Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

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

High winds and water damage are also major 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 remain upright, they will sometimes accumulate mud and other debris, which must be cleaned out before they can operate properly. 

For your safety when assessing your storm-damaged home, don’t turn on the HVAC system until it has gotten the all-clear from a heating and cooling contractor. 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 system could make matters worse, not to mention overcharge you and then leave without a trace. 

Incidents like these may escalate during storm cleanup. To avoid being taken advantage of, learn 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 provides peace of mind that anyone who works on things has the correct training and coverage in case an accident occurs. Additional ACE certification only further supports a contractor’s ability to supply 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 shows that they are proficient enough to stay 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. 

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

For even more specific answers, ask potential contractors for the contact information of past customers. As you call these references and check online reviews, seek answers to the following questions: 

  • Did the contractor complete the job on time? 
  • Did the contractor leave the customer feeling satisfied? 
  • Was the overall 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 confidence that the HVAC technicians who do the work are clean, dependable and safe to have around your family. For your peace of mind, check with the contractor if background checks and drug tests are compulsory before introducing new hires to the team. 

4. Can you evaluate the entire home comfort system? 

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

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

5. Can I get an estimate in writing? 

A written, itemized estimate is crucial when comparing bids from different HVAC contractors. Look for a company that offers free estimates and transparent, direct pricing. Also, be sure to ask whether the company charges per hour or by the job so you recognize what you’re paying for. Just keep in mind that the cheapest bid isn’t necessarily the best deal, namely if it’s far lower than the rest. Odds are the contractor will either cut corners to make the price attractive or surprise you with hidden fees at the end. 

6. Do you have any special offers? 

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 might qualify for when repairing or replacing your equipment. Also, find out what financing and leasing options the contractor can offer as a better way to pay for sudden HVAC services following a storm. 

Choose Knochelmann Service Experts 

Do you need a reputable contractor to repair your HVAC system after a nasty storm? You can’t go wrong with Knochelmann Service Experts. We are a national company with hometown heart, a combination that helps us stay ahead of the competition. If you prioritize affordable prices, long-lasting results and total satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Get a hold of your local Knochelmann Service Experts office for help inspecting and repairing your HVAC system. 

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