Installing a furnace is no basic task. There are multiple parts involved, including evaporator and condenser coils, air filters, motor blades, and belts. And since you are unhooking and hooking up electrical wiring, improper handling can also raise a safety concern. It’s best to get professional help from an HVAC contractor. But how do you vet each prospective company and make the final decision? Here are seven questions to help you.
Years of experience is perhaps the most reliable determinant of competence and trustworthiness in a service provider. The more time they’ve been operational, the more furnace installations they’ve likely been hired to do. You can check out how long a company has been operational by going to their website in the “About Us” section.
While HVAC technicians do not have to go through traditional schooling, they are required to take certain training programs and licensing exams to start working in the industry. The certifications that an HVAC technician carries under his or her belt can be a good metric of their skill set, expertise, and proficiency. Some common HVAC certifications that are carried by contractors include NATE, EPA, and R-410A. Some companies may also specialize in a particular brand or type of furnace.
If an HVAC technician is not insured and their work causes personal injury or property damage, much if not all of the cost falls on your lap. Make sure your HVAC technician is covered by, at the very least, a general liability insurance policy. This type of insurance covers injuries sustained at the worksite, property damage, and problems that might emerge from improper HVAC installation.
Warranty on your furnace ensures that any manufacturing defects that are later diagnosed can be resolved with a furnace replacement at no cost to the homeowner. If a defective component causes the furnace to perform poorly, the manufacturer may simply send out a replacement part free of charge. Basic Warranty coverage, however, can expire after only a short period. Ask your HVAC company if they offer the option to extend your warranty coverage and, if so, how much it costs. Once you get the furnace installed, make sure to register your furnace warranty online.
Before you choose any service provider or agree to get any work done, make sure you and the HVAC company sign a written agreement. Are they able to offer guaranteed service for the pre-agreed upon price? If any new issues or needs arise, such as ductwork cleaning, your contractor should still be able to guarantee and render the work.
Once you have a furnace installed, you’ll need to routinely have it inspected and cleaned by your HVAC company. Ask your prospective contractor if they offer preventive maintenance agreements and, if so, what to expect from it. How much does preventive maintenance cost and what’s included with the appointment? Some basic tasks to look for include inspecting the vent and air intake systems for blockage, checking the heat exchanger for signs of damage, re-lubricating the moving mechanical parts, and recalibrating the fan motor belt if necessary.
When searching for a new furnace installation ottawa company or wherever you may live, you may want to research what HVAC brands and models they provide. If your HVAC company only carries one furnace type and brand, then you have no option but to have that one furnace brand and model installed even though it may not necessarily be the best type of furnace for you. When deciding which furnace brand and model to install, a helpful metric to know is the SEER rating. SEER stands for “seasonal energy efficiency ratio” and determines the heating efficiency of the unit. While there is no magic SEER rating, anything over 13 is considered a high-efficiency furnace.
Armed with this checklist, you can easily sift through the options available and find the best possible contractor for the job.