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Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

Extreme weather can roll in wherever, so most homeowners have experienced with some degree of storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can damage many aspects of your property, including the landscape, roof, siding and windows.

Heavy winds and water damage are also major problems for outdoor heating and cooling systems. In extreme weather, systems may be forced out of position, even toppling over and breaking electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even if systems remain upright, they can amass mud and other materials, which has to be cleaned out before they can work properly.

For your safety when assessing your storm-damaged home, don’t start the HVAC system until it has received the all-clear from a heating and cooling professional. The trick is knowing who to hire for the job. After all, any random person with a truck can argue they’re an HVAC technician. An unqualified person tampering with your equipment might make matters worse, and overcharge you and then disappear without a trace.

Situations like these tend to escalate after storm cleanup. To avoid being exploited, learn about the top six questions to raise 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 offers peace of mind that anyone who works on the equipment has the proper training and coverage in case an accident occurs. Extra ACE certification only further assists a contractor’s capability 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 better job, it demonstrates that they are skilled enough to stay 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, research the contractors you’re interested in on Google and other third-party review websites. Feedback from previous customers provide a better idea of what to expect.

For even more comprehensive answers, ask potential contractors for the contact details of past customers. As you get in touch with these references and check online reviews, look for answers to these questions:

    • Did the contractor finish the job on time?
    • Did the contractor leave the customer feeling comfortable?
    • Was the overall bill the same amount 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 want confidence that the HVAC professionals who perform 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 mandated before introducing new hires to the team.

4. Can you evaluate the entire home heating and cooling system?

If the storm damage is serious enough to ruin your HVAC system, you may need a new one. However, it isn’t enough to just swap out one furnace and air conditioner for another. After all, a heating and cooling system is only as effective as the ductwork attached to it. So if you’re thinking about 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 guarantee proper sizing and configuration?

5. Can I get an estimate in writing?

A written, itemized estimate is essential when reviewing bids from multiple HVAC contractors. Try to get a company that provides free estimates and transparent, fair pricing. Also, make sure to ask whether the company charges by the hour or by the job so you understand what you’re paying for. Just keep in mind that the most affordable bid isn’t necessarily the best deal, especially if it’s much lower than the majority. It’s likely that the contractor will either 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 online after a serious storm isn’t always cheap. That’s why it’s advisable to request any savings you might qualify for when repairing or replacing your equipment. Also, find out what financing and leasing options the contractor offers as an easier way to cover unexpected HVAC services as a result of a storm.

Choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

Do you need a proven contractor to restore 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 in front of 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 checking and fixing your HVAC system.

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