Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor
Severe weather can appear wherever, so most homeowners are familiar with storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can damage many parts of your property, such as the landscape, roof, siding and windows.
Strong winds and water damage are also common issues for outdoor heating and cooling equipment. In dangerous weather, systems will sometimes be thrust out of position, frequently falling on their sides and breaking electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even in situations where systems stay upright, they will sometimes collect mud and other debris, which has to be removed before they can work properly.
For your safety when assessing your storm-damaged home, don’t turn on the HVAC system until after it’s gotten the all-clear from a heating and cooling professional. The trick is understanding who to hire for the job. After all, any random individual with a truck can claim to be an HVAC technician. Someone unqualified and tampering with your heating and cooling may make matters worse, plus overcharge you and then vanish without a trace.
Incidents like these often escalate during storm cleanup. To avoid being taken advantage of, learn about the top six questions to ask when hiring a heating and cooling contractor.
1. Are you licensed, insured and certified?
Many states have implemented licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This provides peace of mind that anyone who works on things has the proper training and coverage in case an accident occurs. Continued ACE certification only further helps a contractor’s ability to supply 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 indicates that they are experienced enough to remain in business for the long term. If you can, search for the company’s name online to verify that they’re telling the truth about their experience.
At the same time, look into the contractors you’re thinking about on Google and other third-party review websites. Testimonials from prior customers provide a better idea of what to expect.
For even more definite answers, check with potential contractors for the contact details of prior 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 content?
- Was the total bill the same amount as the initial 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 like confidence that the HVAC technicians 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 compulsory before adding new hires to the team.
4. Can you evaluate the entire home heating and cooling system?
If the storm damage is serious enough to wipe out your HVAC system, you might need a new one. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to simply swap out one furnace and air conditioner for another. After all, a comfort system is only as good as the ductwork it uses. So if you’re looking at HVAC replacement following a storm, ask potential contractors the following questions:
- Do you perform heat loss/gain evaluations?
- Do you analyze insulation levels and air leaks?
- Do you investigate the duct system to provide proper sizing and configuration?
5. Can I get an estimate in writing?
A written, itemized estimate is essential when exploring bids from different HVAC contractors. Try to find a company that includes free estimates and trustworthy, fair pricing. Also, don’t forget to ask whether the company charges hourly or per job so you recognize what you’re paying for. Just be aware that the lowest bid isn’t always the best deal, particularly if it’s considerably lower than the majority. Odds are the contractor may try to cut corners to make the price seem fair or surprise you with hidden fees at the end.
6. Do you have any special promotions?
Getting your HVAC system back online after a severe 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 can offer as a better way to pay for sudden HVAC services after a storm.
Choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing
Do you need a proven contractor to fix 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 combination that helps us stay above the competition. If you appreciate good prices, lasting results and total satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office for help inspecting and repairing your HVAC system.
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