Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor
Bad weather can happen anywhere, so the majority of homeowners have experienced with some degree of 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 significant problems for outdoor heating and cooling systems. In dangerous weather, equipment may be forced out of position, even falling over and breaking electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even in situations where systems stay upright, they will sometimes collect mud and other materials, which has to be cleaned before they can work correctly.
For your safety when assessing your storm-damaged home, don’t start the HVAC system until after it’s received 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 claim to be an HVAC technician. An unqualified person tampering with your system may 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 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 implemented licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This provides peace of mind that whoever works on your system has the proper training and coverage if an accident occurs. Additional 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 decades of service alone doesn’t offer a promise that a contractor will do a good job, it demonstrates that they are skilled enough to stay in business for the long term. If you’re able to, search for 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 previous customers provide a detailed idea of what to expect.
For even more comprehensive answers, inquire with potential contractors for the contact information of past customers. As you get in touch with these references and check online reviews, seek answers to these questions:
- Did the contractor end the job on time?
- Did the contractor leave the customer feeling content?
- Was the overall bill the same cost as the initial 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 like assurance that the HVAC technicians who perform the work are clean, trustworthy and safe to have around your family. For your 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 evaluate the entire home HVAC system?
If the storm damage is severe enough to destroy your HVAC system, you may need a new one. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to simply 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 looking at HVAC replacement soon after a storm, ask potential contractors a few questions:
- Do you offer heat loss/gain evaluations?
- Do you analyze insulation levels and air leaks?
- Do you determine the duct system to ensure appropriate sizing and configuration?
5. Can I get an estimate in writing?
A written, itemized estimate is vital when reviewing bids from multiple HVAC contractors. Try to find a company that provides free estimates and transparent, direct pricing. Also, make sure to ask if the company charges per hour or by the job so you understand what you’re paying for. Just remember that the most affordable bid isn’t automatically the best deal, namely if it’s far lower than the majority. It’s likely that the contractor will either cut corners to make the price doable or sneak in hidden fees at the end.
6. Do you have any special offers?
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 could qualify for when repairing or replacing your equipment. Also, look for what financing and leasing options the contractor can offer as an easier way to afford unexpected HVAC services as a result of a storm.
Choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing
Do you need a reputable contractor to restore 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 formula that helps us stay ahead of the competition. If you value good prices, enduring results and complete satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office for help examining and fixing your HVAC system.
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