Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

Bad weather can roll in anywhere, so most homeowners are no strangers to storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can damage many aspects of your property, like the landscape, roof, siding and windows.

High winds and water damage are also major problems for outdoor heating and cooling equipment. In extreme weather, equipment may be thrust out of position, even falling on their sides and damaging electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even if systems manage to stay upright, they will sometimes amass mud and other debris, which must be cleaned before they can operate properly.

For your safety when assessing your storm-damaged home, don’t use the HVAC system until it has gotten the all-clear from a heating and cooling technician. 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. A poorly trained person tampering with your system might make matters worse, and overcharge you and then vanish without a trace.

Incidents like these often escalate around storm cleanup. To avoid being exploited, learn about 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 is working on your system has the proper training and coverage in case an accident unfolds. Additional ACE certification only further supports a contractor’s means to supply high-quality service.

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

While longevity alone doesn’t offer a promise that a contractor will do a great job, it shows that they are proficient enough to stay in business for the long term. If you are able to, look up the company’s name online to verify that they’re telling the truth about their experience.

Simultaneously, look up the contractors you’re thinking about on Google and other third-party review websites. Reviews from past customers present a better idea of what to expect.

For even more specific answers, ask potential contractors for the contact information of prior customers. As you contact these references and read 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 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 the technicians background-checked and drug-tested?

You want reassurance that the HVAC staff who do the work are clean, reliable and safe to have near your family. For complete peace of mind, check with the contractor if background checks and drug tests are compulsory before bringing new hires to the team.

4. Can you assess the entire home comfort 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 merely swap out one furnace and air conditioner for others. After all, a comfort system is only as efficient as the ductwork it uses. So if you’re thinking about HVAC replacement after a storm, ask potential contractors a few questions:

    • Do you complete heat loss/gain evaluations?
    • Do you analyze insulation levels and air leaks?
    • Do you check the duct system to guarantee proper sizing and configuration?

5. Can I get an estimate in writing?

A written, itemized estimate is essential when exploring bids from multiple HVAC contractors. Try to get a company that provides free estimates and transparent, direct pricing. Also, be 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 most affordable bid isn’t always the best deal, particularly if it’s far lower than the rest. Odds are the contractor could attempt to cut corners to make the price doable or tack on hidden fees at the end.

6. Do you have any special promotions?

Getting your HVAC system back to normal after a major storm isn’t always cheap. That’s why it’s worthwhile to request any savings you could qualify for when repairing or replacing your HVAC system. Also, find out what financing and leasing options the contractor carries as a better way to pay for sudden HVAC services after a storm.

Choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

Do you need a trusted contractor to fix your HVAC system after unexpected flooding? 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 above the competition. If you appreciate affordable 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 examining and servicing your HVAC system.

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