Spring Blog – Time for a New System?
Mid-March through May 31st is the time of year many new heating and cooling systems are sold and installed. This is a good time because the weather usually cooperates and neither heating nor cooling is needed or not unbearable if it is out for a few days.
There are few things homeowners should be aware of when making the decision to replace their systems.
Some things you should be made aware of:
· It is usually better to plan for a replacement rather than to wait for it to breakdown on the hottest or coldest day of the year. It can take days or weeks if during the busiest service months to get a new system installed and then you may be rushed into a poor decision.
· Just because your system is still operating, doesn’t mean it is should not or does not need to be replaced. Many older (12 years and older) are just not very efficient and have lost some of their capacity to heat and cool your home effectively. They are subject to breakdowns anytime and more so if they have not been properly and routinely maintained. These “older systems” are actually costing you more money that you could be putting toward a new system.
· A new system that is correctly sized and installed will give you greater comfort and save you a little money on your utility bills along with improved reliability.
· All HVAC companies are NOT equal in talent and abilities
· Installation skill of the technicians installing your system is of key importance. You need a skilled team to insure your system is installed correctly and that they follow the manufacturer instructions and not take short cuts. These companies are generally more expensive because their employees are well trained and use state of the art equipment and techniques.
· A “low ball” price will usually not insure quality and cost you much more money in the long run.
· Short cuts shorten the life of your equipment and cause comfort issues and safety issues.
· Brands are not as important as a quality installation
· Ask for North American Technical Excellence (N.A.T.E) or Refrigerant Service Engineer Society or Air Conditioning Contractor of America Certified Technicians as well as State licensed Journeyman or Master Technicians to perform your work. These folks have passed rigorous testing that shows they have the knowledge to perform your installation of service correctly. The techs will have a card that shows their certifications.
· Ductwork is important. If you have ductwork that is in poor condition or not designed well, put your money there first. The top-of-line equipment will NEVER work as it was intended and you will not be happy with the results with poor duct work. You can’t see duct work (unless you crawl under your house, in between floors, or into your attic), but it delivers the air to all your living spaces and it is why you may have drastic temperature differences between rooms, excessive dust issue, and some health issues.
· You will be much better off getting a less efficient system with great duct work rather than a top efficiency system with poor duct work.
Hopefully the above tips will be of some value to you when the time come for you to plan for a new comfort system.