Choose Right Guide
Part 1.) Some questions to ask yourself:
☼ Are there any areas that get too warm or too cold? – Warm and/or cold spots can be contributed to several factors. Some related to the system and some related to the installation. Make your contractor aware of the problem so the problem can be address.
☼ Does anyone in your home suffer from asthma or airborne ? – One that really works provides better than Hepa filtration without adding stress to your system.
☼ Does your home get too dry certain times of the year? – This problem can be alleviated with your new comfort system by adding a humidifier.
☼ Is the outdoor unit accessible to children or pets? – If the answer to this question is yes you will want to ensure that the construction of the outdoor unit does not pose any hazards to your children or pets.
☼ Is the existing system noisy? – Do you notice yourself turning up the TV volume when the furnace or air-conditioners come on? Ever catch yourself yelling to each other on the back porch when the A/C is running. You don’t have to put up with that. This problem is easily correct with the right system.
☼ What repairs have been done on the system? – How much money have you spent on repair bills? Maybe an extended parts and labor warranty would be a benefit. Did you have an annual Tune-up on your old system? You might consider a maintenance plan for the new one.
☼ Are you concerned about future energy costs? – There are many efficiency levels and combinations of systems. If rising energy costs are a concern to you then paying a known amount more for higher efficiency now and saving on the unknown cost of energy in the future should be taken into consideration.
☼ Have you had any experience with contractors in your home? – Have you had any sort of contractor work on your home in the past? What did and didn’t you like about them.
Part 2.) Some questions to ask the contractor:
☼ Ask about licensing – There are at least 3 testing jurisdictions in the metro area. Each of these jurisdictions requires the contractor to pass a test relevant to the services the contractor will be providing. These tests include knowledge of building and safety codes applicable in the jurisdiction. After passing the test the building departments provide some type “license” to the contractor that should be presented to you upon request. One simple way of determining that your contractor is licensed is to insure that he will be getting a
permit for your installation. Building departments will not issue permits to contractors that are not licensed in their jurisdiction.
☼ Ask about insurance – You can request a Certificate of Liability Insurance from your contractor. In addition, although each building department jurisdiction has different requirements for contractor licensing, one more common requirement is proof of insurance. Again, one of the easiest ways to make sure your contractor is insured is to make sure your contractor will be getting a permit to perform the installation.
☼ Ask for certified professionals – The heating and cooling industry is one that does not have state or federal licensing requirements at this time. To help insure that the consumer is able to hire knowledgeable, quality contractors an independent, non-profit, national organization supported by a broad-based coalition of industry leaders has organized a testing and certification program.
This program in referred to as NATE (North American Technician Excellence). Consider hiring a NATE certified contractor. To find a contractor in your area or find out if your contractor is NATE certified visit http://www.natex.org/consumer_locator.htm
☼ Ask about EPA refrigerant certification – The refrigerant in your air- conditioning can be harmful to our environment therefore the EPA has strict rules and regulations for it’s handling. Every contractor that handles refrigerant is federally required to be certified and should be able to present a proof of certification card.
☼ Ask about proper equipment sizing – As part of the estimate your contractor should perform what’s called a “load calculation” on your home. This calculates the amount of heat that will be lost or gained based on the amount of external walls, windows, ceilings, insulation, condition, and amount of current ductwork. With this information the contractor will be able to select properly sized equipment to meet the specific needs of your home.
☼ Ask about proper equipment type – There’s more to proper equipment than size alone. In addition to the load calculation your contractor should spend time with you finding out what your comfort goals are. Information that should be obtained from you should include if there are currently any hot and/or cold spots, what level of concern you have about allergies, safety, ongoing energy costs, repair costs. There are hundreds of different equipment choices, all of this information is required to insure the system that you select will fit your needs, wants and budget.
☼ Ask people you trust – Checking references doesn’t have to mean contacting people you don’t know. If your not comfortable calling complete strangers, ask your friends, family, and other people you know and trust if there is any one they would recommend. Visit an online recommendation service such as www.bestcontractors.com and review the ratings.
☼ Ask about Warranties – Not only the equipment manufacturers warranty but also the contractor provided service warranty. Many manufacturers offer extended warranties that extend the basic equipment and include service.
☼ Ask if the information will be in writing – The contractor should provide you with a written estimate with detailed information. Once you have selected a contractor and system that contractor should provide you with a written proposal for your acceptance.
At Comfort Guy Inc. we will always perform a comfort analysis on your home prior to installation of a comfort system. Part of that analysis will include asking you the questions in the first part of this guide. At that time please feel free to ask us the questions in the second part of this guide. We are committed to providing you with the best comfort system for you at the best value for you.