Bad weather can happen wherever, so most homeowners have experienced with some degree of storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can impact many aspects of your property, such as the landscape, roof, siding and windows.
Strong winds and flooding are also major problems for outdoor heating and cooling systems. In dangerous weather, systems will sometimes be thrust out of position, even toppling over and causing damage to electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even when systems manage to stay upright, they may collect mud and other materials, which needs to be cleaned out before they can work properly.
For your safety when assessing your storm-damaged home, don’t use the HVAC system until after it's gotten the all-clear from a heating and cooling specialist. The trick is understanding who to hire for the job. After all, any random person with a truck can argue they're an HVAC technician. A poorly trained person tampering with your system might make matters worse, not to mention overcharge you and then leave without a trace.
Events like these tend to escalate during storm cleanup. To avoid being cheated, learn 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 provides peace of mind that anyone who works on things has the correct training and coverage in case an accident takes place. Continued ACE certification only further helps a contractor’s ability to supply high-quality service.
2. What can you tell me about your experience and reputation?
While length of service alone doesn’t guarantee a contractor will do a great job, it shows that they are experienced enough to stay in business for the long term. If you are able to, search for the company’s name online to confirm that they’re telling the truth about their experience.
Simultaneously, look up the contractors you’re interested in on Google and other third-party review websites. Reviews from previous customers give you a detailed idea of what to expect.
For even more specific answers, ask potential contractors for the contact info of previous customers. As you get in touch with 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 satisfied?
- Was the final bill the same cost 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 professionals who perform 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 required before adding new hires to the team.
4. Can you examine the entire home heating and cooling system?
If the storm damage is significant enough to ruin your HVAC system, you will sometimes need another one. However, it isn’t enough to just 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 thinking about HVAC replacement following a storm, ask potential contractors a few questions:
- Do you perform heat loss/gain evaluations?
- Do you assess insulation levels and air leaks?
- Do you check the duct system to provide proper sizing and configuration?
5. Can I get an estimate in writing?
A written, itemized estimate is crucial when comparing bids from various HVAC contractors. Try to get a company that includes free estimates and transparent, fair pricing. Also, don't forget to ask whether the company charges per hour or by the job so you know what you’re paying for. Just remember that the most affordable bid isn’t necessarily the best deal, particularly if it’s much lower than the rest. Chances are 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 to normal after a severe storm isn’t always inexpensive. That’s why it’s beneficial to inquire about any savings you might qualify for when repairing or replacing your equipment. Also, figure out what financing and leasing options the contractor carries as a stress-free way to cover sudden HVAC services after a storm.
Choose Roland J. Down Service Experts
Do you need a reputable contractor to repair your HVAC system after unexpected flooding? You can’t go wrong with Roland J. Down Service Experts . We are a national company with hometown heart, a pairing that helps us stay in front of the competition. If you appreciate good prices, long-lasting results and complete satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Get a hold of your local Roland J. Down Service Experts office for help inspecting and fixing your HVAC system.