So, you’ve already decided on getting a replacement for your air conditioning. Congratulations! Replacing such an important system in your home entails a lot of deliberation, thinking, and planning, time, and money-wise. AC replacement definitely won’t cost nickles and dimes only, so you’d need to be keen on your budget considerations. And this is true not just with the cost of the system itself, because for sure, you would also need to hire an AC installation specialist.
to help you with the mechanical aspect of replacing the system, such as disposing of the old one and installing the new unit. And hiring these technicians also won’t come cheap.
Thus, you would need to develop an eye on the particulars of this AC replacement project. Just letting the pros do it and not being particular about these things may set you back hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Don’t let your hard-earned money go down the drain. You can easily avoid going over budget if you just keep your attention on particular details.
Get things in writing.
Have price quotations for both parts and labor in writing to avoid any miscommunication. A good number of HVAC contractors, after your first visit with them, will provide you with an estimate on how much your replacement project will cost. To make things specific, it would be best for you to ask them for their quote in writing. It would be such a hassle if you remember being quoted a price for A, B, and C, and at the end of the project only get B and C because A would cost you extra. You wouldn’t want to be embroiled in a “he said, she said” situation, and this would be easily avoided if you have price quotations and estimates on paper.
Poorly written price quotes often contain very few exact details that you can expect from the contractor and equipment being installed. Getting a detailed quote is one of the many signs that you’re talking to a pro that we list in the guide to hiring an HVAC contractor.
Work your way from having everything.
If you are in the stage of asking for prices for all parts and services to be rendered, it is advisable to work on having everything included in the price quotation first. Then, start eliminating unnecessary things one by one. This is so that you won’t end up getting a reasonable price but only because you have forgotten to factor in something that you actually require in the future. For example, you may be forgetting to include the cost of warranties, or preventive maintenance visits, or HVAC cleaning services on a regular schedule. That way, you won’t have to deal with any surprise charges or as mentioned earlier, important things that you forgot to factor in.
Once you have received multiple quotes, it’s important to carefully consider each. Your HVAC contractor’s quote should be transparent, detailed, and even lengthy—depending on what it will take to replace or repair your HVAC unit. Every detail of the project should be noted, including the cost of materials, start and finish dates, and hourly rate. Your quote should also include factors like disposal of old systems, if applicable, or perhaps permits. Labor should also be included in your quote.
Try to consider energy-efficient systems.
As expected, systems with energy-efficient components will always be more expensive compared to “regular” models. In most cases, the price difference is huge that it will initially make you want to settle for those regular models. Of course, your savings in the long run and the durability of these energy-efficient models may offset their initial costs, so you might want to take that into consideration. You may also want to look into incentives by the government or stores that they provide to buyers of green, environmentally-friendly, and energy-efficient systems to ease the burden of these equipment’s hefty price tags.
Often, the best way to go with a large investment like a home heating and cooling system is a home equity loan. Many HVAC companies offer some sort of financing for their customers, often at a lower interest rate than when paying with a credit card. Be sure to compare all the options – cash, credit card, and financing – before making a decision.
Look into a service agreement.
You can ask the HVAC experts you are planning to hire if they can sign a service agreement with you. This agreement should specify what particular services you expect and will be entitled to should you hire an HVAC maintenance company. Do you want after-sales service? Regular cleaning schedules? Regular tune-up visits? A number to call if you have issues after hours? A service agreement should include your and the company’s expectations, not to mention you may also incur savings as service agreements also provide customers with discounted rates for service calls.
Those that signed a maintenance agreement will get priority service even if there are a lot of calls coming in. Technicians are sent out immediately as they understand the urgency of the situation. You can go with little interruption, which is especially critical when temperatures are at dangerous levels and breakdowns are everywhere.
Be a wise HVAC system owner.