Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

Bad weather can happen wherever, so the bulk of homeowners are no strangers to storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can impact many aspects of your property, like the landscape, roof, siding and windows.

Heavy winds and floods are also major concerns for outdoor heating and cooling systems. In severe weather, equipment may be forced out of position, even toppling over and breaking electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even if systems stay upright, they can collect mud and other materials, which has to be cleaned before they can work correctly.

For your safety when examining your storm-damaged home, don’t turn on the HVAC system until it’s received the all-clear from a heating and cooling professional. 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. Someone unqualified and tampering with your system may make matters worse, and overcharge you and then leave without a trace.

Events like these tend to escalate during storm cleanup. To avoid being exploited, learn the top six questions to share when hiring a heating and cooling contractor.

1. Are you licensed, insured and certified?

Many states implement licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This offers peace of mind that whoever is working on your system has the proper training and coverage in the event an accident takes place. Additional ACE certification only further supports a contractor’s capability to ensure high-quality service.

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

While length of service 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 up the company’s name online to determine that they’re telling the truth about their experience.

While you’re at it, research the contractors you’re interested in on Google and other third-party review websites. Testimonials from past customers present a better idea of what to expect.

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

    • Did the contractor end the job on time?
    • Did the contractor leave the customer feeling comfortable?
    • Was the overall bill the same amount 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 want reassurance that the HVAC technicians who perform the work are clean, dependable and safe to have near your family. For total peace of mind, ask the contractor if background checks and drug tests are compulsory before bringing new hires to the team.

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

If the storm damage is significant enough to wipe out your HVAC system, you might need a new one. However, it isn’t enough to just swap out one furnace and air conditioner for another. After all, a comfort system is only as effective as the ductwork attached to it. So if you’re looking at HVAC replacement soon after a storm, ask potential contractors a few questions:

    • Do you offer heat loss/gain evaluations?
    • Do you check 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 crucial when reviewing bids from different HVAC contractors. Try to find a company that provides free estimates and trustworthy, direct pricing. Also, make sure to ask if the company charges by the hour or by the job so you recognize what you’re paying for. Just remember that the cheapest bid isn’t necessarily the best deal, especially if it’s much lower than the others. Chances 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 discounts?

Getting your HVAC system back to normal after a major storm isn’t always cheap. That’s why it’s beneficial to ask about any savings you could qualify for when repairing or replacing your equipment. Also, figure out what financing and leasing options the contractor carries as a better way to afford unanticipated HVAC services following a storm.

Choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

Do you need a proven contractor to restore your HVAC system after a nasty storm? 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 good prices, long-lasting results and total satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Get a hold of your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office for help checking and fixing your HVAC system.

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