Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

Bad weather can happen wherever, so the bulk of homeowners are no strangers to storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can affect many parts of your property, such as the landscape, roof, siding and windows.

Strong winds and water damage are also significant concerns for outdoor heating and cooling systems. In dangerous weather, units may be thrust out of position, frequently falling on their sides and damaging electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even in situations where systems stay upright, they may accumulate mud and other sediment, which needs to be cleaned out before they can work correctly.

For your safety when assessing your storm-damaged home, don’t turn on the HVAC system until it’s received the all-clear from a heating and cooling professional. The trick is identifying who to hire for the job. After all, any random guy with a truck can claim they’re an HVAC technician. An unqualified person tampering with your system may make matters worse, plus overcharge you and then leave without a trace.

Situations like these tend to escalate during storm cleanup. To avoid being taken advantage of, learn the top six questions to ask 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 delivers peace of mind that anyone who works on your system has the appropriate training and coverage if an accident takes place. Additional ACE certification only further supports a contractor’s capability to ensure high-quality service.

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

While length of service alone doesn’t offer a promise that a contractor will do a good job, it demonstrates that they are proficient enough to remain in business for the long term. If you are able to, look into the company’s name online to verify that they’re telling the truth about their experience.

Simultaneously, look into the contractors you’re interested in on Google and other third-party review websites. Feedback from prior customers provide a good idea of what to expect.

For even more definite answers, check with potential contractors for the contact information of previous customers. As you get in touch with these references and check online reviews, look for answers to these questions:

    • Did the contractor complete the job on time?
    • Did the contractor leave the customer feeling comfortable?
    • Was the total bill the same price as the starting 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 deserve reassurance that the HVAC technicians who perform the work are clean, dependable and safe to have around your family. For total peace of mind, ask the contractor if background checks and drug tests are required before adding new hires to the team.

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

If the storm damage is serious enough to wipe out your HVAC system, you might 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 efficient as the ductwork it’s attached to. So if you’re considering HVAC replacement soon after a storm, ask potential contractors a few questions:

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

5. Can I get an estimate in writing?

A written, itemized estimate is vital when reviewing bids from various HVAC contractors. Look for a company that offers free estimates and transparent, direct pricing. Also, don’t forget to ask whether the company charges per hour or per job so you know what you’re paying for. Just be aware that the cheapest bid isn’t necessarily the best deal, namely if it’s considerably lower than the others. Odds are the contractor will either cut corners to make the price attractive or tack on hidden fees at the end.

6. Do you have any special promotions?

Getting your HVAC system back online after a severe storm isn’t always cheap. That’s why it’s worthwhile to request any savings you could qualify for when repairing or replacing your equipment. Also, figure out what financing and leasing options the contractor carries as a better way to cover unanticipated HVAC services following a storm.

Choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

Do you need a reputable contractor to repair your HVAC system after a natural disaster? 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 in front of the competition. If you value affordable prices, lasting results and total satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office for help inspecting and fixing your HVAC system.

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