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Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

Severe weather can happen wherever, so the bulk of homeowners are familiar with storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can affect many aspects of your property, including the landscape, roof, siding and windows.

Strong winds and water damage are also common issues for outdoor heating and cooling systems. In severe weather, equipment may be forced out of position, often falling on their sides and damaging electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even when systems stay upright, they can accumulate mud and other materials, which must be cleaned out before they can work like they’re supposed to.

For your safety when evaluating your storm-damaged home, don’t use the HVAC system until it’s received the all-clear from a heating and cooling contractor. 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. An unqualified person tampering with your system might make matters worse, and overcharge you and then disappear without a trace.

Incidents like these may escalate during storm cleanup. To avoid being cheated, 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 offers peace of mind that whoever is working on your system has the proper training and coverage in case an accident takes place. Continued ACE certification only further supports a contractor’s means to ensure high-quality service.

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

While length of service alone doesn’t promise a contractor will do a better job, it indicates that they are proficient enough to stay 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.

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

For even more comprehensive answers, check with potential contractors for the contact information of past customers. As you get in touch with 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 content?
    • Was the total bill the same price as the starting 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 staff who perform the work are clean, reliable and safe to have around your family. For complete peace of mind, check with the contractor if background checks and drug tests are mandated before bringing new hires to the team.

4. Can you evaluate the entire home comfort system?

If the storm damage is severe enough to ruin your HVAC system, you will sometimes need another one. However, it isn’t enough to simply swap out one furnace and air conditioner for others. After all, an HVAC system is only as efficient as the ductwork it uses. So if you’re considering HVAC replacement after a storm, ask potential contractors these questions:

    • Do you offer heat loss/gain evaluations?
    • Do you check insulation levels and air leaks?
    • Do you investigate the duct system to provide appropriate sizing and configuration?

5. Can I get an estimate in writing?

A written, itemized estimate is essential when reviewing bids from multiple HVAC contractors. Look for a company that includes free estimates and trustworthy, fair pricing. Also, make sure to ask if the company charges by the hour or by the job so you know what you’re paying for. Just remember that the cheapest bid isn’t necessarily the best deal, particularly if it’s far lower than the rest. Chances are the contractor may try to 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 up and running after a severe storm isn’t always low cost. That’s why it’s worthwhile to request any savings you might qualify for when repairing or replacing your HVAC system. Also, look for what financing and leasing options the contractor carries as an easier way to afford unanticipated HVAC services after a storm.

Choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

Do you need a reputable contractor to repair your HVAC system after a nasty storm? 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 prioritize fair prices, long-lasting results and total 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 repairing your HVAC system.

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