Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

Severe weather can happen anywhere, so the bulk of homeowners are familiar with 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 floods 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 stay upright, they may accumulate mud and other debris, which must be cleaned before they can operate properly. 

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 individual with a truck can claim to be an HVAC technician. A poorly trained person tampering with your system could make matters worse, not to mention overcharge you and then vanish without a trace. 

Events like these may escalate during storm cleanup. To avoid being taken advantage of, learn about 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 whoever works on your system has the appropriate training and coverage in case an accident unfolds. Additional ACE certification only further helps 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 can, look up the company’s name online to confirm that they’re telling the truth about their experience. 

At the same time, look into the contractors you’re considering on Google and other third-party review websites. Testimonials from past customers present a good idea of what to expect. 

For even more specific answers, ask potential contractors for the contact info of past customers. As you get in touch with 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 satisfied? 
  • Was the final bill the same price 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 technicians who complete 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 adding new hires to the team. 

4. Can you evaluate the entire home comfort 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, an HVAC 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 different HVAC contractors. Look for a company that offers free estimates and transparent, fair pricing. Also, be sure to ask whether the company charges by the hour or by the job so you recognize what you’re paying for. Just be aware that the lowest bid isn’t necessarily the best deal, particularly if it’s far lower than the rest. Odds are the contractor could attempt 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 online after a severe storm isn’t always cheap. 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 an easier way to pay for sudden HVAC services following a storm. 

Choose Climate Control Service Experts 

Do you need a reputable contractor to repair your HVAC system after a natural disaster? You can’t go wrong with Climate Control Service Experts. We are a national company with hometown heart, a combination that helps us stay ahead of the competition. If you value affordable prices, enduring results and total satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Contact your local Climate Control Service Experts office for help inspecting and fixing your HVAC system. 

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