Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor
Severe weather can roll in wherever, so the bulk of homeowners are familiar with storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can damage many portions of your property, including the landscape, roof, siding and windows.
Heavy winds and water damage are also common concerns for outdoor heating and cooling equipment. In dangerous weather, equipment will sometimes be pushed out of position, often falling over and causing damage to electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even if systems stay upright, they may collect mud and other materials, which must be cleaned before they can function properly.
For your safety when assessing your storm-damaged home, don’t start the HVAC system until after it’s gotten the all-clear from a heating and cooling specialist. The trick is identifying who to hire for the job. After all, any random person with a truck can claim they’re an HVAC technician. An unqualified person tampering with your heating and cooling could make matters worse, not to mention overcharge you and then vanish without a trace.
Situations like these often escalate around storm cleanup. To avoid being exploited, here are the top six questions to raise when hiring a heating and cooling contractor.
1. Are you licensed, insured and certified?
Most states have implemented licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This offers peace of mind that anyone who works on things has the correct training and coverage if an accident unfolds. Extra ACE certification only further assists a contractor’s means to supply high-quality service.
2. What can you tell me about your experience and reputation?
While length of service alone doesn’t guarantee a contractor will do a good job, it shows that they are skilled enough to remain 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.
At the same time, look up the contractors you’re considering on Google and other third-party review websites. Testimonials from past customers provide a good idea of what to expect.
For even more definite answers, ask potential contractors for the contact details of previous customers. As you get in touch with these references and look over online reviews, seek out answers to the following questions:
- Did the contractor end the job on time?
- Did the contractor leave the customer feeling content?
- Was the final bill the same cost as the up-front 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 assurance that the HVAC staff who complete the work are clean, dependable and safe to have around your family. For total peace of mind, talk to the contractor if background checks and drug tests are required before adding new hires to the team.
4. Can you assess the entire home HVAC system?
If the storm damage is severe enough to wipe out your HVAC system, you will sometimes need a new one. However, 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 attached to it. So if you’re thinking about HVAC replacement following a storm, ask potential contractors these questions:
- Do you perform heat loss/gain evaluations?
- Do you check insulation levels and air leaks?
- Do you check the duct system to ensure correct sizing and configuration?
5. Can I get an estimate in writing?
A written, itemized estimate is vital when exploring bids from different HVAC contractors. Try to get a company that offers free estimates and honest, direct pricing. Also, make sure to ask whether the company charges hourly or per job so you understand what you’re paying for. Just be aware that the cheapest bid isn’t necessarily the best deal, particularly if it’s far lower than the rest. Odds are the contractor will either cut corners to make the price doable or tack on hidden fees at the end.
6. Do you have any special offers?
Getting your HVAC system back online after a serious storm isn’t always low cost. That’s why it’s beneficial to inquire about any savings you could qualify for when repairing or replacing your HVAC system. Also, figure out what financing and leasing options the contractor can offer as an easier way to afford unexpected HVAC services after a storm.
Choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing
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 & Plumbing. We are a national company with hometown heart, a combination that helps us stay ahead of the competition. If you appreciate good prices, lasting results and complete satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Get a hold of your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office for help inspecting and servicing your HVAC system.
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