Severe weather can roll in anywhere, so the bulk of homeowners are familiar with storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can affect many aspects of your property, like the landscape, roof, siding and windows.
High winds and water damage are also common issues for outdoor heating and cooling equipment. In severe weather, units could be pushed out of position, even falling over and damaging electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even if systems remain upright, they will sometimes accumulate mud and other sediment, which has to be removed before they can operate correctly.
For your safety when evaluating your storm-damaged home, don’t turn on the HVAC system until it's gotten the all-clear from a heating and cooling contractor. The trick is understanding who to hire for the job. After all, any random individual with a truck can claim to be an HVAC technician. An unqualified person tampering with your system might make matters worse, plus overcharge you and then leave without a trace.
Events like these may escalate after storm cleanup. To avoid being cheated, learn about the top six questions to raise when hiring a heating and cooling contractor.
1. Are you licensed, insured and certified?
Many states have implemented licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This offers peace of mind that anyone who works on things has the proper training and coverage in the event an accident takes place. Continued 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 decades of service alone doesn’t promise a contractor will do a better job, it shows that they are experienced enough to remain in business for the long term. If you're 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 into the contractors you’re considering on Google and other third-party review websites. Feedback from prior customers give you a better idea of what to expect.
For even more specific answers, check with potential contractors for the contact details of previous customers. As you get in touch with these references and look over online reviews, look for answers to these questions:
- Did the contractor end the job on time?
- Did the contractor leave the customer feeling satisfied?
- Was the total bill the same cost 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 reassurance that the HVAC professionals who do the work are clean, trustworthy and safe to have near your family. For complete peace of mind, ask the contractor if background checks and drug tests are required before adding new hires to the team.
4. Can you evaluate the entire home heating and cooling system?
If the storm damage is serious enough to wipe out your HVAC system, you might need another one. That said, 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 attached to it. So if you’re looking at HVAC replacement soon after a storm, ask potential contractors these questions:
- Do you complete 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 essential when comparing bids from multiple HVAC contractors. Try to find a company that includes free estimates and transparent, fair pricing. Also, be sure to ask whether the company charges by the hour or per job so you understand what you’re paying for. Just be aware that the lowest bid isn’t always the best deal, namely if it’s considerably lower than the majority. Chances are the contractor will either 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 online after a major storm isn’t always inexpensive. That’s why it’s worthwhile to ask about any savings you might qualify for when repairing or replacing your equipment. Also, figure out what financing and leasing options the contractor carries as an easier way to cover unexpected HVAC services as a result of a storm.
Choose Komfort Air Service Experts
Do you need a proven contractor to repair your HVAC system after unexpected flooding? You can’t go wrong with Komfort Air Service Experts. We are a national company with hometown heart, a pairing that helps us stay ahead of the competition. If you value fair prices, long-lasting results and total satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Contact your local Komfort Air Service Experts office for help inspecting and repairing your HVAC system.