Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

Severe weather can appear just about anywhere, so most homeowners are no strangers to storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can damage many parts of your property, like the landscape, roof, siding and windows.

Heavy winds and flooding are also major issues for outdoor heating and cooling systems. In extreme weather, units may be pushed out of position, often falling over and causing damage to electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even in situations where systems stay upright, they can accumulate mud and other debris, which needs to be cleaned out 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 it has gotten the all-clear from a heating and cooling specialist. The trick is identifying 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 might make matters worse, and overcharge you and then vanish without a trace.

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

1. Are you licensed, insured and certified?

Many states implement licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This provides peace of mind that anyone who works on things has the appropriate training and coverage if an accident unfolds. Continued ACE certification only further helps a contractor’s means to provide 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 great job, it shows that they are experienced enough to remain in business for the long term. If you're able to, look into the company’s name online to verify that they’re telling the truth about their experience.

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

For even more comprehensive answers, inquire with potential contractors for the contact details of previous customers. As you get in touch with these references and read online reviews, look for answers to these questions:

  • Did the contractor complete 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 assurance that the HVAC staff who perform the work are clean, trustworthy and safe to have around your family. For complete peace of mind, ask the contractor if background checks and drug tests are mandated before bringing new hires to the team.

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

If the storm damage is significant enough to ruin your HVAC system, you might need another one. That said, it isn’t enough to just swap out one furnace and air conditioner for others. After all, a heating and cooling system is only as efficient as the ductwork it uses. So if you’re considering HVAC replacement following a storm, ask potential contractors the following questions:

  • Do you perform heat loss/gain evaluations?
  • Do you assess insulation levels and air leaks?
  • Do you check the duct system to guarantee appropriate sizing and configuration?

5. Can I get an estimate in writing?

A written, itemized estimate is essential when reviewing bids from multiple HVAC contractors. Try to find a company that offers free estimates and trustworthy, up-front pricing. Also, don't forget to ask whether the company charges by the hour or by the job so you understand what you’re paying for. Just remember that the lowest bid isn’t always the best deal, namely if it’s considerably lower than the majority. Chances are the contractor may try to cut corners to make the price seem fair or tack on hidden fees at the end.

6. Do you have any special discounts?

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 may qualify for when repairing or replacing your HVAC system. Also, figure out what financing and leasing options the contractor carries as an easier way to afford sudden HVAC services after a storm.

Choose Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning

Do you need a proven 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 formula that helps us stay above the competition. If you prioritize affordable prices, long-lasting results and complete satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office for help inspecting and servicing your HVAC system.

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