Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

Severe weather can roll in wherever, so the majority of homeowners are no strangers to storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can impact many aspects of your property, including the landscape, roof, siding and windows.

Heavy winds and flooding are also significant concerns for outdoor heating and cooling systems. In severe weather, equipment could be pushed out of position, frequently toppling over and breaking electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even when systems stay upright, they will sometimes accumulate mud and other debris, which must be removed before they can work properly.

For your safety when examining your storm-damaged home, don’t start 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 argue they’re an HVAC technician. An unqualified person tampering with your heating and cooling may make matters worse, plus overcharge you and then disappear without a trace.

Incidents like these often escalate after storm cleanup. To avoid being taken advantage of, here are 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 whoever works on the equipment has the correct training and coverage if an accident takes place. Extra ACE certification only further assists a contractor’s capability to supply high-quality service.

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

While decades of service alone doesn’t offer a promise that a contractor will do a great job, it shows that they are skilled enough to remain in business for the long term. If you’re able to, search for the company’s name online to confirm that they’re telling the truth about their experience.

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

For even more specific answers, inquire with potential contractors for the contact info of prior customers. As you call these references and look over online reviews, seek answers to these questions:

    • Did the contractor complete the job on time?
    • Did the contractor leave the customer feeling satisfied?
    • Was the final 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 new technicians background-checked and drug-tested?

You want reassurance that the HVAC staff who do the work are clean, trustworthy and safe to have around your family. For your peace of mind, ask the contractor if background checks and drug tests are required 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 might need a new one. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to just swap out one furnace and air conditioner for others. After all, a heating and cooling system is only as effective as the ductwork attached to it. So if you’re thinking about HVAC replacement following a storm, ask potential contractors these questions:

    • Do you perform heat loss/gain evaluations?
    • Do you check insulation levels and air leaks?
    • Do you investigate the duct system to ensure appropriate sizing and configuration?

5. Can I get an estimate in writing?

A written, itemized estimate is essential when comparing bids from different HVAC contractors. Try to get a company that provides free estimates and transparent, fair pricing. Also, be sure to ask whether the company charges per hour or per job so you know what you’re paying for. Just remember that the cheapest bid isn’t automatically the best deal, particularly if it’s considerably lower than the rest. It’s likely that the contractor will either cut corners to make the price doable or tack on hidden fees at the end.

6. Do you have any special promotions?

Getting your HVAC system back to normal after a serious storm isn’t always low cost. That’s why it’s worthwhile to request any savings you could qualify for when repairing or replacing your equipment. Also, look for what financing and leasing options the contractor offers as a better way to afford sudden HVAC services following a storm.

Choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

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

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