This is a question most folks don’t think about when purchasing new heating and cooling equipment for their home. It is of crucial importance because if a crew of low skilled or non-caring technicians installs your equipment; you will have serious issues down the road if not at start up.
Do I have your attention?
The friendly smiling salesperson most likely will not be installing your equipment. He is paid to sell and that is what salespeople do – sell, not install or service. (A few do, not many.)
Ask your sales person who will be installing your equipment.
The technicians should:
· have at least several years of experience installing the brand and type of equipment that you purchased.
· should be North American Technical Excellence(N.A.T.E) certified in your type of equipment and have factory training.
· have a reputation in the company as being “picky” and taking pride in all his/her work.
· have all the tools required to perform the job correctly
· always clean up after themselves and protect your property by wearing shoe cover and laying down floor protection.
· Answer any questions you have and explain their plan to you before starting the job.
You as the homeowner really don’t know what is correct and what is not. A lot of companies will take “short-cuts” that will have an impact on your comfort and the efficiency and longevity of your equipment. This is very scary! Buyer beware! The lowest price is usually not the best choice.
You can sway the odds in your favor by doing a little homework in advance. Plan for your replacement and not wait for a major breakdown. What we recommend is:
1. Find a contractor that has a great reputation (not that they advertise a lot or are a large company). Ask friends, neighbors, co-workers etc. for their input. You can also check BBB, Angie’s List, etc., but know that the contractors pay these folks to be listed so they can be biased.
2. Be sure the company is insured and licensed. You can go online to the State Board of Contractors to find out if they are licensed. Ask for a copy of their insurance. If they don’t have insurance – YOU may be stuck with the bill! If a worker gets hurt on your property, it is YOUR problem and you can be sued if the contractor does not have Workman’s Compensation insurance.
3. If your job requires a city permit, be sure the contractor pulls it and not YOU. If you pull the permit, the job liability is YOUR problem now and not the contractor. It is not worth the couple of hundred dollars you might save by doing this yourself.
4. Have an idea of what type of equipment you want or need. The more efficient the equipment; the more it costs upfront. More efficient equipment cost the contractor more and they pass that cost onto you. The energy efficiency beginning level for AC and heat pumps is now 14 SEER which is pretty darn good. It was 10 SEER in 1992 and then 13 SEER in 2006 until recently this year. (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating is how all HVAC equipment is rated across the board.)
5. It is a good idea to get three quotes. If you have contractor you trust and feel good with, then stay with them, but it never hurts to check.
6. Be realistic in your expectations of cost. Nothing is free and nothing worth owning is cheap.
7. Spring and Fall usually have manufacturer rebates that can help with costs on mid to higher end equipment.
Hopefully this article is of some use to you. If you have any questions, please feel comfortable in contacting us for more information.