Severe weather can appear anywhere, so the majority of homeowners are no strangers to storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can affect many aspects of your property, including the landscape, roof, siding and windows.
High winds and flooding are also major concerns for outdoor heating and cooling equipment. In extreme weather, systems will sometimes be forced out of position, often falling on their sides and damaging electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even when systems remain upright, they will sometimes accumulate mud and other debris, which must be cleaned out before they can operate properly.
For your safety when assessing your storm-damaged home, don’t turn on the HVAC system until it has gotten the all-clear from a heating and cooling contractor. The trick is knowing who to hire for the job. After all, any random individual with a truck can claim to be an HVAC technician. Someone unqualified and tampering with your heating and cooling could make matters worse, not to mention overcharge you and then leave without a trace.
Incidents like these often escalate during storm cleanup. To avoid being exploited, learn the top six questions to ask when hiring a heating and cooling contractor.
Many states have licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This provides peace of mind that whoever works on your system has the correct training and coverage in case an accident occurs. Continued ACE certification only further assists a contractor’s ability to provide high-quality service.
While length of service alone doesn’t guarantee a contractor will do a great 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 verify that they’re telling the truth about their experience.
Simultaneously, look up the contractors you’re considering on Google and other third-party review websites. Reviews from past customers give you a good idea of what to expect.
For even more specific answers, ask potential contractors for the contact details of past customers. As you call these references and look over online reviews, seek answers to the following questions:
You like assurance that the HVAC staff who do the work are clean, dependable and safe to have around your family. For complete peace of mind, talk to the contractor if background checks and drug tests are required before adding new hires to the team.
If the storm damage is severe enough to wipe out your HVAC system, you may need a new one. However, it isn’t enough to simply swap out one furnace and air conditioner for another. After all, a heating and cooling system is only as good as the ductwork attached to it. So if you’re thinking about HVAC replacement after a storm, ask potential contractors these questions:
A written, itemized estimate is essential when exploring bids from multiple HVAC contractors. Look for a company that offers free estimates and transparent, up-front pricing. Also, be sure to ask whether the company charges by the hour or by the job so you recognize what you’re paying for. Just keep in mind that the cheapest bid isn’t necessarily the best deal, particularly if it’s far lower than the others. Odds are the contractor will either cut corners to make the price attractive or tack on hidden fees at the end.
Getting your HVAC system back online after a severe storm isn’t always cheap. That’s why it’s worthwhile to ask about any savings you might qualify for when repairing or replacing your equipment. Also, find out what financing and leasing options the contractor carries as a stress-free way to pay for unexpected HVAC services following a storm.
Do you need a reputable contractor to fix your HVAC system after a natural disaster? You can’t go wrong with Comfort Masters Service Experts. We are a national company with hometown heart, a combination that helps us stay ahead of the competition. If you prioritize affordable prices, long-lasting results and total satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Contact your local Comfort Masters Service Experts office for help checking and repairing your HVAC system.
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