Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

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

High winds and water damage are also significant issues for outdoor heating and cooling equipment. In dangerous weather, systems will sometimes be forced out of position, even falling on their sides and causing damage to electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even if systems stay upright, they will sometimes accumulate mud and other debris, which needs to be cleaned before they can function correctly.

For your safety when assessing your storm-damaged home, don’t start the HVAC system until after it’s gotten the all-clear from a heating and cooling contractor. The trick is knowing who to hire for the job. After all, any random person with a truck can argue they’re an HVAC technician. A poorly trained person tampering with your system could make matters worse, plus overcharge you and then disappear without a trace.

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

1. Are you licensed, insured and certified?

The majority of states have licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This offers peace of mind that anyone who works on your system has the proper training and coverage if an accident occurs. Additional ACE certification only further supports a contractor’s means 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 good job, it indicates that they are skilled enough to stay 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.

At the same time, research the contractors you’re thinking about on Google and other third-party review websites. Reviews from previous customers give you a good idea of what to expect.

For even more specific answers, check with potential contractors for the contact information of past customers. As you contact these references and read 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 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 the technicians background-checked and drug-tested?

You deserve assurance that the HVAC technicians who complete the work are clean, reliable and safe to have around your family. For your peace of mind, talk to the contractor if background checks and drug tests are required before introducing new hires to the team.

4. Can you examine the entire home HVAC system?

If the storm damage is significant enough to ruin your HVAC system, you will sometimes need a replacement. However, it isn’t enough to merely swap out one furnace and air conditioner for another. After all, a comfort system is only as effective as the ductwork it’s attached to. So if you’re thinking about HVAC replacement following 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 check the duct system to ensure proper sizing and configuration?

5. Can I get an estimate in writing?

A written, itemized estimate is essential when exploring bids from various HVAC contractors. Look for a company that includes free estimates and transparent, fair pricing. Also, be sure to ask if the company charges hourly or by the job so you understand what you’re paying for. Just remember that the most affordable bid isn’t always the best deal, especially if it’s much lower than the rest. Chances are the contractor could attempt to cut corners to make the price seem fair or sneak in hidden fees at the end.

6. Do you have any special discounts?

Getting your HVAC system back to normal after a major storm isn’t always inexpensive. That’s why it’s worthwhile to ask about any savings you may qualify for when repairing or replacing your HVAC system. Also, figure out what financing and leasing options the contractor can offer as a better way to pay for sudden HVAC services after 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 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 & Plumbing office for help examining and repairing your HVAC system.

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