Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

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

Heavy winds and flooding are also common concerns for outdoor heating and cooling equipment. In extreme weather, units could be thrust out of position, even toppling over and damaging electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even when systems manage to stay upright, they will sometimes accumulate mud and other debris, which must be removed before they can function like they're supposed to.

For your safety when assessing your storm-damaged home, don’t turn on the HVAC system until after it's received the all-clear from a heating and cooling specialist. The trick is understanding 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 heating and cooling may make matters worse, plus overcharge you and then disappear without a trace.

Events like these often escalate around storm cleanup. To avoid being exploited, here are the top six questions to ask when hiring a heating and cooling contractor.

1. Are you licensed, insured and certified?

Many states have licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This offers peace of mind that whoever is working on your system has the correct training and coverage in case an accident occurs. Additional ACE certification only further helps a contractor’s capability to provide high-quality service.

2. What can you tell me about your experience and reputation?

While longevity alone doesn’t guarantee a contractor will do a good job, it indicates that they are skilled enough to stay in business for the long term. If you can, look into the company’s name online to confirm that they’re telling the truth about their experience.

Simultaneously, look up the contractors you’re interested in on Google and other third-party review websites. Feedback from previous customers provide a detailed idea of what to expect.

For even more comprehensive answers, inquire with potential contractors for the contact details of past customers. As you call these references and look over online reviews, look for answers to these questions:

  • Did the contractor complete the job on time?
  • Did the contractor leave the customer feeling comfortable?
  • Was the overall bill the same price 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 technicians who do the work are clean, reliable and safe to have around your family. For total 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. 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 good as the ductwork it’s attached to. So if you’re thinking about HVAC replacement following a storm, ask potential contractors a few questions:

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

5. Can I get an estimate in writing?

A written, itemized estimate is crucial when reviewing bids from different HVAC contractors. Look for a company that offers free estimates and honest, up-front pricing. Also, make sure to ask whether the company charges hourly or per job so you recognize what you’re paying for. Just be aware that the most affordable bid isn’t necessarily the best deal, particularly if it’s considerably lower than the rest. Chances 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 promotions?

Getting your HVAC system back up and running after a major storm isn’t always low cost. 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 sudden HVAC services following a storm.

Choose Pardee Service Experts

Do you need a trusted contractor to fix your HVAC system after a nasty storm? You can’t go wrong with Pardee Service Experts. We are a national company with hometown heart, a formula that helps us stay in front of the competition. If you prioritize affordable prices, enduring results and complete satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Get a hold of your local Pardee Service Experts office for help inspecting and servicing your HVAC system.

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