Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning systems (HVAC systems in short) are designed to last for 15 – 20 years. If your system is older than this then you should get its condition assessed. Although replacing an HVAC system may turn out to be expensive, still the new systems that replace the older ones operate more efficiently so we can make up the money that we spend for replacing them within a few years.
Most HVAC system contractors specialize in installing the systems of a particular brand, so you won’t find a company that can install almost any brand. However, before you worry about the equipment, it’s important to find a reputable, reliable and knowledgeable contractor in your area. You can start your search by asking to neighbors, friends and relatives. If you hear some good company names, you can invite a representative from those companies to your house for checking out your requirements. Here’re some tips for doing that:
1. First of all invite at least two contractors who have experience of designing and installing systems from two brands at least. Any contractors you consider should also provide the following services:
- Heat-Loss Calculation: This process estimates the BTU capacity required to change the temperature of your home.
- Energy advice: In this process contractors suggest energy upgrades for better functioning of new HVAC system. For example, addition of another layer of insulation to attic.
- Automatic controls: A programmable thermostat should also be provided that allows you to control the HVAC system with a timer.
- Payback calculations: Genuine contractors provide an estimate of seasonal operating costs for various units that they design and install.
2. Secondly, remember that sizing and fitting an HVAC unit according to the size of room and existing ducting requires skills and expertise. Poorly designed units fail in providing consistent temperature around the house, consume more energy and sometimes even lead to the dangerous situation of backdrafting in which system blows flue gasses back into the house. So your considered contractors should also have good feedback from previous installations.
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