Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

Severe weather can happen just about anywhere, so the bulk of homeowners have experienced with some degree of storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can affect many aspects of your property, such as the landscape, roof, siding and windows.

High winds and floods are also common problems for outdoor heating and cooling equipment. In severe weather, units will sometimes be forced out of position, frequently falling on their sides and causing damage to electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even in situations where systems manage to stay upright, they can collect mud and other materials, which needs to be removed before they can function properly.

For your safety when examining your storm-damaged home, don’t use the HVAC system until after it’s gotten the all-clear from a heating and cooling professional. The trick is knowing who to hire for the job. After all, any random individual with a truck can claim to be an HVAC technician. An unqualified person tampering with your equipment might make matters worse, not to mention overcharge you and then leave without a trace.

Events like these may escalate after storm cleanup. To avoid being cheated, learn about the top six questions to raise 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 provides peace of mind that anyone who works on your system has the correct training and coverage in case an accident occurs. Additional ACE certification only further supports a contractor’s means 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 great job, it demonstrates that they are experienced enough to stay in business for the long term. If you can, look up the company’s name online to verify that they’re telling the truth about their experience.

At the same time, look into the contractors you’re interested in on Google and other third-party review websites. Reviews from prior customers provide a better idea of what to expect.

For even more comprehensive answers, ask potential contractors for the contact information of past customers. As you call these references and read online reviews, seek answers to these questions:

    • Did the contractor end the job on time?
    • Did the contractor leave the customer feeling satisfied?
    • Was the final 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 reassurance that the HVAC professionals who perform the work are clean, dependable and safe to have around your family. For complete peace of mind, talk to the contractor if background checks and drug tests are mandated before bringing new hires to the team.

4. Can you assess the entire home HVAC system?

If the storm damage is serious enough to destroy your HVAC system, you might need another one. However, 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’s attached to. So if you’re considering HVAC replacement after a storm, ask potential contractors the following questions:

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

5. Can I get an estimate in writing?

A written, itemized estimate is vital when exploring bids from multiple HVAC contractors. Try to get a company that includes free estimates and transparent, up-front pricing. Also, make sure to ask whether the company charges per hour or per job so you understand what you’re paying for. Just be aware that the cheapest bid isn’t necessarily the best deal, especially if it’s considerably lower than the rest. It’s likely that the contractor will either cut corners to make the price attractive or sneak in hidden fees at the end.

6. Do you have any special discounts?

Getting your HVAC system back online after a severe storm isn’t always low cost. That’s why it’s beneficial to inquire about any savings you may qualify for when repairing or replacing your HVAC system. Also, find out what financing and leasing options the contractor can offer as an easier way to cover 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 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 above the competition. If you value affordable 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 servicing your HVAC system.

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