Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

Severe weather can happen anywhere, so most homeowners are familiar with storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can affect many aspects of your property, including the landscape, roof, siding and windows.

Heavy winds and water damage are also common problems for outdoor heating and cooling equipment. In severe weather, systems may be thrust out of position, even falling over and damaging electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even if systems manage to stay upright, they may accumulate mud and other sediment, which needs to be cleaned before they can work properly.

For your safety when evaluating your storm-damaged home, don’t use 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 person with a truck can claim to be an HVAC technician. An unqualified person tampering with your heating and cooling might make matters worse, plus overcharge you and then leave without a trace.

Incidents like these often escalate during storm cleanup. To avoid being cheated, learn about the top six questions to ask 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 offers peace of mind that whoever is working on your system has the correct training and coverage in case an accident takes place. Extra ACE certification only further supports a contractor’s ability to supply high-quality service.

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

While longevity alone doesn’t offer a promise that a contractor will do a better job, it demonstrates that they are skilled 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.

Simultaneously, look up the contractors you’re considering on Google and other third-party review websites. Feedback from previous customers provide a good idea of what to expect.

For even more specific answers, ask potential contractors for the contact information of past customers. As you contact these references and check online reviews, look for answers to these questions:

    • Did the contractor end the job on time?
    • Did the contractor leave the customer feeling comfortable?
    • Was the final bill the same cost as the starting estimate?
    • Did a live person always answer calls, or did an answering machine pick up?

3. Are new technicians background-checked and drug-tested?

You like confidence that the HVAC technicians who complete the work are clean, reliable and safe to have near your family. For complete peace of mind, check with the contractor if background checks and drug tests are required before introducing new hires to the team.

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

If the storm damage is severe enough to destroy your HVAC system, you will sometimes need a new one. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to merely swap out one furnace and air conditioner for others. After all, an HVAC system is only as good as the ductwork it uses. So if you’re thinking about HVAC replacement after a storm, ask potential contractors these questions:

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

5. Can I get an estimate in writing?

A written, itemized estimate is crucial when comparing bids from various HVAC contractors. Look for a company that includes free estimates and trustworthy, up-front pricing. Also, don’t forget to ask if the company charges per 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, especially if it’s much lower than the rest. Chances are the contractor will either cut corners to make the price seem fair or surprise you with 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 inexpensive. That’s why it’s worthwhile to request any savings you might qualify for when repairing or replacing your HVAC system. Also, find out what financing and leasing options the contractor carries as a stress-free way to pay for sudden HVAC services following a storm.

Choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

Do you need a reputable contractor to repair 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 combination that helps us stay ahead 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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