Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

Extreme weather can roll in just about anywhere, so the majority of homeowners are no strangers to storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can impact many aspects of your property, like the landscape, roof, siding and windows.

High winds and floods are also major problems for outdoor heating and cooling equipment. In severe weather, equipment may be forced out of position, even toppling over and damaging electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even in situations where systems manage to stay upright, they will sometimes collect mud and other materials, which needs to be removed before they can work properly.

For your safety when assessing your storm-damaged home, don’t use the HVAC system until after it's 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 claim they're an HVAC technician. An unqualified person tampering with your system could make matters worse, and overcharge you and then vanish without a trace.

Events like these may escalate after 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?

Most states have licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This provides peace of mind that whoever works on your system has the proper training and coverage if an accident occurs. Continued ACE certification only further supports 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 promise a contractor will do a good job, it indicates 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 confirm that they’re telling the truth about their experience.

Simultaneously, look into the contractors you’re interested in on Google and other third-party review websites. Reviews from previous customers give you a better idea of what to expect.

For even more specific answers, ask potential contractors for the contact details of past customers. As you call these references and look over 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 amount as the initial estimate?
  • Did a live person always answer calls, or did an answering machine pick up?

3. Are the technicians background-checked and drug-tested?

You deserve reassurance that the HVAC staff who perform the work are clean, reliable and safe to have around your family. For complete peace of mind, ask the contractor if background checks and drug tests are required before adding new hires to the team.

4. Can you evaluate the entire home HVAC system?

If the storm damage is serious enough to wipe out your HVAC system, you might need a replacement. However, it isn’t enough to merely swap out one furnace and air conditioner for another. After all, an HVAC system is only as good as the ductwork attached to it. So if you’re thinking about HVAC replacement following 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 determine the duct system to ensure appropriate sizing and configuration?

5. Can I get an estimate in writing?

A written, itemized estimate is essential when comparing bids from different HVAC contractors. Try to get a company that offers free estimates and transparent, up-front pricing. Also, be sure to ask whether the company charges by the hour or per job so you know what you’re paying for. Just remember that the most affordable bid isn’t necessarily the best deal, especially if it’s considerably lower than the majority. 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 discounts?

Getting your HVAC system back online after a major storm isn’t always low cost. That’s why it’s advisable to request any savings you might qualify for when repairing or replacing your HVAC system. Also, find out what financing and leasing options the contractor carries as a better way to pay for sudden HVAC services after a storm.

Choose Eveready Service Experts

Do you need a trusted contractor to fix your HVAC system after a natural disaster? You can’t go wrong with Eveready Service Experts . We are a national company with hometown heart, a combination that helps us stay ahead of the competition. If you appreciate good prices, lasting results and complete satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Get in touch with your local Eveready Service Experts office for help examining and repairing your HVAC system.

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