When shopping for a new heating or cooling system, homeowners do a lot of research on the equipment itself. Potential buyers investigate energy efficiency ratings and advanced features. However one critical element many overlook is that the HVAC installer you choose is just as important as the system itself! It doesn’t matter how many bells and whistles your new air onditioner or furnace comes with – if you hire a bad installer, those features won’t do you much good at all.
As you shop for new HVAC equipment, remember – shop for an HVAC installer as well. The one you choose will have a great impact on the heating or cooling system you purchase, as without quality installation, your new HVAC system will not do the job you expect of it.
Importance Of A Quality HVAC Installer
The performance and efficiency of any new system you purchase is pretty much in the installer’s hands. HVAC installers should always follow manufacturer instructions and industry best ractices when installing new heating and cooling equipment. When installation isn’t up to these standards, many problems can result.
Bad HVAC installation inhibits efficiency. The efficiency ratings you reviewed when making your purchase decision are dependent on proper installation. Improper installation may cause your new unit to consume excess energy, raising your utility bills – all that money you invested in a high-efficiency unit won’t produce the benefits you expected.
Bad HVAC installation hinders performance. Your new heating or cooling unit may be prevented from delivering the hot or chilled air you expect. Installation issues which hinder performance place added stress on the system, as it struggles to do the job you’ve called for. Your home won’t be as comfortable as you’d prefer, which may trigger you to run additional systems or adjust thermostats, therefore spending more and more unnecessary energy.
Bad HVAC installation shortens system life. An improper install may force the system to perform under less-than-ideal conditions, stressing components to the point of breakdown. Over time, this added stress, generated by the initial bad installation, may lead the system to permanently break down well before you expect. This will leave you with unexpected replacement costs and a possible panic situation, should the system die suddenly.
Here’s what you should ask every HVAC technician before hiring them to work on your system:
“Are You Licensed And Insured?”
The state of Nevada requires HVAC technicians to be licensed. If they’re not, you probably shouldn’t hire them to work on your system. Make sure to ask your technician if they are licensed, and grab the license number from them — you can then look it up through your state contractor licensing board.
Additionally, it’s good to make sure they’re insured, just in case something goes wrong while they’re working in your home. Ask if their company has both worker’s compensation and liability insurance, just in case.
“How Much Experience Do You Have In The Industry?”
Have they been working in the HVAC industry for a long time? Are they relatively new? Knowing how much experience an HVAC technician has can help you feel more comfortable about hiring them.
In addition, consider asking how they learned their skills.
“Can You Provide References From Past Customers?”
Almost every HVAC technician will give you a written estimate explaining what work will be done and how much it will cost. However, it’s important to get references, too.
Talking to past customers can give you a good idea of how the technician works. If they can’t or won’t provide references or reports from other customers, that’s a bad sign and you should most likely hire a different technician.
“How Do Refunds, Warranties, And Guarantees Work?”
Your current system may be under warranty, and a good HVAC technician will follow the terms of the warranty. Or, you may be past warranty, in which case they should give you a new guarantee in writing.
It’s also good to ask about how refunds work. Make sure that you are hiring a reputable company that installs the equipment properly and fully discloses their policy. In most cases you can’t get your money back should the repair not last, however a reputable company will work with you to find a solution.
In addition, energy and cost efficiency are also important to many homeowners. If it’s something important to you and you want to know more, or if you feel your system isn’t working as efficiently as it should, bring it up with the technician to find out their recommendations.