Replacing an air conditioner is never an easy or enjoyable process. But it’s an essential one here in Phoenix – where cold air is a hot commodity. Despite the dread involved, every property owner eventually faces the need for a new cooling system. While the overall cost is naturally nerve wracking, deciding which HVAC installers to hire can be just as stressful.
Depending on who you talk to or where you look, your options could be endless. Knowing how to determine who’s competent enough to manage the task can be tough if you’re making your decision based on price. So we thought we’d give you some questions to ask prospective HVAC installers before hiring them.
How to Find the Right Installation Tech in AZ.
At the end of the day, air conditioning systems are not cheap. Taking shortcuts or trying to shave off a few dollars here or there can easily cost you more money over time. For example, a poorly done installation may save you $750 on the front end, but cost you $25 more every month in energy expenses.
Since HVAC systems normally last 10-15 years in Arizona, this could turn out to be a $300 per year mistake ($3000 total if the unit lasts a decade). While this isn’t always the case, making sure your HVAC installers know what they’re doing is never a bad idea. So here’s what you can ask before hiring them:
1. Are You Licensed to Install AC Systems?
In some parts of the country, installation techs aren’t required to hold state issued licenses or certifications. In Arizona, the service is pretty well regulated – but it doesn’t mean there aren’t contractors out there that work around regulations. No matter how trustworthy they may appear, hiring these types of contractors is extremely risky.
If a company or contractor tells you they hold these types of titles, then it’s important that they’re able to prove it to you. If faulty work were to occur, then the responsibility will be yours. Even worse, you won’t be able to claim any compensation.
2. Is Your HVAC Company Insured?
Even when licensing isn’t a big deal to you, you should always find out if the HVAC installers are insured – for similar reasons. An insured Phoenix company provides you with security against any liability. In other words, if damage were to occur to your home or property during the installation, the responsibility will not be yours.
3. Do You Offer a Warranty for the Install?
Despite a successful installation, issues can still arise down the road. Remember, a well-performing HVAC system should last 10-15 years in Arizona. Any future repair or replacement will be your responsibility when a warranty is declined.
For those of you that take advantage of this added protection, make sure you know how long the warranty lasts and what it covers. Looking over the fine print and questioning anything you don’t understand is absolutely crucial. For example, some force you to invest in regular maintenance in order to reap the benefits.
3. Can You Tell Me About Your HVAC Installers?
When it comes to installing a new HVAC system, many Phoenix homeowners make their decision based on price. But the people that enter your home or business should always be considered.
While the contractor you meet with may be able to show his or her credentials, it’s important to find out who will actually be executing the job. If they’re hesitant to expand on their crew or allow you to meet them beforehand then it might be a company you’d like to avoid.
4. When Will the Job to be Completed?
Although it’s nearly impossible for HVAC installers to forecast any and every potential setback, they should be able to give you a solid completion date. Questioning this or pressing them to make some sort of guarantee will help you know whether or not they’re confident in their ability to overcome any type of obstacle and get the job done.
Either way, they should be able to present you with a number of variables and contingency plans that should align with some sort of ending point. Avoiding this question can lead to unexpected costs and conflicts that prolong the installation.
5. What’s the Average Cost of an Install?
Aside from completion expectancy, you’re going to want to have a good idea of what the total cost will be – before you decide to purchase and install a new system. Since certain variables can alter the overall expense, a professional should be able to include all possibilities in their bid.
If HVAC installers are unable to give you a solid number then shopping around is a good idea.
6. Can You Explain Why a Repair isn’t Worth it?
One of the best ways to tell if an HVAC technician has your best interest in mind is to have them explain why a replacement is necessary. Since it costs a pretty penny to hire HVAC installers, they should be able to educate you on future costs and overall efficiency. While it may seem tedious, a detailed response will give you confidence in their capabilities.
7. Will a New HVAC System Lower Energy Costs?
HVAC equipment is expensive to operate and maintain. At the same time, there are ways to increase the efficiency of a system and lower monthly utility bills for the lifetime of the unit. While the cost of certain HVAC installers may be appealing, if they’re unable to teach you how to save money over time, is it really worth hiring them?
No matter the quality of the system, drafts, leaks, poor ventilation and cheap parts will hinder performance – and detract from your comfort. Working with a professional that takes the time to assess your home and make recommendations will go a long way.
8. What Brands Perform Best in Arizona?
Since there are a multitude of HVAC manufacturers on the market, knowing which ones cater to the Phoenix climate best is invaluable. HVAC installers with experience will be able to give you an informed opinion because they’ve more than likely installed and used a majority of the systems available.
9. What HVAC Systems Do You Suggest? Why?
At the end of the day, it’s the job of an HVAC professional to know the pros and cons of each brand – but they should also be able to explain which suits your living environment best. For example, single units are usually enough to cool small houses, but a central system may be more efficient and cost effective.
Even though it may cost more upfront, it could benefit you in the long term. Some HVAC installers only work with certain models because their knowledge is limited or they make more money. So if a recommendation has nothing to do with the requirements of your property, or their knowledge is limited, then it could be a bad deal.
10. Will Someone Follow up on the Install?
Most HVAC installers will stop by within 30 days of a completed replacement to see if the system is functioning properly. But just because it’s common doesn’t mean it should be expected. Follow up service may come with a fee. So it’s important to ask a prospective company if it’s something they offer before you hire them for the job.
11. Any Rebates or Incentives Available?
In Phoenix, any HVAC installation company should be well aware of the discounts available. Even when the manufacturer’s rebates or incentives are minimal, the purchase of higher efficiency equipment is often rewarded by power companies and local governments.
Aside from our competitive prices and top-of-the-line service, many of our customers find that their replacement ends up paying for itself over time – thanks to the warranties, rebates and energy savings we supply them with. So be sure to ask your HVAC installers about any discount programs before getting started.
12. What Are Your Financing Options?
Due to advancements in personal lending, buying a new HVAC system doesn’t have to be monetarily draining. At the same time, payment plans can be deceptive. So before you agree to any type of financing, make sure you question the terms and what your payback options entail.
Asking how past customers have fared or looking into similar purchase decisions can provide a lot of answers. If interest rates are high or certain penalties can create further financial problems, it might be best to hire HVAC installers with improved financing options – even if the overall replacement cost is a little higher.
13. How Can I Maintain My New HVAC System?
Last but not least, asking how you can extend the life of your system, maintain peak performance and avoid future repairs should all be questions you ask HVAC installers before hiring them. Since every system has different maintenance requirements, your technician should be able to explain the specifics of procedures and future routines.
By the time you’re ready to begin installation, you should want to know:
- When to clean or replace your air filters.
- How often service should be done.
- How many times per year the system needs to be inspected.
Any quality company will be more interested in your experience and comfort than their ability to charge future service fees.
The Bottom Line of an HVAC Install.
At Canyon State, our only focus is to supply you with a high-performing, efficient heating and cooling system. No matter who you hire, buying and installing a new air conditioner or heater is a stressful process. It’s never as easy as most people think. This is why we believe it’s always worth it to hire HVAC installers that care about you.
Whether you live here in the Phoenix area or other parts of the country, we hope this list of 13 questions helps you find the right company so you can enjoy a smooth installation. If you happen to have any further questions, we’re only a phone call away.