Six Questions to Ask When Hiring an HVAC Contractor
Extreme weather can roll in wherever, so most homeowners have experienced with some degree of storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can damage many portions of your property, like the landscape, roof, siding and windows.
Strong winds and flooding are also major problems for outdoor heating and cooling systems. In dangerous weather, equipment could be forced out of position, even falling over and breaking electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even in situations where systems remain upright, they can collect mud and other sediment, which has to be removed before they can operate properly.
For your safety when evaluating your storm-damaged home, don’t turn on 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. Someone unqualified and tampering with your system could make matters worse, and overcharge you and then leave without a trace.
Incidents like these often escalate around storm cleanup. To avoid being taken advantage of, here are the top six questions to ask when hiring a heating and cooling contractor.
1. Are you licensed, insured and certified?
Most provinces implement licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This offers peace of mind that whoever works on the equipment has the appropriate training and coverage in case an accident takes place. Continued ACE certification only further supports a contractor’s capability to supply high-quality service.
2. What can you tell me about your experience and reputation?
While length of service 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 determine that they’re telling the truth about their experience.
Simultaneously, look up the contractors you’re interested in on Google and other third-party review websites. Feedback from prior customers present a good idea of what to expect.
For even more specific answers, inquire with potential contractors for the contact details of past customers. As you contact these references and read online reviews, seek 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 starting 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 like reassurance that the HVAC staff who perform the work are clean, trustworthy and safe to have around your family. For total peace of mind, check with the contractor if background checks and drug tests are required before bringing new hires to the team.
4. Can you examine the entire home HVAC system?
If the storm damage is significant enough to destroy your HVAC system, you may need a replacement. However, it isn’t enough to merely swap out one furnace and air conditioner for others. After all, an HVAC system is only as good as the ductwork it’s attached to. So if you’re considering HVAC replacement soon after a storm, ask potential contractors these questions:
- Do you offer heat loss/gain evaluations?
- Do you assess insulation levels and air leaks?
- Do you investigate the duct system to ensure proper sizing and configuration?
5. Can I get an estimate in writing?
A written, itemized estimate is vital when comparing bids from various HVAC contractors. Try to find a company that provides free estimates and trustworthy, fair pricing. Also, be sure to ask whether the company charges hourly or by the job so you recognize what you’re paying for. Just be aware that the cheapest bid isn’t necessarily the best deal, particularly if it’s considerably lower than the others. Chances are the contractor will either cut corners to make the price seem fair or sneak in hidden fees at the end.
6. Do you have any special discounts?
Getting your HVAC system back to normal after a major storm isn’t always inexpensive. That’s why it’s advisable to request any savings you could qualify for when repairing or replacing your HVAC system. Also, look for what financing and leasing options the contractor can offer as a better way to pay for unanticipated HVAC services following a storm.
Choose Winnipeg Supply Service Experts
Do you need a proven contractor to fix your HVAC system after a nasty storm? You can’t go wrong with Winnipeg Supply Service Experts. We are a national company with hometown heart, a pairing that helps us stay above the competition. If you value fair prices, long-lasting results and complete satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Get in touch with your local Winnipeg Supply Service Experts office for help checking and servicing your HVAC system.