Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

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

Strong winds and water damage are also significant problems for outdoor heating and cooling systems. In severe weather, systems will sometimes be thrust out of position, frequently falling over and causing damage to electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even in situations where systems remain upright, they can amass mud and other materials, which needs to be cleaned out before they can function correctly.

For your safety when evaluating your storm-damaged home, don’t turn on the HVAC system until it’s received the all-clear from a heating and cooling technician. The trick is knowing who to hire for the job. After all, any random guy with a truck can argue they’re an HVAC technician. A poorly trained 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 taken advantage of, learn the top six questions to raise when hiring a heating and cooling contractor.

1. Are you licensed, insured and certified?

Most states have implemented licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This provides peace of mind that whoever works on the equipment has the correct training and coverage in the event an accident occurs. Extra ACE certification only further supports a contractor’s means to provide high-quality service.

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

While length of service alone doesn’t promise a contractor will do a good job, it indicates that they are skilled enough to remain in business for the long term. If you are able to, look up the company’s name online to confirm that they’re telling the truth about their experience.

While you’re at it, look into the contractors you’re considering on Google and other third-party review websites. Feedback from past customers provide a detailed idea of what to expect.

For even more comprehensive answers, check with potential contractors for the contact details of previous customers. As you call these references and check online reviews, seek answers to the following questions:

    • Did the contractor end the job on time?
    • Did the contractor leave the customer feeling comfortable?
    • Was the total 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 the technicians background-checked and drug-tested?

You want assurance that the HVAC professionals who complete the work are clean, dependable and safe to have near your family. For complete peace of mind, ask the contractor if background checks and drug tests are mandated before introducing new hires to the team.

4. Can you examine the entire home comfort system?

If the storm damage is significant enough to ruin your HVAC system, you will sometimes need another one. 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 looking at HVAC replacement after a storm, ask potential contractors the following questions:

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

5. Can I get an estimate in writing?

A written, itemized estimate is essential when exploring bids from different HVAC contractors. Look for a company that offers free estimates and honest, direct pricing. Also, don’t forget to ask if the company charges per hour or per job so you know what you’re paying for. Just remember that the cheapest bid isn’t necessarily the best deal, particularly if it’s much lower than the others. It’s likely that the contractor may try to cut corners to make the price doable or sneak in hidden fees at the end.

6. Do you have any special discounts?

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

Choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

Do you need a proven contractor to repair your HVAC system after unexpected flooding? You can’t go wrong with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We are a national company with hometown heart, a formula that helps us stay in front of the competition. If you prioritize fair prices, lasting results and total satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office for help inspecting and fixing 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.