Testing Your HVAC Contractor

November, 2013 by

Your heating and cooling system plays an important role in your overall comfort level within the home. For this reason, you must take care when choosing an HVAC contractor to install a new system or one to maintain and repair the system you currently have. Don’t hesitate to ask friends and family for references and do some research into various contractors. Before you actually hire a contractor though, you want to ask them a number of questions to ensure they will be of assistance in the installation, maintenance and repair of your heating and cooling system. Discuss the following items with each contractor you are considering hiring before you make your final decision.

1.    How did you determine the amount of heating and cooling power needed for my home? The contractor should be able to explain how the determine the load calculation and what size equipment will be needed for your home. This is of great importance as a system which is too small or too large won’t efficiently heat and/or cool the home.

2.    How many zones will my home need? In certain homes, additional thermostats may be needed to properly heat and cool the home and keep all occupants comfortable. The contractor should explain the various options to ensure the whole house is comfortable.

3.    Will the equipment used be Energy-Star qualified? This designation means that the air conditioning or heating unit meets minimum performance and efficiency standards as outlined by Energy Star. Over time, choosing a product that meets these standards will save you money in the long term.

4.    What did you find while doing as assessment of my current system? The contractor should be able to tell you if any repairs need to be made to the ductwork to ensure they can handle the airflow adequately. In addition, they should check new refrigerant lines on the air conditioner as failing lines can lead to environmental hazards.

Never hire a contractor without obtaining a second opinion to ensure you are being given the correct information. Many recommend you have a minimum of three contractors come out and check the system to see if they are in agreement as to what needs to be done. When you do choose an HVAC contractor, demand everything be putting in writing for your own protection.