Bad weather can appear anywhere, so most homeowners are no strangers to storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can damage many portions of your property, like the landscape, roof, siding and windows.
Heavy winds and flooding are also significant issues for outdoor heating and cooling equipment. In extreme weather, systems could be pushed out of position, frequently falling over and damaging electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even in situations where systems remain upright, they may amass mud and other sediment, which needs to be removed before they can operate properly.
For your safety when examining your storm-damaged home, don’t turn on the HVAC system until it has received the all-clear from a heating and cooling specialist. The trick is understanding who to hire for the job. After all, any random individual with a truck can claim they're an HVAC technician. An unqualified person tampering with your heating and cooling may make matters worse, not to mention overcharge you and then vanish without a trace.
Events like these may escalate around storm cleanup. To avoid being cheated, learn about the top six questions to raise when hiring a heating and cooling contractor.
1. Are you licensed, insured and certified?
The majority of states implement licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This delivers peace of mind that anyone who works on things has the appropriate training and coverage in case an accident takes place. Continued ACE certification only further assists a contractor’s capability to provide 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 good job, it shows 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. Feedback from prior customers give you a good idea of what to expect.
For even more specific answers, inquire with potential contractors for the contact information of previous customers. As you get in touch with these references and check online reviews, seek out answers to these questions:
- Did the contractor complete the job on time?
- Did the contractor leave the customer feeling content?
- Was the final bill the same cost 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 complete the work are clean, dependable 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 evaluate the entire home comfort system?
If the storm damage is severe enough to destroy your HVAC system, you might need another 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 efficient as the ductwork attached to it. 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 check 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 crucial when comparing bids from various HVAC contractors. Try to find a company that provides free estimates and honest, direct pricing. Also, don't forget to ask if the company charges by the hour or per job so you know what you’re paying for. Just keep in mind that the lowest bid isn’t necessarily the best deal, especially if it’s far lower than the others. It’s likely that the contractor could attempt to cut corners to make the price attractive 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 low cost. That’s why it’s beneficial to inquire about any savings you might qualify for when repairing or replacing your equipment. Also, look for what financing and leasing options the contractor carries as a stress-free way to cover unexpected HVAC services as a result of a storm.
Choose Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning
Do you need a reputable contractor to repair your HVAC system after a natural disaster? You can’t go wrong with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We are a national company with hometown heart, a formula that helps us stay in front of the competition. If you prioritize fair prices, enduring results and complete satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Contact your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office for help inspecting and repairing your HVAC system.