Are you able to tell when a deal is too good to be true?
If it sounds like an HVAC contractor is offering you a deal that is too good to be true, chances are it is. When it comes to heating and air conditioning equipment, quality is key. And, quality sometimes means paying a little more upfront.
That’s not to say that there aren’t ways to get a good deal; just be smart about it. Here are some things you can check to make sure that a deal is as good as it seems.
Research the contractor giving you the quote. Make sure they have had positive experiences with past clients. Also, see if they have a good reputation on online review sites. In the digital age, it is harder than ever to run from a bad reputation.
NEVER get your equipment from a sketchy source. What is a sketchy source? One example would be an online auction – you can’t guarantee the quality and sustainability of the unit when you’re buying it online. Make sure you get your heating and air conditioning equipment from a licensed professional. This way you can be sure that your equipment is not damaged, is covered under warranty, and didn’t “fall off the back of the truck.”
Check for local and manufacturer rebates. Manufacturers and local utility companies often offer incentives for buying better, more efficient heating and air systems. You may think you can only afford a standard-efficiency system, but a system the next step up may be just as affordable when you factor in a rebate. Doing research is an important part of the buying process.
Don’t always go with rock-bottom pricing. It takes a lot of money to run a professional business. Quality contractors are up-to-date on all licenses and permits, put more time into their work and take continued training to ensure they know how to work with the latest HVAC technology. That’s not to say that all contractors who offer low prices are cutting corners – just be sure they know what they are doing.
Ask questions, get several different quotes and don’t skimp on the installation. Your heating and cooling equipment is an investment in your home comfort, and it is something that will affect your expenses every month. Find out more by scheduling a consultation with a contractor today.
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Are you guilty of any of these bad homeowner HVAC habits?
We want our heating and air conditioning systems to last as long as possible. To do that, we’ve got to keep a few things in mind. Here are some things that you may be doing that could affect how long (and efficiently) your heating and cooling equipment operates.
- Constantly adjusting the thermostat.
The toughest part of an air conditioner or gas furnace’s job is start up and shut down. When you are constantly adjusting the thermostat, it can lead to more frequent on and off cycles. Plus, just because your home is set at a warmer temperature during the winter, doesn’t mean your furnace is going to warm up your house any more quickly. It will just run longer – causing additional wear and tear.
- Planting too close to your equipment.
Blocked airflow is an efficiency and performance killer. Planting too close to your equipment cannot only cause blocked airflow, but the plants can grow into your condenser and affect components. This can result in a costly emergency repair.
- Closing registers and vents.
Heating and cooling equipment is designed to heat or cool a certain amount of space. When you start closing registers and vents, this alters the amount of space being heating or cooled, making your air conditioner act as if it is improperly sized. This can lead to problems like longer run times, shorter system life and a frozen evaporator coil. This also applies to furniture placement. Make sure your furniture is not blocking registers and vents.
- Using a condenser cover.
Again, this can affect airflow – decreasing system life, lengthening run times and negatively affecting comfort.
- Forgetting to change the furnace filter.
Not only can a dirty filter block airflow, it can significantly lower the quality of your indoor air. Disposable filters don’t have to be an expensive purchase, and changing a filter is relatively easy to do. Try to change your filter once-a-month, but at the very least, one time per season.
- DIY repairs, maintenance and installation.
If you think hiring a professional is expensive, just try and fix your HVAC equipment yourself. There is a reason why technicians go to school, attend additional trainings and carry licenses. HVAC systems are complicated pieces of equipment and require a skilled hand for installation, maintenance and repairs.
- Not scheduling preventative maintenance.
The worst habit of them all. It’s good to have your contractor come out and look at your air conditioner during the spring and your gas furnace during the fall. This way they can catch minor issues before they become a big problem. Your contractor will make sure that your equipment is running as efficiently as possible, saving you money during the peak season. Contractors are even making it easier with maintenance agreements – never forget to schedule an appointment again.
Have you scheduled fall preventative maintenance yet?
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How much time do you spend in front of a screen?
For years, word-of-mouth recommendations have been king when it comes to contractor recommendations. Think neighbors talking over a fence or families talking over the phone. However, the platform has changed over the past few years. Now, people are turning to the internet for their recommendations. Have you ever used the internet to hire a professional to work on your HVAC equipment?
Start your online contractor search by visiting online review sites – like Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor! Why’s that? Well, you can read reviews, see the services a company offers and compare different contractors. You can also do a simple Google search on the contractor you’re considering. This may pull up their website, other sources of reviews or their Better Business Bureau profile.
An online contractor search is a good thing! However, an online equipment search is not so great – especially if you are looking at an online auction site. There are no guarantees when it comes to the quality, warranty or legitimacy of the equipment being sold. If it seems too good to be true, changes are it is.
The same principles apply to hiring a heating and air conditioning contractor. If they are offering you an unbelievably low price – especially if they haven’t examined your home – the installation won’t be worth the initial cost savings. Heating and air conditioning contractors work in a field that requires a lot of skill and expertise. You don’t just want any “Joe Schmoe” working on your equipment. An inexperienced hand can cause major problems.
Don’t just go with the first contractor you find. Set up a consultation with several different professionals. Get in-person quotes, ask plenty of questions and make sure they are the right person for the job.
Need some help finding a contractor in your area? Start off with the Maytag HVAC contractor locator.
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Are you hiring a contractor to work on your HVAC equipment?
It’s fall preventative maintenance time! Are you looking around for a heating and cooling professional to work on your gas furnace? The most important part of any installation or service call is the very beginning – the hunt for a qualified HVAC professional. Are you doing the right things to make sure that the professional you hire is up to the job?
Here are the dos and don’ts of hiring an HVAC contractor.
- Get multiple bids if you are having new equipment installed.
- Ask them about their certifications and licenses.
- Ask if they’ve ever worked on your brand of HVAC equipment.
- Check online review sites to make sure they have a positive reputation with past clients.
- Ask your friends and neighbors whether they have used the contractor in the past
- Check to make sure they are professional when they arrive at your home.
- Ask tons of questions about the work being done to your equipment.
- Ask about your warranty if you are having new equipment installed – is it your responsibility to registers, or will your contractor do it for you?
- Review their Better Business Bureau listing.
- Go with the first contractor you find simply because they are the first contractor you found.
- Go with the lowest bidder unless you are certain they have a reputation for doing quality work.
- Assume they know what you expect out of a new HVAC system. Make your expectations clear.
- Forgo a contractor all together and fix your equipment by yourself.
- Forget to ask about a maintenance agreement.
Have you scheduled your fall preventive maintenance appointment yet?