HVAC systems are not cheap, so it’s important to do your homework before investing in a new system. It’s often very difficult to think clearly when you’re sweating in your own home with AC, but 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. Allow yourself the liberty of making an informed decision, and consider these tips before buying.
1. Are you using a licensed HVAC contractor?
If you don’t already know, ask. Do a license check with the Texas Dept of License and Reg. Your comfort and safety are not worth the risk of using an unlicensed contractor. Additionally, ask to see if they will be registering for a city permit to have an inspection done after installation. Yes, an inspection can be a hassle, but it’s worth it.
2. How efficient is the unit really? Get the actual EER and SEER Ratings
Energy efficiency is contingent on many factors, including quality installation, equipment match up and size (tonnage). Much like a car’s MPG, HVAC system efficiency is measured in SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) and/or EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio). EER is the best of the two ratings for determining true efficiency, but SEER is more commonly shown.
To find the exact efficiency of your particular unit, find the AHRI number. AHRI is a globally recognized certification group, and certificates of efficiency for HVAC units are available on the website. Ask your technician for the AHRI number of the equipment.
True AHRI efficiency ratings can only be found for complete systems, but hypothetical ratings can be given when installing cooling components only (coil and condenser). 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 affects cooling efficiencies.
3. Compare Warranty Specs
What kind of warranty is offered on labor from the company? One year is common, but get all of the details before committing to anything. 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, so think about the future. Will you want to continue calling your AC company for future HVAC services? Are they honest and professional? What is the likelihood that they will be back promptly to help you when it’s 105 degrees outside and your AC is broken down?
Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.