Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

Bad weather can appear anywhere, so most homeowners are familiar with storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can damage many portions of your property, such as the landscape, roof, siding and windows.

Heavy winds and water damage are also significant issues for outdoor heating and cooling equipment. In severe weather, equipment may be thrust out of position, even falling on their sides and damaging electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even if systems remain upright, they will sometimes accumulate mud and other debris, which must be cleaned out before they can function correctly.

For your safety when examining your storm-damaged home, don’t turn on the HVAC system until it has received the all-clear from a heating and cooling specialist. The trick is understanding 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 could make matters worse, not to mention overcharge you and then vanish without a trace.

Incidents like these often escalate after 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?

The majority of states have licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This delivers peace of mind that whoever works on the equipment has the appropriate training and coverage in the event an accident takes place. Continued ACE certification only further supports a contractor’s capability to provide high-quality service.

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

While longevity alone doesn’t promise a contractor will do a good job, it demonstrates that they are experienced enough to stay in business for the long term. If you are able to, look into the company’s name online to determine that they’re telling the truth about their experience.

Simultaneously, research the contractors you’re thinking about on Google and other third-party review websites. Testimonials from prior customers give you a detailed idea of what to expect.

For even more definite answers, ask potential contractors for the contact details of past customers. As you call these references and look over online reviews, seek out answers to these questions:

  • Did the contractor finish the job on time?
  • Did the contractor leave the customer feeling satisfied?
  • Was the total bill the same price as the starting 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 deserve reassurance that the HVAC professionals who do 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 required before introducing new hires to the team.

4. Can you examine the entire home comfort system?

If the storm damage is significant enough to wipe out your HVAC system, you might need a replacement. However, it isn’t enough to merely swap out one furnace and air conditioner for others. After all, a comfort system is only as efficient as the ductwork it’s attached to. So if you’re thinking about HVAC replacement soon after a storm, ask potential contractors these questions:

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

5. Can I get an estimate in writing?

A written, itemized estimate is vital when comparing bids from various HVAC contractors. Try to find a company that provides free estimates and transparent, fair pricing. Also, make sure to ask whether the company charges by the hour or by the job so you understand what you’re paying for. Just keep in mind that the most affordable bid isn’t automatically the best deal, namely if it’s considerably lower than the majority. It’s likely that the contractor will either cut corners to make the price attractive or surprise you with hidden fees at the end.

6. Do you have any special promotions?

Getting your HVAC system back online after a major storm isn’t always inexpensive. That’s why it’s advisable to request any savings you could qualify for when repairing or replacing your equipment. Also, find out what financing and leasing options the contractor offers as an easier way to cover sudden HVAC services following a storm.

Choose Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning

Do you need a reputable contractor to repair your HVAC system after a natural disaster? You can’t go wrong with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We are a national company with hometown heart, a combination that helps us stay in front of the competition. If you prioritize affordable prices, enduring results and complete satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Contact your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office for help examining and servicing your HVAC system.

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