Replacing your AC unit? 4 tips before you buy.
Do your Homework. HVAC systems are not cheap so spend the time think. It is often very difficult to think clearly when you're sweating in your own home. Don't freak out. Take a deep breath and let yourself think. Even if it means putting off replacing your equipment a day or two. Go to work, the mall, the other side of your house(if you have two systems), stay at a hotel, with friends or family(as long as you like them). Allow yourself the liberty of making an informed decision. That being said think about this non exhaustive list of items to consider when buying.
1. Are you using a Licensed HVAC contractor? Ask. Do a license check with Texas Dept of License and Reg. Your comfort and safety is not worth the risk. Ask to see if they will be registering for a city permit to have an inspection done after installation. Yes, inspection can be a hassle but believe me it's worth it.
2. How Efficient is the Unit really? Get the actual 'EER' and 'SEER'- Energy Efficiency is contingent on many factors including quality installation, equipment match up, and size (tonnage). Much like MPG (Miles Per Gallon) your HVAC 'engine' is measured in SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) and/or EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio). EER is the best of the two ratings but SEER is more commonly shown and known.
To find the exact efficiency of your particular unit get the AHRI number. AHRI is a globally recognized certification group. Ask your technician for the AHRI number of the equipment they are providing. From confirmation you can go to AHRI's website . Certificates of efficiency are also available. True AHRI efficiency ratings can only be found for complete systems. Hypothetical ratings can be given when installing cooling components only (coil and condenser). However to know the true AHRI rating they measure with all three HVAC system components (furnace, coil, condenser) or two components in an electrical setting (air handler and condenser/HP). The furnace, though it provides heat in the winter also effects cooling efficiencies.
3. Compare Warranty Specs - What kind of warranty is offered on labor from the company? 1 year is common. Will you be responsible for registration? Manufacturer's websites typically have all this information available.
4. Do you like the company? - No one likes their AC system to break but it does happen. Think down the road. Will you want to continue working with them in the future. Are they honest and professional? What is the likelihood that they will be back promptly to help you when its 105 degrees outside and your spouse/newborn are screaming/crying? Trust me it happens