such as the landscape, roof, siding and windows.

Strong winds and water damage are also major concerns for outdoor heating and cooling systems. In dangerous weather, systems could be forced out of position, frequently falling on their sides and damaging electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even in situations where systems stay upright, they can amass mud and other debris, which has to be cleaned before they can operate properly.

For your safety when assessing your storm-damaged home, don’t use the HVAC system until after it's gotten the all-clear from a heating and cooling technician. The trick is understanding who to hire for the job. After all, any random person with a truck can claim to be an HVAC technician. An unqualified person tampering with your equipment may make matters worse, and overcharge you and then disappear without a trace.

Events like these tend to escalate during storm cleanup. To avoid being taken advantage of, learn the top six questions to raise when hiring a heating and cooling contractor.

1. Are you licensed, insured and certified?

The majority of states implement licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This offers peace of mind that whoever is working on the equipment has the correct training and coverage in case an accident occurs. Additional ACE certification only further assists a contractor’s ability to supply high-quality service.

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

While longevity alone doesn’t promise a contractor will do a great job, it demonstrates that they are proficient enough to stay in business for the long term. If you are able to, look up the company’s name online to confirm that they’re telling the truth about their experience.

Simultaneously, research the contractors you’re thinking about on Google and other third-party review websites. Feedback from past customers give you a detailed idea of what to expect.

For even more specific answers, check with potential contractors for the contact details of past customers. As you get in touch with these references and look over online reviews, seek answers to the following questions:

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

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

You want confidence that the HVAC technicians who do the work are clean, trustworthy and safe to have around your family. For total peace of mind, ask the contractor if background checks and drug tests are compulsory before introducing new hires to the team.

4. Can you evaluate the entire home heating and cooling system?

If the storm damage is serious enough to destroy your HVAC system, you may need a new one. However, it isn’t enough to simply swap out one furnace and air conditioner for another. After all, a comfort system is only as effective as the ductwork attached to it. So if you’re considering HVAC replacement soon after a storm, ask potential contractors the following questions:

  • Do you offer heat loss/gain evaluations?
  • Do you check insulation levels and air leaks?
  • Do you investigate the duct system to provide correct sizing and configuration?

5. Can I get an estimate in writing?

A written, itemized estimate is crucial when comparing bids from various HVAC contractors. Look for a company that includes free estimates and trustworthy, up-front pricing. Also, don't forget to ask whether the company charges per hour 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 far lower than the others. It’s likely that the contractor could attempt to cut corners to make the price seem fair or tack on hidden fees at the end.

6. Do you have any special offers?

Getting your HVAC system back to normal after a serious storm isn’t always low cost. That’s why it’s advisable to inquire about any savings you might qualify for when repairing or replacing your equipment. Also, look for what financing and leasing options the contractor carries as an easier way to afford sudden HVAC services after a storm.

Choose Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning

Do you need a trusted contractor to restore your HVAC system after unexpected flooding? You can’t go wrong with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We are a national company with hometown heart, a combination that helps us stay in front of the competition. If you prioritize fair prices, enduring results and total satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office for help checking and repairing your HVAC system.

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