Almost without fail your furnace or air conditioner is going to die on the day you’re least ready for it to happen. It’s going to be frigid or boiling. You’ll be in the middle of taking one of the children to a practice or going to another’s doctor’s appointment. The last thing you’ll want to have happen is your heating and cooling system to break down, but it will. And you won’t know how to distinguish between one HVAC contractor from another.
It’s far more likely, however, that if you’re reading this that it’s not some future event I’m speculating about, rather that you’re in the midst of what I described above. So enough chit-chat, let’s get into those important questions you need to be asking to ensure you make the right decision in a frustrating situation.
1) Permits: If you live in the Portland metropolitan area the heating and air conditioning contractor needs to be licensed in order to perform the work. They are required to pull a permit, which will likely result in an inspection to make sure everything meets code. While this might add cost, there are reasons why this needs to happen – all of which is to protect your family and your home. Improper electrical, improper exhaust, improper drainage can lead to property damage, inefficiency in operation, and even health risks to your family. Do you know how to ensure the work meets code? If not, you need to choose a provider who’s operating under the legal requirements.
2) Load Calculation: When the comfort advisor visited your home, did he take measurements to perform a load calculation? Do you even know what that is? In essence, it’s a measurement that provides an exact sizing of your furnace or air conditioner to meet the unique demands of your home. With variables like windows, insulation, type of construction, not all homes are alike. If you’re making a sizable investment, don’t you want it to be the right size system?
3) Technician Experience: From a technical perspective, one of the more simple things a certified heating and cooling technician does is replace a system. Usually the most experienced people are doing diagnostic and repair work. Some of the bigger firms will put their least experienced techs on installs, provide 10-year parts and labor warranties as part of the price on install, knowing that if/when issues arise they can send back the experienced technicians to fix these issues. A-TEMP made the decision early on to hire only experienced techs, so you only get the best on your system’s installation. This reduces error, and increases quality on new installation. It doesn’t fully remove potential issues, but certainly reduces them.
If you follow these steps above, you’ll be making huge strides to ensure you are selecting a quality HVAC provider which will reduce the risks, the long terms costs, and making you comfortable in your own home.