Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

Severe weather can happen anywhere, so the majority of homeowners are no strangers to storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can affect many parts of your property, like 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, often falling over and damaging electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even when systems stay upright, they can accumulate mud and other debris, which must be removed before they can operate correctly. 

For your safety when examining 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 individual with a truck can claim to be an HVAC technician. A poorly trained person tampering with your system could make matters worse, not to mention overcharge you and then vanish without a trace. 

Incidents like these may escalate during storm cleanup. To avoid being taken advantage of, here are the top six questions to ask when hiring a heating and cooling contractor. 

1. Are you licensed, insured and certified? 

The majority of states have licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This provides peace of mind that whoever is working on your system has the appropriate training and coverage in case an accident unfolds. Additional ACE certification only further assists a contractor’s ability to provide 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 better 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, look into the contractors you’re thinking about on Google and other third-party review websites. Testimonials from past customers give you a better idea of what to expect. 

For even more specific answers, ask potential contractors for the contact info of past customers. As you call these references and read online reviews, seek out 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 starting 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 like assurance that the HVAC professionals who perform the work are clean, reliable and safe to have around your family. For complete peace of mind, talk to the contractor if background checks and drug tests are required before adding new hires to the team. 

4. Can you assess the entire home HVAC system? 

If the storm damage is severe enough to wipe out your HVAC system, you may need another one. However, 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’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 vital when comparing bids from multiple HVAC contractors. Look for a company that offers free estimates and transparent, up-front pricing. Also, be sure to ask whether the company charges per hour or by the job so you know what you’re paying for. Just remember that the lowest bid isn’t necessarily the best deal, especially if it’s much lower than the rest. Odds are the contractor could attempt to cut corners to make the price doable or tack on hidden fees at the end. 

6. Do you have any special offers? 

Getting your HVAC system back to normal after a severe storm isn’t always inexpensive. 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 an easier way to afford unexpected HVAC services following a storm. 

Choose Levy & Son Service Experts 

Do you need a reputable contractor to restore your HVAC system after a nasty storm? You can’t go wrong with Levy & Son Service Experts. We are a national company with hometown heart, a combination that helps us stay ahead of the competition. If you appreciate good prices, enduring results and total satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Contact your local Levy & Son Service Experts office for help examining and repairing your HVAC system. 

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