What You Should Ask Your Air Conditioning ContractorPublished on: September 21, 2012
When installing or replacing an air conditioning system in your home, you want to make sure that the system will keep your household comfortably cool as efficiently as possible for as long as possible. The right contractor can increase the likelihood that those goals are met. A reputable and experienced air conditioning contractor will ensure that you make the most cost-effective AC system choice too. Asking a few key questions can help you determine is a contractor is someone that you can trust to install the best air conditioning system for you and your family.
Ask about your air conditioning contractor’s qualifications. A quality contractor will be licensed, bonded and insured. It’s important to be forthright when asking about the contractor’s technical expertise. Don’t hesitate to ask for proof of certifications and be wary of any contractor that hesitates to provide them.
Ask your air conditioning contractor to prove that your air conditioning system will be sized right. If too small, the system will not only be unable to keep your home at the desired temperature but will also be overworked, raising your energy bills and causing undue wear on the system. A too-big system doesn’t just waste your money but can make your home uncomfortably humid too. An expert contractor should determine the correct size by conducting heat gain calculations that take into consideration the size, location and configuration of your home.
Ask questions concerning your air conditioning system’s energy efficiency. Purchasing an Energy Star qualified AC system takes the guesswork out of energy efficiency. AC systems with an Energy Star label are certified to save you money over the life of the system. Energy Star systems also have an Energy Guide label that compares the system’s operational costs with non-Energy Star systems. A good contractor may suggest home improvements like adding insulation or ventilation that will increase the system’s energy efficiency, saving you money on monthly energy bills.
Ask your air conditioning contractor to inspect your central air conditioning system’s ductwork. A reputable contractor will always check ductwork to make sure that the ducts are compatible with the new system as well as to ensure there are no leaks in the ductwork. Up to 30 percent of conditioned air can be lost in systems that have leaky ductwork, so this important inspection should never be overlooked.
Ask for a detailed estimate. The quote that an air conditioning contractor gives you for an AC system installation should include a detailed description of the costs for equipment and labor. Details of the product’s guarantees and warranties should be explained in clear language.
Ask if the air conditioning contractor provides maintenance services. Annual or bi-annual check-ups and maintenance on your new system will make certain that the system continues to operate efficiently, will reduce the needs for repairs and will substantially lengthen the system’s operational life. Regular maintenance should include thorough inspections of all the system’s components, including ductwork.