Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

Extreme 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 impact many parts of your property, such as the landscape, roof, siding and windows.

High winds and flooding are also major issues for outdoor heating and cooling systems. In dangerous weather, systems will sometimes be forced out of position, even falling on their sides and breaking electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even if systems stay upright, they may amass mud and other debris, which must be removed before they can work like they’re supposed to.

For your safety when assessing your storm-damaged home, don’t use the HVAC system until after it’s received the all-clear from a heating and cooling contractor. The trick is knowing who to hire for the job. After all, any random individual with a truck can argue they’re an HVAC technician. Someone unqualified and tampering with your heating and cooling may make matters worse, plus overcharge you and then disappear without a trace.

Situations like these often escalate during storm cleanup. To avoid being exploited, learn about the top six questions to ask when hiring a heating and cooling contractor.

1. Are you licensed, insured and certified?

The majority of states have licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This offers peace of mind that whoever is working on things has the correct training and coverage in the event an accident takes place. Continued ACE certification only further helps a contractor’s ability to ensure 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 demonstrates 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, look up the contractors you’re interested in on Google and other third-party review websites. Feedback from prior customers provide a good idea of what to expect.

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

    • Did the contractor end the job on time?
    • Did the contractor leave the customer feeling satisfied?
    • Was the overall bill the same price as the up-front 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 deserve confidence that the HVAC professionals who complete the work are clean, dependable and safe to have around your family. For complete peace of mind, ask the contractor if background checks and drug tests are required before adding new hires to the team.

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

If the storm damage is significant enough to destroy your HVAC system, you will sometimes need another one. That said, it isn’t enough to merely swap out one furnace and air conditioner for others. After all, a comfort system is only as good as the ductwork it uses. So if you’re looking at HVAC replacement 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 determine the duct system to ensure proper sizing and configuration?

5. Can I get an estimate in writing?

A written, itemized estimate is essential when reviewing bids from different HVAC contractors. Try to get a company that includes free estimates and trustworthy, fair pricing. Also, be sure to ask if the company charges per hour or by the job so you understand what you’re paying for. Just be aware that the most affordable bid isn’t necessarily the best deal, particularly if it’s much lower than the others. Chances are the contractor may try to cut corners to make the price attractive or surprise you with 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 inexpensive. That’s why it’s advisable to ask about any savings you may qualify for when repairing or replacing your equipment. Also, figure out what financing and leasing options the contractor can offer as an easier way to afford sudden HVAC services as a result of 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 above the competition. If you appreciate affordable prices, long-lasting results and complete satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Get a hold of your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office for help inspecting and servicing your HVAC system.

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