Extreme weather can appear wherever, so the majority of homeowners have experienced with some degree of storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can damage many aspects of your property, like the landscape, roof, siding and windows.
Heavy winds and water damage are also significant concerns for outdoor heating and cooling systems. In extreme weather, units could be pushed out of position, even toppling over and damaging electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even when systems manage to stay upright, they will sometimes amass mud and other sediment, which needs to be cleaned before they can function properly.
For your safety when evaluating your storm-damaged home, don’t use the HVAC system until it's received the all-clear from a heating and cooling professional. The trick is knowing 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, and overcharge you and then disappear without a trace.
Events like these may escalate around storm cleanup. To avoid being cheated, here are 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 provides peace of mind that anyone who works on the equipment has the appropriate training and coverage if an accident takes place. Extra ACE certification only further assists a contractor’s ability to supply high-quality service.
2. What can you tell me about your experience and reputation?
While length of service alone doesn’t promise a contractor will do a good job, it shows that they are proficient enough to remain in business for the long term. If you can, search for 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 considering on Google and other third-party review websites. Reviews from previous customers give you a good idea of what to expect.
For even more specific answers, check with potential contractors for the contact info of past customers. As you get in touch with these references and read online reviews, seek out answers to these questions:
- Did the contractor finish the job on time?
- Did the contractor leave the customer feeling comfortable?
- Was the overall bill the same amount as the initial 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 confidence that the HVAC technicians who perform the work are clean, reliable and safe to have around your family. For total peace of mind, ask the contractor if background checks and drug tests are compulsory before bringing new hires to the team.
4. Can you assess 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 others. After all, an HVAC system is only as efficient as the ductwork it’s attached to. So if you’re thinking about HVAC replacement soon after a storm, ask potential contractors a few questions:
- Do you complete heat loss/gain evaluations?
- Do you assess insulation levels and air leaks?
- Do you determine the duct system to ensure proper sizing and configuration?
5. Can I get an estimate in writing?
A written, itemized estimate is vital when reviewing bids from various HVAC contractors. Try to get a company that provides free estimates and transparent, direct pricing. Also, make sure to ask whether the company charges by the hour or per job so you know what you’re paying for. Just remember that the lowest bid isn’t always the best deal, namely if it’s much lower than the rest. Odds are the contractor may try to 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 online after a severe storm isn’t always cheap. That’s why it’s beneficial to inquire about 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 stress-free way to afford unanticipated HVAC services after a storm.
Choose San Antonio Air Service Experts
Do you need a reputable contractor to restore your HVAC system after a natural disaster? You can’t go wrong with San Antonio Air Service Experts. We are a national company with hometown heart, a combination that helps us stay in front of the competition. If you value affordable prices, long-lasting results and total satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Get in touch with your local San Antonio Air Service Experts office for help inspecting and repairing your HVAC system.