A good consumer always knows what to watch out for, and which questions to ask. As one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your home, choosing the right HVAC unit is a big decision. Here are 7 questions to ask your HVAC technician before you make a purchase:
1. Can I see your qualifications?
First and foremost, you absolutely must verify the qualifications of any type of contractor. Find out about their years of experience, industry training and any formal certifications. An HVAC contractor must have a gas license and TSSA Contractor Registration number for work on gas appliances and a refrigeration license for AC work. Hiring an unqualified contractor could result in money lost through shoddy work, or even worse due to a bad installation or incorrect repair work.
2. Can I get an estimate?
Some technicians may try and fix your HVAC problem without giving you an upfront estimate of the cost of work. Ask your technician when he arrives to provide an estimate before any work is done. It’s your right to get estimates from other providers should you not be satisfied with what you hear.
3. How often should I get maintenance on my HVAC system?
Before your HVAC technician leaves, make sure you know what needs to be done to maintain your unit and keep it operating at peak efficiency, and how often you need to do it. Find out which maintenance tasks can be done on your own, and which need to be handled by a certified HVAC professional.
4. Are there new technologies that I should consider?
Technological advances move at a rapid pace in all industries, and HVAC is no exception. Ask your technician if there are new technologies that you should consider, like a ductless system or a programmable thermostat.
5. Are there more energy efficient options available?
Quality HVAC contractors should be able to recommend the most energy efficient options available, including ENERGY STAR®. While these systems might have a higher initial price, they could potentially save you money in the long run. Make sure your contractor discusses all of the options with you, and is not focused solely on price.
6. What is SEER (and other HVAC jargon)?
Sometimes it can feel as though HVAC technicians are speaking a language of their own, as there are a number of uncommon acronyms in the industry’s jargon. Make sure to ask for clarification on terms you don’t understand – like the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) – in order to make the most informed decision possible.
7. What about a warranty or protection plan?
If you’re getting your system repaired, check to see if it’s still under warranty, as some costs may still be covered. If you’re purchasing a new unit, look for service and equipment guarantees and warranties.
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