Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

Bad weather can appear wherever, so the bulk of homeowners are familiar with storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can affect many parts of your property, like the landscape, roof, siding and windows.

Strong winds and floods are also significant issues for outdoor heating and cooling systems. In extreme weather, systems may be forced out of position, frequently falling on their sides and causing damage to electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even when systems remain upright, they may collect mud and other materials, which has to be cleaned out before they can work properly.

For your safety when examining your storm-damaged home, don’t start the HVAC system until 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 they’re an HVAC technician. Someone unqualified and tampering with your heating and cooling may make matters worse, not to mention overcharge you and then leave without a trace.

Events like these often escalate after storm cleanup. To avoid being taken advantage of, learn about the top six questions to share when hiring a heating and cooling contractor.

1. Are you licensed, insured and certified?

Many states have licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This delivers peace of mind that whoever works on the equipment has the appropriate training and coverage in case an accident takes place. Continued ACE certification only further assists a contractor’s capability to provide 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 good job, it demonstrates that they are skilled enough to stay in business for the long term. If you’re able to, look up 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 interested in on Google and other third-party review websites. Testimonials from prior customers present a detailed idea of what to expect.

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

    • Did the contractor finish the job on time?
    • Did the contractor leave the customer feeling content?
    • Was the total 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 deserve assurance that the HVAC staff who perform the work are clean, dependable and safe to have near your family. For your peace of mind, check with the contractor if background checks and drug tests are compulsory before introducing new hires to the team.

4. Can you assess the entire home comfort system?

If the storm damage is severe enough to destroy your HVAC system, you will sometimes need another one. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to simply 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 soon after a storm, ask potential contractors these questions:

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

5. Can I get an estimate in writing?

A written, itemized estimate is vital when reviewing bids from multiple HVAC contractors. Try to get a company that provides free estimates and transparent, up-front pricing. Also, be 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 most affordable bid isn’t always the best deal, especially if it’s considerably lower than the rest. Odds are the contractor may try to 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 up and running after a major storm isn’t always low cost. That’s why it’s advisable to request any savings you might qualify for when repairing or replacing your equipment. Also, find out what financing and leasing options the contractor offers as a better way to afford unexpected HVAC services as a result of a storm.

Choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

Do you need a proven contractor to restore 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 pairing that helps us stay ahead of the competition. If you appreciate good prices, long-lasting 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 servicing your HVAC system.

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