Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

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

High winds and water damage are also common problems for outdoor heating and cooling systems. In dangerous weather, units could be forced out of position, even toppling over and breaking electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even in situations where systems stay upright, they can accumulate mud and other materials, which must be removed before they can function properly.

For your safety when evaluating your storm-damaged home, don’t turn on the HVAC system until it’s received the all-clear from a heating and cooling technician. 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 system might make matters worse, plus overcharge you and then leave without a trace.

Events like these may escalate during storm cleanup. To avoid being exploited, 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 implement licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This offers peace of mind that whoever works on your system has the proper training and coverage if an accident occurs. 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 longevity alone doesn’t guarantee a contractor will do a great job, it demonstrates that they are proficient enough to remain in business for the long term. If you’re able to, look up the company’s name online to determine 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. Testimonials from prior customers present a better idea of what to expect.

For even more specific answers, check with potential contractors for the contact information of previous customers. As you call these references and check online reviews, seek out answers to the following questions:

    • Did the contractor complete the job on time?
    • Did the contractor leave the customer feeling satisfied?
    • Was the total bill the same amount as the initial 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 like reassurance that the HVAC technicians who do 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 adding new hires to the team.

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

If the storm damage is serious enough to destroy your HVAC system, you may 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 efficient as the ductwork it uses. So if you’re looking at 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 ensure proper 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 find a company that offers free estimates and trustworthy, direct pricing. Also, make sure to ask whether the company charges by the hour or by the job so you recognize what you’re paying for. Just be aware that the lowest bid isn’t always the best deal, particularly if it’s much lower than the rest. It’s likely that the contractor may try to cut corners to make the price seem fair or sneak in 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 cheap. That’s why it’s beneficial to request any savings you could qualify for when repairing or replacing your equipment. Also, find out what financing and leasing options the contractor can offer as a stress-free way to afford unexpected HVAC services following a storm.

Choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

Do you need a trusted 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 formula 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. Contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office for help examining and repairing your HVAC system.

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