Severe weather can happen anywhere, so the majority of homeowners are familiar with storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can impact many aspects of your property, such as the landscape, roof, siding and windows.
Heavy winds and floods are also significant problems for outdoor heating and cooling systems. In dangerous weather, equipment may be forced out of position, frequently falling on their sides and breaking electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even when systems remain upright, they can accumulate mud and other materials, which needs to be cleaned out before they can function like they're supposed to.
For your safety when evaluating your storm-damaged home, don’t use the HVAC system until it's received the all-clear from a heating and cooling professional. 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. Someone unqualified and tampering with your equipment might make matters worse, and overcharge you and then leave without a trace.
Incidents like these may escalate around storm cleanup. To avoid being cheated, learn about 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 offers peace of mind that anyone who works on things has the correct training and coverage in the event an accident occurs. Continued ACE certification only further assists 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 promise a contractor will do a better job, it demonstrates that they are experienced enough to stay in business for the long term. If you're able to, look up the company’s name online to determine that they’re telling the truth about their experience.
Simultaneously, look into the contractors you’re considering on Google and other third-party review websites. Testimonials from previous customers provide a detailed idea of what to expect.
For even more definite answers, inquire with potential contractors for the contact details of previous customers. As you get in touch with these references and read online reviews, look for 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 amount as the initial 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 staff who do the work are clean, dependable and safe to have near your family. For complete 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 HVAC system?
If the storm damage is significant enough to ruin 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 heating and cooling system is only as effective as the ductwork it uses. So if you’re considering HVAC replacement soon after a storm, ask potential contractors a few questions:
- Do you perform heat loss/gain evaluations?
- Do you assess insulation levels and air leaks?
- Do you investigate the duct system to provide proper 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 includes free estimates and trustworthy, direct pricing. Also, be sure to ask if the company charges per hour or per job so you know what you’re paying for. Just be aware that the cheapest bid isn’t automatically the best deal, especially if it’s considerably lower than the rest. Odds are 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 to normal after a major storm isn’t always low cost. That’s why it’s beneficial to ask about any savings you may qualify for when repairing or replacing your HVAC system. Also, look for what financing and leasing options the contractor offers as a stress-free way to pay for unanticipated HVAC services as a result of a storm.
Choose Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning
Do you need a proven contractor to restore your HVAC system after a nasty storm? You can’t go wrong with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We are a national company with hometown heart, a pairing that helps us stay above the competition. If you appreciate good prices, enduring results and complete satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Get a hold of your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office for help checking and servicing your HVAC system.