Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

Severe weather can roll in anywhere, so most homeowners have experienced with some degree of 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 water damage are also major concerns for outdoor heating and cooling equipment. In extreme weather, units could be forced out of position, even toppling over and damaging electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even when systems remain upright, they may accumulate mud and other materials, which must be removed before they can operate properly. 

For your safety when evaluating 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 guy with a truck can argue they’re an HVAC technician. Someone unqualified and tampering with your heating and cooling could make matters worse, not to mention overcharge you and then leave without a trace. 

Incidents like these often escalate during storm cleanup. To avoid being cheated, learn the top six questions to share when hiring a heating and cooling contractor. 

1. Are you licensed, insured and certified? 

Most states have licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This provides peace of mind that whoever is working on your system has the appropriate training and coverage in case an accident occurs. Additional ACE certification only further helps a contractor’s ability to ensure 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’re able to, look into the company’s name online to verify that they’re telling the truth about their experience. 

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

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

  • Did the contractor end the job on time? 
  • Did the contractor leave the customer feeling satisfied? 
  • Was the final bill the same cost as the starting 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 deserve confidence that the HVAC technicians who complete the work are clean, reliable 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 introducing new hires to the team. 

4. Can you evaluate the entire home comfort system? 

If the storm damage is serious enough to wipe out your HVAC system, you may need a replacement. That said, it isn’t enough to simply swap out one furnace and air conditioner for another. After all, a heating and cooling system is only as good as the ductwork attached to it. So if you’re looking at HVAC replacement after a storm, ask potential contractors these questions: 

  • Do you perform 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 multiple HVAC contractors. Look for a company that offers free estimates and transparent, direct pricing. Also, be sure to ask whether the company charges by the hour or by the job so you understand what you’re paying for. Just be aware that the most affordable bid isn’t necessarily the best deal, especially if it’s far lower than the rest. Odds 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 to normal 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 better way to pay for sudden HVAC services following a storm. 

Choose Stevenson Service Experts 

Do you need a reputable contractor to repair your HVAC system after unexpected flooding? You can’t go wrong with Stevenson 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 Stevenson Service Experts office for help inspecting and fixing your HVAC system. 

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