Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

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

High winds and flooding are also major concerns for outdoor heating and cooling equipment. In extreme weather, equipment may be forced out of position, often toppling over and breaking electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even when systems remain upright, they may accumulate mud and other sediment, which must be cleaned before they can operate like they’re supposed to. 

For your safety when assessing your storm-damaged home, don’t turn on the HVAC system until it has gotten the all-clear from a heating and cooling contractor. The trick is knowing 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 equipment could make matters worse, not to mention overcharge you and then disappear without a trace. 

Situations like these tend to escalate during storm cleanup. To avoid being cheated, learn the top six questions to ask 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 provides peace of mind that anyone who works on your system has the appropriate training and coverage in case an accident unfolds. Additional ACE certification only further supports a contractor’s ability to provide high-quality service. 

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

While decades of service alone doesn’t guarantee a contractor will do a good 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. 

While you’re at it, look up the contractors you’re considering on Google and other third-party review websites. Feedback from past customers provide a good idea of what to expect. 

For even more specific answers, ask potential contractors for the contact info of past customers. As you contact these references and look over online reviews, seek answers to the following questions: 

  • Did the contractor complete the job on time? 
  • Did the contractor leave the customer feeling satisfied? 
  • Was the total 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 your technicians background-checked and drug-tested? 

You like assurance that the HVAC technicians who do the work are clean, dependable and safe to have around your family. For complete peace of mind, talk to the contractor if background checks and drug tests are required before bringing 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 may need another 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 it’s attached to. So if you’re thinking about HVAC replacement after a storm, ask potential contractors these questions: 

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

5. Can I get an estimate in writing? 

A written, itemized estimate is crucial when comparing bids from various HVAC contractors. Look for a company that provides free estimates and transparent, up-front pricing. Also, be sure to ask whether the company charges hourly or by the job so you know what you’re paying for. Just be aware that the cheapest bid isn’t necessarily the best deal, especially if it’s far lower than the rest. Odds are the contractor could attempt to cut corners to make the price doable or surprise you with hidden fees at the end. 

6. Do you have any special offers? 

Getting your HVAC system back up and running after a severe storm isn’t always low cost. That’s why it’s worthwhile to ask about any savings you could qualify for when repairing or replacing your equipment. Also, find out what financing and leasing options the contractor offers as a stress-free way to pay for sudden HVAC services following a storm. 

Choose Epperson Service Experts 

Do you need a reputable contractor to repair your HVAC system after unexpected flooding? You can’t go wrong with Epperson Service Experts. We are a national company with hometown heart, a combination that helps us stay ahead of the competition. If you value fair prices, long-lasting results and total satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Contact your local Epperson Service Experts office for help checking and repairing your HVAC system. 

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