Find a Contractor Near Your Home
When installing or replacing new equipment, it's important to find a well-trained contractor near your home. While you may only need to service or install air conditioning, you should search from among competent local HVAC companies.
What is HVAC?
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. These three facets were once separate. Heating was the first of the specialties. Willis Carrier later introduced modern air conditioning in 1902. It was not until recently that standards of ventilation were introduced.
Here are the three areas and some of the specialties they include:
Heating - Furnaces, Registers, Heating oil and Natural gas
Ventilation - Duct Work, Tubing and Insulation
Air Conditioning - Compressors, Freon and Evaporation Coolers
What to Look for in a Contractor
Modern HVAC specialists undergo licensing based on knowledge and a minimum of 2-5 years of experience. They must know subjects such as:
- Electrical Wiring
- Duct Work
If your air conditioning breaks during the sweltering heat of summer, you're likely to accept the first technician to come to your door. However, if you're making upgrades or more costly installations, then it's worth your time to properly choose from among local air conditioning companies.
Safety should be one of your first priorities. Without the necessary ventilation and exhaust, there is the possibility of death or injury due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Licensed professionals must know how to work with ventilation and plumbing when dealing with systems involving heating oil or natural gas. Therefore, be sure to work with a licensed contractor and ask for their license number.
Also, look for contractors who specialize in your brand. Unlike general contractors, local HVAC contractors tend to be more experienced with certain brands of equipment. Specialization translates to safety and lower cost. Otherwise, you can end up spending too much due to the contractor's slow performance or mistakes.
Rebates and Lowering Your Cost
You can also benefit by dealing with a contractor familiar with local tax rebates. Did you know you could receive a check paying you back for installing or replacing equipment in your home? Many states, such as Florida, offer rebates for choosing energy efficient equipment and upgrades.
While you may think you can save money by purchasing cheaper models, you could end up saving much more once your rebate check clears. Some programs offer up to $1,000 back on your purchases.
Local utility companies and governments oversee these programs to reduce the amount of wasted natural resources. In essence, they want to reward you for choosing more efficient heating and cooling equipment. You'll need a contractor knowledgeable enough about systems they install and the incentives for which you can qualify. That's why it pays to find local heating and cooling companies familiar with these programs.
Making Your HVAC Decision
When you've narrowed down your choices for local air conditioning contractors and heating experts, then get estimates. Not only does having multiple estimates give you more choice, it also holds the contractor to specific completion dates. Likewise, there is less room for confusion or disagreement during the course of installation or repair.
Don't use cost alone as the determining factor. Keep in mind that work done right the first time means less cost down the road. You should also consider payment options and service contracts. If you find a contractor whose payment plans fit with your budget, then you may be able to afford a higher efficiency unit. Service contracts also lower your cost for future maintenance or repair. Remember to ask about energy efficient equipment and tax rebates.
After making your decision, you'll be left with a properly functioning heating, venting and air conditioning system. When finished, you only need to set the temperature and enjoy.