The process of getting an HVAC system estimate should include getting answers to some pertinent questions. The average life of a new central air conditioner is roughly 12 to 15 years and new gas-fired furnaces can last up to 20 years. Therefore, it’s important to get certain issues straight before a new system installation. To make sure you receive the performance, efficiency and reliability you’re paying for, here are four questions to ask during an HVAC system estimate:

1. Has a formal load calculation been done?

A load calculation is a critical part of an HVAC system estimate. This survey gathers thermal data about the house which is entered into software to select the right unit with optimum BTU capacity. Guesstimates aren’t good enough: Installing an over-sized or under-sized unit results in poor performance, higher operating expenses and shorter expected service life.

2. What are the terms of warranty coverage?

You’ll want to know how long the warranty lasts and exactly what it covers. It’s a particularly good thing to find out now if certain very expensive components such as the A/C compressor or furnace heat exchanger are fully covered. Also, find out whether or not the terms of the warranty require annual preventive maintenance by a qualified HVAC contractor to keep the warranty valid.

3. Who will install the system?

HVAC installation is a job for professional technicians with the training and specialized equipment to install that specific type of unit. General carpenters, local handymen and others who lack those qualifications are not appropriate. A “bargain” job by unskilled installers can build-in poor performance and low energy efficiency that will persist as long as the unit is installed in the house.

4. Are there additional issues to consider?

Other X-factors such as status quo of the ductwork may need to be resolved and included in the total estimate. Find out now if ducts need to be inspected and tested and whether duct sealing will be required for optimum system efficiency and performance. Older ductwork that is damaged beyond repair will need to be replaced.

Need an estimate to replace your old system? Contact Jackson & Sons, serving Eastern NC with excellent customer service since 1974.

Jackson & Sons, Inc.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Eastern North Carolina (including Wayne, Johnston, Greene, Lenoir, Pitt and Duplin Counties) about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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