Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor
Severe weather can happen just about 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, such as the landscape, roof, siding and windows.
Strong winds and flooding are also significant concerns for outdoor heating and cooling equipment. In severe weather, systems will sometimes be pushed out of position, even toppling over and causing damage to electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even if systems stay upright, they may accumulate mud and other debris, which must be cleaned out before they can operate like they’re supposed to.
For your safety when evaluating your storm-damaged home, don’t use the HVAC system until after it’s gotten the all-clear from a heating and cooling specialist. The trick is understanding who to hire for the job. After all, any random person with a truck can claim to be an HVAC technician. Someone unqualified and tampering with your system could make matters worse, not to mention overcharge you and then disappear without a trace.
Incidents like these often escalate during storm cleanup. To avoid being cheated, learn about the top six questions to share 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 anyone who works on the equipment has the proper training and coverage in case an accident unfolds. Continued ACE certification only further assists a contractor’s means to ensure high-quality service.
2. What can you tell me about your experience and reputation?
While length of service alone doesn’t offer a promise that a contractor will do a great job, it shows that they are experienced enough to stay in business for the long term. If you are able to, look into the company’s name online to verify that they’re telling the truth about their experience.
At the same time, look up the contractors you’re interested in on Google and other third-party review websites. Testimonials from past customers present a good idea of what to expect.
For even more comprehensive answers, inquire with potential contractors for the contact details 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 comfortable?
- Was the final bill the same amount as the up-front 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 deserve confidence that the HVAC professionals who perform the work are clean, reliable 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 introducing new hires to the team.
4. Can you assess the entire home HVAC system?
If the storm damage is serious enough to ruin your HVAC system, you may need another one. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to simply swap out one furnace and air conditioner for others. After all, a heating and cooling system is only as good as the ductwork it’s attached to. So if you’re thinking about HVAC replacement following a storm, ask potential contractors a few questions:
- Do you complete heat loss/gain evaluations?
- Do you check insulation levels and air leaks?
- Do you check the duct system to provide proper sizing and configuration?
5. Can I get an estimate in writing?
A written, itemized estimate is essential when exploring bids from multiple HVAC contractors. Try to get a company that provides free estimates and honest, direct pricing. Also, don’t forget to ask if the company charges per hour or by the job so you understand what you’re paying for. Just keep in mind that the most affordable bid isn’t always the best deal, namely if it’s considerably lower than the rest. It’s likely that the contractor will either cut corners to make the price seem fair or surprise you with hidden fees at the end.
6. Do you have any special promotions?
Getting your HVAC system back to normal after a serious storm isn’t always low cost. That’s why it’s advisable to ask about any savings you may qualify for when repairing or replacing your HVAC system. Also, find out what financing and leasing options the contractor carries as a better way to cover unanticipated HVAC services following a storm.
Choose Winnipeg Supply Service Experts
Do you need a trusted contractor to fix your HVAC system after unexpected flooding? You can’t go wrong with Winnipeg Supply Service Experts. We are a national company with hometown heart, a pairing that helps us stay ahead of the competition. If you appreciate fair prices, long-lasting results and total satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Contact your local Winnipeg Supply Service Experts office for help checking and fixing your HVAC system.