Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor

Extreme weather can happen wherever, so the majority of homeowners have experienced with some degree of storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can affect many portions of your property, like the landscape, roof, siding and windows.

High winds and water damage are also major concerns for outdoor heating and cooling equipment. In dangerous weather, equipment may be pushed out of position, even toppling over and breaking electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even if systems remain upright, they may amass mud and other sediment, which must be removed before they can operate properly.

For your safety when assessing your storm-damaged home, don’t start the HVAC system until it has received the all-clear from a heating and cooling professional. The trick is understanding who to hire for the job. After all, any random individual with a truck can argue they're an HVAC technician. An unqualified person tampering with your system might make matters worse, plus overcharge you and then disappear without a trace.

Events like these tend to escalate after storm cleanup. To avoid being taken advantage of, here are the top six questions to share when hiring a heating and cooling contractor.

1. Are you licensed, insured and certified?

Many states implement licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This delivers peace of mind that whoever is working on things has the appropriate training and coverage in case an accident occurs. Additional ACE certification only further supports 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 great job, it shows that they are skilled enough to remain in business for the long term. If you are able to, look into the company’s name online to determine 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 previous customers provide a detailed idea of what to expect.

For even more comprehensive answers, check with potential contractors for the contact details of previous customers. As you call these references and look over online reviews, seek answers to the following questions:

  • Did the contractor complete the job on time?
  • Did the contractor leave the customer feeling content?
  • Was the total bill the same price as the up-front estimate?
  • Did a live person always answer calls, or did an answering machine pick up?

3. Are new technicians background-checked and drug-tested?

You deserve reassurance that the HVAC technicians who do the work are clean, trustworthy and safe to have near your family. For complete peace of mind, check with the contractor if background checks and drug tests are mandated before bringing new hires to the team.

4. Can you examine the entire home comfort system?

If the storm damage is severe enough to ruin your HVAC system, you may need another 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 these questions:

  • Do you perform heat loss/gain evaluations?
  • Do you assess insulation levels and air leaks?
  • Do you investigate the duct system to provide appropriate sizing and configuration?

5. Can I get an estimate in writing?

A written, itemized estimate is essential when reviewing bids from multiple HVAC contractors. Look for a company that provides free estimates and trustworthy, up-front pricing. Also, make sure to ask if the company charges hourly or per job so you know what you’re paying for. Just be aware that the lowest bid isn’t necessarily the best deal, especially if it’s considerably lower than the majority. It’s likely that the contractor will either cut corners to make the price doable or surprise you with hidden fees at the end.

6. Do you have any special promotions?

Getting your HVAC system back up and running after a severe storm isn’t always low cost. That’s why it’s advisable to inquire about any savings you may qualify for when repairing or replacing your equipment. Also, figure out what financing and leasing options the contractor carries as an easier way to afford unanticipated HVAC services after a storm.

Choose Orangutan Home Services

Do you need a trusted contractor to restore your HVAC system after a natural disaster? You can’t go wrong with Orangutan Home Services. We are a national company with hometown heart, a combination that helps us stay above the competition. If you value affordable prices, lasting results and complete satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Get in touch with your local Orangutan Home Services office for help checking and servicing your HVAC system.

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