Your Heating and Air Conditioning System is Vital
Your heating and air conditioning system is one of the most vital components in your home. We live in Texas…let’s face it…without your ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system you will be boiling half the year. Without your heating system, you will be caught off guard when those rapidly moving cold fronts hit San Antonio.
Your family’s comfort level depends on an HVAC system that is operating at its peak efficiency. There are few items to remember about your HVAC system:
- Your HVAC system is the difference between being able to live in your home during fluctuating seasons and not. If your AC goes out in the middle of July for a couple of days, you are in trouble.
- Your HVAC system has a direct effect on your budget. We all have one bill that comes in each month that fluctuates month to month and is basically unknown…our utility bill. Your HVAC system’s efficiency and power usage directly impact your cash flow. The more your system works to keep the comfort level of your home steady, the more you pay.
- Other key remodeling projects revolve around the HVAC system. Think about it…you may have a serious need for new windows, but you need to make sure your HVAC system is also evaluated. Changing windows is just one part of creating an energy envelope around your home. Your siding and radiant barrier also interacts with the HVAC system. Your comfort level is the work of multiple home systems working together.
Getting Ready to Choose an HVAC Contractor
Before you hire an HVAC contractor, experts recommend the following:
- References. Ask whom they have helped before. Anyone else in your neighborhood use their services? Can you call any of their previous customers to verify their service levels? Any company not prepared with references is a company you need to pass on.
- Licensing. Ask for proper licensing and ensure you are dealing with a certified and licensed pro. At InHomeVest, we have done that work for you. Our contractors are licensed, Better Business Bureau professionals.
- Experience. Look for a contractor with at least ten years of experience in the business,
- Equipment certifications. At a minimum, your contractor should be certified by the manufacturer to service and install the products they are offering. Ask for proof and expect them to know the products they are working on.
- Warranties or Guarantees. Make sure to hire a company that stands behind its work in writing and offers follow up service packages.
Don’t forget to ask these questions before making a hiring decision:
- Is the company bonded and insured? Liability insurance protects consumers in case workers injure themselves on the job. A bond serves as insurance to protect the customer if the company doesn’t finish its work properly.
- Ask for estimates from at least two different companies, and make sure the bids include prices for the same work. If you are going to compare prices, use the same equipment and model numbers whenever possible.
- Does the heating equipment you’re installing qualify for tax credits or rebates? Ask your HVAC contractor for available incentives, and if you qualify, properly document the work to meet the requirements.
Financing HVAC Repairs or Installations
Oftentimes, HVAC repairs or installations are unexpected and simply a matter of bad timing. The costs can be extensive and unfortunately, its just one of those items that we need to live in our homes.
The up side of HVAC is the availability of financing through contractors. At InHomeVest, we only work with those contractors with legitimate and professional financing partnerships. A few questions to ask include:
- How long have you provided financing through this lender?
- Will my personal information be kept safe?
- What are the rates and terms, specifically? Ask for loan documentation and lender contacts wherever possible.
The most important part of any financing arrangement is to receive ALL terms in writing before you sign anything. It is also highly recommended that if you have an existing relationship with your own banking institution that you try them first. The best rates and terms are given to members and customers of current bank clients!