Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

Bad weather can roll in just about anywhere, so the majority of homeowners are no strangers to storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can affect many parts of your property, such as the landscape, roof, siding and windows.

High winds and floods are also common issues for outdoor heating and cooling systems. In dangerous weather, equipment could be pushed out of position, frequently falling over and damaging electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even when systems stay upright, they can collect mud and other debris, which has to be cleaned out before they can work like they’re supposed to.

For your safety when examining your storm-damaged home, don’t start the HVAC system until after it’s received the all-clear from a heating and cooling technician. The trick is identifying who to hire for the job. After all, any random guy with a truck can claim to be an HVAC technician. Someone unqualified and tampering with your equipment could make matters worse, plus overcharge you and then disappear without a trace.

Events like these may escalate around storm cleanup. To avoid being exploited, learn about the top six questions to raise when hiring a heating and cooling contractor.

1. Are you licensed, insured and certified?

Most states have implemented licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This provides peace of mind that anyone who works on your system has the appropriate training and coverage if an accident occurs. Extra ACE certification only further assists a contractor’s means to supply high-quality service.

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

While decades of service alone doesn’t promise a contractor will do a good job, it shows that they are experienced enough to stay in business for the long term. If you’re able to, search for the company’s name online to confirm that they’re telling the truth about their experience.

Simultaneously, research the contractors you’re considering on Google and other third-party review websites. Reviews from past customers present a good idea of what to expect.

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

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

4. Can you assess the entire home HVAC system?

If the storm damage is serious enough to wipe out your HVAC system, you may need a new one. However, it isn’t enough to merely swap out one furnace and air conditioner for others. After all, an HVAC system is only as efficient as the ductwork it’s attached to. So if you’re considering 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 ensure proper sizing and configuration?

5. Can I get an estimate in writing?

A written, itemized estimate is essential when comparing bids from different HVAC contractors. Try to find a company that includes free estimates and honest, fair pricing. Also, make sure to ask if the company charges hourly or by the job so you understand what you’re paying for. Just keep in mind that the cheapest bid isn’t automatically the best deal, particularly if it’s much lower than the others. It’s likely that the contractor may try to cut corners to make the price doable or surprise you with 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 inexpensive. That’s why it’s beneficial to inquire about any savings you could qualify for when repairing or replacing your HVAC system. Also, find out what financing and leasing options the contractor offers as a better way to cover unexpected HVAC services after a storm.

Choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

Do you need a trusted 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 combination that helps us stay ahead of the competition. If you prioritize fair prices, lasting results and total satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office for help inspecting and servicing your HVAC system.

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