Bad weather can roll in wherever, so the bulk of homeowners are familiar with 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 major concerns for outdoor heating and cooling systems. In dangerous weather, units could be pushed out of position, often falling on their sides and damaging electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even if systems stay upright, they will sometimes collect mud and other debris, which must be cleaned out before they can work correctly.
For your safety when examining your storm-damaged home, don’t start the HVAC system until after it's received the all-clear from a heating and cooling contractor. The trick is knowing who to hire for the job. After all, any random person with a truck can claim to be an HVAC technician. An unqualified person tampering with your heating and cooling could make matters worse, not to mention overcharge you and then vanish without a trace.
Incidents like these often escalate during storm cleanup. To avoid being taken advantage of, 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 implemented licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This provides peace of mind that anyone who works on the equipment has the appropriate training and coverage in case an accident unfolds. Extra ACE certification only further supports a contractor’s capability to supply high-quality service.
2. What can you tell me about your experience and reputation?
While longevity alone doesn’t offer a promise that a contractor will do a better job, it demonstrates that they are proficient enough to stay in business for the long term. If you are able to, look up the company’s name online to verify that they’re telling the truth about their experience.
At the same time, look up the contractors you’re interested in on Google and other third-party review websites. Feedback from past customers provide a better idea of what to expect.
For even more comprehensive answers, inquire with potential contractors for the contact details of prior customers. As you call these references and look over online reviews, look for answers to the following questions:
- Did the contractor complete the job on time?
- Did the contractor leave the customer feeling content?
- Was the final bill the same price as the up-front 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 want reassurance that the HVAC staff who do the work are clean, reliable and safe to have around your family. For total 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 significant enough to wipe out your HVAC system, you may need a new one. That said, it isn’t enough to simply swap out one furnace and air conditioner for another. After all, a comfort system is only as good as the ductwork it uses. So if you’re looking at HVAC replacement after a storm, ask potential contractors the following questions:
- Do you offer heat loss/gain evaluations?
- Do you check insulation levels and air leaks?
- Do you check the duct system to provide 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 find a company that offers free estimates and transparent, fair pricing. Also, don't forget to ask whether the company charges per 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 much lower than the others. It’s likely that the contractor may try to cut corners to make the price seem fair or tack on hidden fees at the end.
6. Do you have any special promotions?
Getting your HVAC system back online after a severe storm isn’t always inexpensive. That’s why it’s worthwhile to ask about any savings you could qualify for when repairing or replacing your equipment. Also, look for what financing and leasing options the contractor carries as a stress-free way to afford unanticipated HVAC services following a storm.
Choose Parker Pearce Service Experts
Do you need a trusted contractor to repair your HVAC system after unexpected flooding? You can’t go wrong with Parker Pearce Service Experts. We are a national company with hometown heart, a pairing that helps us stay ahead of the competition. If you prioritize affordable prices, long-lasting results and complete satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Get a hold of your local Parker Pearce Service Experts office for help examining and fixing your HVAC system.