It stands to reason that whenever you’re buying a big-ticket item, you shop around. An air conditioner or a furnace is no exception. If you don’t have an air conditioning company that you are comfortable with then it’s a good idea to get at least three quotes. But once you’ve gotten those quotes, which one do you choose? It might be tempting to just go with the cheapest quote, but hold up. There are many factors to consider.
Choosing the right contractor is just as important as choosing the right system. Get answers to the following questions:
- Does the contractor carry the proper insurance.
- Does he carry a well-known line or lines of equipment?
- How long has he been in business?
- Is he willing to provide references?
- Have any of your colleagues, neighbors, friends or family members worked with this contractor and been satisfied with the quality of his work?
- Has he thoroughly evaluated your home and explained the equipment he’s recommending?
Beware the contractor who seems to be pushing the cheapest system just to nail the sale. A qualified contractor will go over high-efficiency options, which tend to more expensive upfront but can save you money over the long term.
The Equipment and Installation
Discuss the methods each prospective contractor uses to size your new system. Will he do a heating and cooling load calculation using the industry-standard Manual J and Manual D methods? Or does he go by a rule-of thumb calculation, based on your home’s square footage. Stay away from the latter. What kind of warranty does the recommended system carry? More efficient systems have higher ratings. In the case of an air conditioner, high-efficiency systems have seasonal energy efficiency ratios in the high teens.
Finally, look at factors like support and the level of service each prospective contractor provides. Does he offer emergency service, for example? Does he offer regular maintenance? How cordial and helpful is the person answering the phone?
At Mathews CCAC in Corpus Christi, we take great pride in both the systems and the service we provide. If you’re thinking about a replacement air conditioner or furnace, give us a call. We will be happy to supply you with a quote based on a thorough evaluation of your needs.