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, such as the landscape, roof, siding and windows. 

Strong 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. 

Events like these tend to escalate during storm cleanup. To avoid being taken advantage of, learn about the top six questions to raise 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 whoever works 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 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 up 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 bringing new hires to the team. 

4. Can you evaluate the entire home HVAC system? 

If the storm damage is severe enough to wipe out 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 good as the ductwork it’s attached to. So if you’re considering 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 exploring bids from various HVAC contractors. Look for a company that includes free estimates and transparent, up-front pricing. Also, be sure to ask whether the company charges by the hour or by the job so you know what you’re paying for. Just be aware that the lowest bid isn’t necessarily the best deal, particularly if it’s considerably lower than the rest. Odds are the contractor will either cut corners to make the price seem fair or tack on 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 low cost. That’s why it’s worthwhile to ask about any savings you could qualify for when repairing or replacing your equipment. Also, find out what financing and leasing options the contractor offers as a better way to pay for sudden HVAC services following a storm. 

Choose Midland Air Service Experts 

Do you need a reputable contractor to repair your HVAC system after a natural disaster? You can’t go wrong with Midland Air 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, lasting results and total satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Contact your local Midland Air Service Experts office for help checking and repairing your HVAC system. 

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