Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

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

Heavy winds and flooding are also major problems for outdoor heating and cooling equipment. In extreme weather, equipment may be forced out of position, even falling on their sides and damaging electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even when systems remain upright, they may accumulate mud and other sediment, which has to be cleaned before they can function properly.

For your safety when evaluating your storm-damaged home, don’t use the HVAC system until it has received the all-clear from a heating and cooling specialist. The trick is knowing who to hire for the job. After all, any random guy with a truck can claim to be an HVAC technician. Someone unqualified and tampering with your system could make matters worse, and overcharge you and then vanish without a trace.

Incidents like these may escalate during storm cleanup. To avoid being taken advantage of, here are the top six questions to ask when hiring a heating and cooling contractor.

1. Are you licensed, insured and certified?

The majority of states have implemented licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This offers peace of mind that whoever is working on things has the proper training and coverage in the event an accident takes place. Extra ACE certification only further assists a contractor’s capability to ensure high-quality service.

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

While decades of service alone doesn’t promise a contractor will do a great job, it indicates that they are proficient enough to stay in business for the long term. If you can, look into the company’s name online to verify that they’re telling the truth about their experience.

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

For even more definite answers, inquire with potential contractors for the contact details of previous customers. As you call these references and look over online reviews, seek out answers to the following questions:

    • Did the contractor finish the job on time?
    • Did the contractor leave the customer feeling satisfied?
    • Was the total bill the same cost as the starting 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 reassurance that the HVAC technicians who do 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 introducing new hires to the team.

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

If the storm damage is significant enough to ruin your HVAC system, you might need a new one. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to merely swap out one furnace and air conditioner for others. After all, a comfort system is only as effective as the ductwork it uses. So if you’re considering HVAC replacement following a storm, ask potential contractors these questions:

    • Do you offer heat loss/gain evaluations?
    • Do you analyze insulation levels and air leaks?
    • Do you determine the duct system to provide 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. Look for a company that offers free estimates and trustworthy, fair pricing. Also, make sure to ask if the company charges hourly or per job so you understand what you’re paying for. Just keep in mind that the cheapest bid isn’t automatically the best deal, particularly if it’s considerably lower than the majority. Chances are 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 up and running after a major storm isn’t always inexpensive. That’s why it’s beneficial to request any savings you might qualify for when repairing or replacing your equipment. Also, figure out what financing and leasing options the contractor offers as an easier way to pay for unanticipated HVAC services following 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 ahead of the competition. If you appreciate good 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 & Plumbing office for help inspecting and fixing your HVAC system.

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