Here are some questions to ask before hiring an HVAC contractor
Asking the right questions when looking for an experienced HVAC contractor is an important part of finding an honest and reputable technician. You don’t want someone who will be pushy, oversell you, or make you uncomfortable!
Start your search for the best HVAC company by asking these questions:
1. What size unit do I need?
Getting the right size HVAC system for your home is important. If your air conditioner is too small and remains on continuously, it runs the risk of breaking down sooner. If your AC is too large, it will not stay on long enough to properly circulate the air in your home.
The size of heat pumps, air conditioners and furnaces is usually measured in tons. This has nothing to do with the weight of the unit; rather, it’s a measure of how many tons of ice it can melt in 24 hours. The proper size your HVAC system should be is calculated by the Manual J Load Calculation; however, the general rule of thumb is about 1 ton per 500 feet of floor area.
After doing some research, ask the potential HVAC contractor this question and compare what they say to what you researched. This can be a clue as to whether they are trying to oversell you or if they truly understand your needs.
2. How efficient will my new system be?
The efficiency of your HVAC system is measured by the SEER rating, which is the amount of cooling produced divided by its energy usage.
With this question in mind, you should also ask how that translates into savings on your electric bill. For most people, the effect on their electric bill is ultimately what matters.
3. Are there any new technologies available?
Asking about new technology tells you a lot about the contractor and how up-to-date he or she is. See what the contractors know about ductless systems and different types of thermostats to determine if they are truly passionate about their field or just in it to make a quick buck.
4. What brands do you sell and service?
Asking about the brands a particular HVAC technician specializes in will not only tell you if they’re trying to push a particular brand, but it can also help save you money. As with any product, sometimes you’re simply paying for the brand name, with no improvement in quality.
5. What are your terms of payment?
Installing a new HVAC system is a major home improvement project and it’s typically quite expensive. For this reason, you may want to ask if the company offers a payment plan.
A payment plan could be as simple as using a credit card or allowing you to pay them overtime. Either way, an honest and reputable contractor will be open about it.
6. Does the new system come with any warranty or guarantees?
Find out what guarantees come with the work and the equipment. These guarantees may include manufacturer warranties and a guarantee by the installer themselves for the quality of their work. This is another sign that you’re dealing with a reputable and honest company.
7. Can I use my current air ducts?
When having a new HVAC system installed, being able to use your existing air ducts is a money-saver unless you’re planning to go ductless. If your original ductwork is in good shape, ask if the contractor is willing to help find a new system that will work with the existing setup to save on costs. An honest contractor will do what he or she can to allow you to keep your ductwork if possible.
8. Can I get any tax credits or rebates for the installation?
Being able to get a tax credit or rebate for the installation can greatly reduce the cost of the project. Sometimes, a manufacturer will provide a rebate for the purchase of their product or the government will give you a tax break for making your home more energy efficient. A reliable contractor will know about these discounts and be able to give you an upfront answer.
9. Do you handle any permits for the job (if needed)?
In some cases, HVAC work requires government permits. This may be because there’s a possibility of interfering with neighboring properties or an issue of property taxes. While the price of such permits will likely be added to the job, a sign of a good HVAC contractor is if they handle any permits for you since they should have experience in this area.
10. When will the job be completed?
When the HVAC project will be done and how long it will take are important things to know, especially if you need to plan to have somebody home when the work is being done. Scheduling may not always be exact, but a rough time estimate should be possible.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions before hiring an HVAC contractor to ensure you choose the right company.
Here at Richmond’s Air, our friendly Houston AC technicians are happy to answer any of your questions and will take time to listen to your concerns. Contact us today for a free quote and ask away!