It’s not every day you need to consider a new Air Conditioner installation in Reno.
You don’t feel alone if you’re unsure about what to ask. It’s not often that you and most other homeowners need to replace an HVAC system or central air conditioner.
As you start to interview local HVAC contractors, ask these questions that will help you understand the selection and replacement process.
Do you provide phone quotes?
A reputable HVAC contractor will not give you a quote over the phone for something as extensive as a new central air conditioner installation.
Purchasing a new ac unit is one of the more complicated purchases you’ll face as a homeowner. The contractor should always schedule a visit to your home before suggesting systems, their sizes, and the cost.
Are you licensed and insured In Reno, Nevada?
In Nevada, all HVAC contractors and technicians have to have an active license. The contractor has to carry liability insurance and bonding to protect the customers from accidents or unforeseen problems. You can look up a contractor on the Nevada Contractors Board website to verify that the license is active and the financial protections are in place.
When the contractor visits your home, he or she will start by conducting a load calculation to find the best size air conditioner for your home. The HVAC industry uses software called Manual J to calculate HVAC sizing. It involves assessing how energy efficient your home is, your lifestyle factors and personal cooling preferences. It takes into account:
• Insulation levels throughout.
• Size, number, position, and quality of the windows.
• Amount of air infiltration.
• Floorplan design.
• Family size and ages.
• Preferred indoor temperatures.
• The number of heat-producing appliances indoors.
• Landscape and shade
This analysis is detailed, and it may take a while for the contractor to complete. However, it’s an essential step. Choosing an air conditioner that’s the wrong size results in compromised comfort, high energy bills, and premature system breakdowns.
A system that’s too large will drive up energy bills quickly because it won’t run in cycles long enough to reach its optimal running speed when it’s most efficient. Under normal conditions, it should run at least 10 minutes at a time. It also won’t be able to remove as much humidity when it runs in short cycles.
It’s a myth that larget cooling systems are always better. Central air conditioners use the most electricity when they first start. The power surge that flows through the components causes the most wear. A system that never has a chance to reach its optimal running speed experiences more stress and increases your electric bills. It’s better to err on the smaller size when choosing a new system, especially a central air conditioner.
Will you use the same ductwork?
The condition of your ductwork and its size and configuration will determine whether or not the contractor can work with the existing ductwork or need to replace it. Often times, we will suggest a duct cleaning.
But, older leaking ductwork should be replaced to maximize energy efficiency, and the proper fit for the system will guarantee quiet and efficient operation.
Do you offer high-efficiency systems?
In spite of its high elevation, the sun in Reno creates a good deal of heat. A more efficient air conditioner will keep your electric bills lower. Ask the Reno Air Conditioner Installation Company if they offer high efficiency, Energy Star systems
You’ll save money on your monthly electric bill and may qualify for government- or utility-sponsored incentives, like tax credits or refunds.
The HVAC professional can show you how much money you can save by installing a more efficient system from the start. As a rule, more efficient air conditioners use higher quality components, so not only does your monthly cooling bill go down, you’ll probably have lower maintenance costs, as well.
How About the Warranty?
All cooling equipment manufacturers provide warranties for their systems that range from a few years to a decade. Given the cost of parts and repairs, it’s worth considering the provisions of the warranty before you finalize your selection decision. The contractor should provide at least a one year warranty on their installation.
Ask the contractor what the manufacturer requires to keep the warranty active. You may have to keep receipts for air filters or schedule professional service at least once a year. It’s important to meet the requirements so that the warranty will protect you in the unlikely event you have a premature system problem.
Does your Reno AC Installation Company offer financing options?
The need for an AC unit may not come at a convenient time financially. Ask the contractor if they have financing available or any special incentives being offered that will help you offset the air conditioner replacement cost