Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

Extreme weather can happen just about anywhere, so the bulk of homeowners are familiar with storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can affect many portions of your property, such as the landscape, roof, siding and windows.

Heavy winds and water damage are also common issues for outdoor heating and cooling systems. In severe weather, units could be pushed out of position, even falling on their sides and damaging electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even in situations where systems remain upright, they will sometimes accumulate mud and other sediment, which needs to be removed before they can work properly.

For your safety when examining your storm-damaged home, don’t use the HVAC system until it's received the all-clear from a heating and cooling technician. 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. A poorly trained person tampering with your system might make matters worse, plus overcharge you and then disappear without a trace.

Incidents like these often escalate around storm cleanup. To avoid being taken advantage of, here are the top six questions to share 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 offers peace of mind that anyone who works on things has the proper training and coverage if an accident takes place. Extra 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 decades of service alone doesn’t guarantee a contractor will do a great job, it indicates 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 determine that they’re telling the truth about their experience.

At the same time, look up the contractors you’re thinking about on Google and other third-party review websites. Reviews from previous customers provide a detailed idea of what to expect.

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

  • Did the contractor finish the job on time?
  • Did the contractor leave the customer feeling content?
  • Was the overall 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 confidence that the HVAC professionals who complete the work are clean, reliable and safe to have near your family. For your peace of mind, talk to the contractor if background checks and drug tests are compulsory before adding new hires to the team.

4. Can you assess the entire home comfort system?

If the storm damage is significant enough to wipe out your HVAC system, you may need a replacement. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to merely swap out one furnace and air conditioner for another. After all, a heating and cooling system is only as good as the ductwork it uses. So if you’re thinking about HVAC replacement after a storm, ask potential contractors a few questions:

  • Do you complete heat loss/gain evaluations?
  • Do you check 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 various HVAC contractors. Try to find a company that offers free estimates and trustworthy, fair pricing. Also, make sure to ask whether the company charges by the hour or per job so you understand what you’re paying for. Just remember that the cheapest bid isn’t automatically the best deal, namely if it’s much lower than the majority. Chances are the contractor could attempt to cut corners to make the price attractive or tack on hidden fees at the end.

6. Do you have any special promotions?

Getting your HVAC system back up and running after a major storm isn’t always low cost. That’s why it’s advisable to request any savings you could qualify for when repairing or replacing your HVAC system. Also, look for what financing and leasing options the contractor carries as a better way to cover unanticipated HVAC services as a result of a storm.

Choose Barlow Service Experts

Do you need a reputable contractor to repair your HVAC system after a natural disaster? You can’t go wrong with Barlow Service Experts. We are a national company with hometown heart, a formula that helps us stay in front of the competition. If you value fair prices, enduring results and total satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Get a hold of your local Barlow Service Experts office for help checking and repairing your HVAC system.

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