Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

Bad weather can appear just about anywhere, so the majority of 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.

Strong winds and water damage are also significant issues for outdoor heating and cooling systems. In severe weather, systems could be forced out of position, even toppling over and breaking electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even in situations where systems manage to stay upright, they can collect mud and other debris, which must be cleaned out before they can work like they're supposed to.

For your safety when examining your storm-damaged home, don’t turn on the HVAC system until it's received the all-clear from a heating and cooling specialist. 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. Someone unqualified and tampering with your equipment might make matters worse, and overcharge you and then leave without a trace.

Situations like these tend to escalate around storm cleanup. To avoid being taken advantage of, here are the top six questions to share when hiring a heating and cooling contractor.

1. Are you licensed, insured and certified?

The majority of states have implemented licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This provides peace of mind that whoever works on the equipment has the appropriate training and coverage in case an accident takes place. Extra ACE certification only further assists 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 offer a promise that a contractor will do a good job, it indicates that they are proficient enough to remain in business for the long term. If you can, look into the company’s name online to verify that they’re telling the truth about their experience.

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

For even more definite answers, ask potential contractors for the contact details of previous customers. As you contact these references and look over online reviews, seek out answers to the following questions:

  • Did the contractor finish the job on time?
  • Did the contractor leave the customer feeling content?
  • Was the final bill the same amount as the starting 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 assurance that the HVAC staff who perform the work are clean, trustworthy and safe to have around your family. For total peace of mind, ask the contractor if background checks and drug tests are required before introducing new hires to the team.

4. Can you assess the entire home comfort system?

If the storm damage is severe enough to wipe out your HVAC system, you may need a replacement. However, it isn’t enough to simply swap out one furnace and air conditioner for others. After all, an HVAC system is only as effective as the ductwork it’s attached to. So if you’re thinking about HVAC replacement soon after a storm, ask potential contractors the following questions:

  • Do you perform heat loss/gain evaluations?
  • Do you analyze insulation levels and air leaks?
  • Do you determine the duct system to guarantee proper sizing and configuration?

5. Can I get an estimate in writing?

A written, itemized estimate is essential when comparing bids from various HVAC contractors. Try to get a company that provides free estimates and honest, fair pricing. Also, be sure to ask whether the company charges hourly or by the job so you understand what you’re paying for. Just be aware that the lowest bid isn’t automatically the best deal, especially if it’s much lower than the others. It’s likely that the contractor may try to cut corners to make the price attractive or sneak in hidden fees at the end.

6. Do you have any special discounts?

Getting your HVAC system back up and running after a severe storm isn’t always cheap. That’s why it’s worthwhile to request any savings you may 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 pay for unexpected HVAC services following a storm.

Choose Stallion Heating Plumbing Air Conditioning

Do you need a reputable contractor to fix your HVAC system after a nasty storm? You can’t go wrong with Stallion Heating Plumbing Air Conditioning. We are a national company with hometown heart, a formula that helps us stay above the competition. If you value affordable prices, long-lasting results and total satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Get a hold of your local Stallion Heating Plumbing Air Conditioning office for help examining and repairing your HVAC system.

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