An important part of your home’s makeup is the HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) unit. If this system begins to fail, there will be certain indications such as:
- Your energy bills increase
- Rooms in your home feel too cold or too hot
- Your current HVAC system is especially noisy
According to the Federal Trade Commission’s website, most of the energy we use in our homes goes toward cooling and heating. There are some smart ways to save both time and money when this home expense arises. When you’re considering replacing your HVAC system, consider these 10 questions first.
- Have I done an energy assessment?Before deciding on an HVAC replacement, have a professional conduct an energy assessment of your home. This process involves checking for leaks, insulation issues, and other factors that might affect the efficiency of your new system. A properly insulated home ensures your HVAC operates optimally, potentially saving you money on energy bills.
- What type of HVAC does my home need?The best system for your home will depend on where you live, your budget, and if you need to replace heating, cooling, or both. The climate of your area, the size of your home, and your budget are critical considerations when choosing an HVAC system. Research or consult with professionals to understand whether a central system, heat pump, or another type is best for your needs.
- Do I have a qualified HVAC professional to get the job done?Referrals from friends and neighbors are a great place to start when you begin to seek out a professional for replacing your HVAC. Finding a trustworthy and skilled HVAC contractor is crucial. Start with referrals from friends or neighbors and research online reviews to find someone with a proven track record of quality installations.
- Have I contacted the references?Once you have decided on which professional you want to work with, ask for customer references and make contact with those individuals. Be sure to ask about the quality of work and if the job was done in a timely and professional manner.
- Does my pro have insurance, bonding, and proper licensing?Verify that the contractor has the necessary insurance, bonding, and licenses to work in your area. Check their certifications, such as those from North American Technician Excellence, and consult the Better Business Bureau for any red flags.
- Are the calculations for the job based on ACCA standards?Air Conditioner Contractors of America develop the industry standards for HVAC performance. A contractor should not determine the size of your unit based on the size of your home alone; instead, they should follow the guidelines set forth in the ACCA manual when replacing your HVAC.
- Is my ductwork sufficient?If your home has leaky ducts or dirt buildup, your contractor should be able to identify those issues and offer solutions before replacing your HVAC.
- Is my estimate in writing?Go over the estimates for at least 3 contractors with other parties involved in the decision-making process. Ask any questions before agreeing to any work.
- What type of permit do I need?A professional contractor should secure any necessary permits for the work that needs to be done. A professional contractor should know about and obtain any necessary permits for your HVAC installation. This ensures that the work is done legally and up to code.
- What type of maintenance will need to be done on my system in the future?Be sure to add AC tune-ups and maintenance for your new system into your overall budget. This will save money in the future by helping you to avoid costly repairs and mishaps.
By thoroughly considering these questions, you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions about your HVAC replacement, ensuring a smooth process and a comfortable home.