Bad weather can appear just about anywhere, so the majority of homeowners are familiar with storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can impact many parts of your property, including the landscape, roof, siding and windows.
High winds and flooding are also significant concerns for outdoor heating and cooling systems. In dangerous weather, units may be forced out of position, frequently toppling over and damaging electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even in situations where systems remain upright, they will sometimes accumulate mud and other materials, which has to be cleaned before they can function 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 contractor. The trick is identifying who to hire for the job. After all, any random guy with a truck can argue they're an HVAC technician. A poorly trained person tampering with your heating and cooling could make matters worse, and overcharge you and then disappear without a trace.
Incidents like these may escalate around storm cleanup. To avoid being cheated, learn 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 implemented licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This offers peace of mind that whoever works on your system has the correct training and coverage in case an accident takes place. Additional ACE certification only further supports a contractor’s capability to provide high-quality service.
2. What can you tell me about your experience and reputation?
While decades of service alone doesn’t guarantee a contractor will do a great job, it shows that they are skilled enough to stay in business for the long term. If you can, look up the company’s name online to determine that they’re telling the truth about their experience.
Simultaneously, research the contractors you’re interested in on Google and other third-party review websites. Feedback from previous customers provide a detailed idea of what to expect.
For even more definite answers, check with potential contractors for the contact details of previous customers. As you call these references and check online reviews, seek answers to these questions:
- Did the contractor end the job on time?
- Did the contractor leave the customer feeling content?
- Was the final bill the same price as the initial estimate?
- Did a live person always answer calls, or did an answering machine pick up?
3. Are the technicians background-checked and drug-tested?
You like confidence that the HVAC professionals who complete the work are clean, trustworthy and safe to have around your family. For complete peace of mind, check with the contractor if background checks and drug tests are compulsory before bringing 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. However, it isn’t enough to just swap out one furnace and air conditioner for another. After all, a comfort system is only as good as the ductwork attached to it. So if you’re thinking about HVAC replacement following a storm, ask potential contractors a few questions:
- Do you offer heat loss/gain evaluations?
- Do you assess insulation levels and air leaks?
- Do you investigate the duct system to provide correct sizing and configuration?
5. Can I get an estimate in writing?
A written, itemized estimate is essential when comparing bids from different HVAC contractors. Look for a company that provides free estimates and transparent, up-front pricing. Also, don't forget to ask if the company charges hourly or by the job so you know what you’re paying for. Just be aware that the lowest bid isn’t automatically the best deal, namely if it’s much lower than the rest. It’s likely that the contractor may try to cut corners to make the price doable or sneak in hidden fees at the end.
6. Do you have any special promotions?
Getting your HVAC system back to normal after a severe storm isn’t always cheap. That’s why it’s beneficial to request any savings you could qualify for when repairing or replacing your HVAC system. Also, figure out what financing and leasing options the contractor carries as a better way to cover unanticipated 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 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 ahead of the competition. If you value affordable prices, enduring results and total satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office for help checking and repairing your HVAC system.