Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

Severe weather can roll in wherever, 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.

Heavy winds and water damage are also major concerns for outdoor heating and cooling equipment. In dangerous weather, units will sometimes be pushed out of position, often falling over and damaging electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even if systems remain upright, they can amass mud and other sediment, which must be cleaned before they can work correctly.

For your safety when examining your storm-damaged home, don’t use the HVAC system until after it’s received the all-clear from a heating and cooling technician. The trick is understanding who to hire for the job. After all, any random guy with a truck can claim they’re an HVAC technician. An unqualified person tampering with your equipment might make matters worse, not to mention overcharge you and then vanish without a trace.

Incidents like these often escalate after storm cleanup. To avoid being exploited, learn about the top six questions to share when hiring a heating and cooling contractor.

1. Are you licensed, insured and certified?

Many states implement licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This offers peace of mind that anyone who works on your system has the proper training and coverage in case an accident takes place. Continued ACE certification only further supports a contractor’s means to ensure 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 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 determine 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 provide a better idea of what to expect.

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

    • Did the contractor finish the job on time?
    • Did the contractor leave the customer feeling comfortable?
    • 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 new technicians background-checked and drug-tested?

You like confidence that the HVAC staff who perform the work are clean, trustworthy and safe to have around your family. For complete peace of mind, ask the contractor if background checks and drug tests are compulsory before bringing new hires to the team.

4. Can you assess the entire home heating and cooling system?

If the storm damage is severe enough to destroy your HVAC system, you may need a new one. However, it isn’t enough to merely 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 soon after a storm, ask potential contractors the following questions:

    • Do you complete heat loss/gain evaluations?
    • Do you assess insulation levels and air leaks?
    • Do you check the duct system to provide correct sizing and configuration?

5. Can I get an estimate in writing?

A written, itemized estimate is essential when reviewing bids from various HVAC contractors. Try to find a company that provides free estimates and transparent, direct pricing. Also, be sure to ask if the company charges per hour or by the job so you know what you’re paying for. Just be aware that the cheapest bid isn’t always the best deal, namely if it’s far lower than the others. It’s likely that the contractor may try to cut corners to make the price attractive or tack on hidden fees at the end.

6. Do you have any special promotions?

Getting your HVAC system back online after a serious storm isn’t always cheap. That’s why it’s worthwhile to ask about any savings you might qualify for when repairing or replacing your HVAC system. Also, figure out what financing and leasing options the contractor can offer as a better way to pay for sudden HVAC services after a storm.

Choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

Do you need a trusted contractor to fix 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 combination that helps us stay ahead of the competition. If you appreciate affordable prices, long-lasting results and complete satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Get a hold of your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office for help inspecting and repairing your HVAC system.

Savings For You

See All Offers Here >


  • Save $50 on a Paid Service
  • Written 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Plus, ask how to save an additional 15% and waive your trip charge!


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

© 2024 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.

Chat with a Service Experts Professional