Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

Severe weather can happen just about anywhere, so most homeowners are no strangers to storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can affect many portions of your property, including the landscape, roof, siding and windows.

High winds and water damage are also major problems for outdoor heating and cooling systems. In dangerous weather, systems could be pushed out of position, frequently falling on their sides and causing damage to electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even when systems stay upright, they will sometimes amass mud and other sediment, which needs to be cleaned out before they can work like they’re supposed to.

For your safety when evaluating your storm-damaged home, don’t turn on the HVAC system until after it’s gotten the all-clear from a heating and cooling professional. The trick is identifying who to hire for the job. After all, any random guy with a truck can claim to be an HVAC technician. Someone unqualified and tampering with your heating and cooling might make matters worse, not to mention overcharge you and then disappear without a trace.

Incidents like these often escalate around storm cleanup. To avoid being cheated, learn about the top six questions to raise 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 delivers peace of mind that anyone who works on your system has the correct training and coverage if an accident occurs. Additional ACE certification only further helps a contractor’s means 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 better job, it indicates that they are experienced enough to remain 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.

While you’re at it, look up the contractors you’re thinking about on Google and other third-party review websites. Feedback from previous customers provide a good idea of what to expect.

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

    • Did the contractor finish the job on time?
    • Did the contractor leave the customer feeling satisfied?
    • Was the overall bill the same amount 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 confidence that the HVAC technicians who do 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 mandated before introducing new hires to the team.

4. Can you evaluate the entire home heating and cooling 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 merely swap out one furnace and air conditioner for others. After all, a heating and cooling system is only as good as the ductwork it uses. So if you’re thinking about HVAC replacement 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 ensure proper sizing and configuration?

5. Can I get an estimate in writing?

A written, itemized estimate is vital when reviewing bids from multiple HVAC contractors. Try to get a company that includes free estimates and trustworthy, direct pricing. Also, don’t forget to ask if the company charges by the hour or by the job so you recognize what you’re paying for. Just remember that the most affordable bid isn’t automatically the best deal, particularly if it’s considerably lower than the rest. It’s likely that the contractor may try to cut corners to make the price seem fair or sneak in hidden fees at the end.

6. Do you have any special discounts?

Getting your HVAC system back to normal after a severe storm isn’t always inexpensive. That’s why it’s beneficial to ask about 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 afford unanticipated HVAC services following a storm.

Choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

Do you need a trusted contractor to repair your HVAC system after a nasty storm? You can’t go wrong with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We are a national company with hometown heart, a pairing that helps us stay ahead of the competition. If you value good prices, long-lasting results and total satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office for help checking and repairing your HVAC system.

Savings For You

See All Offers Here >
Service Experts Advantage Program logo

Make No Payments for 30 Days!

  • Upgrade to Worry-Free Comfort with the Advantage Program and make NO payments for 30 days!
maintenance icon

$50 OFF HVAC Tune-up Special

There’s no reason to skip your seasonal maintenance that saves energy and helps ensure your air conditioner and heater will work reliably all season long.

  • Regularly $129, now only $79
  • Save up to 30% on energy bills
  • Written Expert Service Guarantee

© 2023 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.