Top 7 Mistakes To Avoid When Buying A New A/C System

 

7 Mistakes To Avoid When Buying An A/C System!

Here are the short answers, see below for the full article:

# 1 – Forgetting The V in HVAC

HVAC stands for: Heating, Ventilation Air Conditioning. Most homeowners have no idea if their ducts are in a row (pun intended). The ducting system can be in the walls (which in most cases will always be fine and can be left alone), however most ducting for homes depending on the region is going to be in the attic.  The attic is a hot, dusty place with spiders so no wonder most of us have no idea what’s up there.

# 2 – Buying A System Online

The online world has brought us many advantages and some disadvantages. Your A/C – Heating system isn’t just a box that blows cold and hot air. It is an integral part of your house and every house/home is different, even in tract housing.

# 3 – Sales People

Sales is awesome! The world runs on sales, without sales the world would stop. However it’s the second part of the title here that is the problem “People”. Sales is great but Sales”people” can (not always) be a problem.

# 4 – To Split or not to Split

“It is always recommended to change out both at the same time however very seldom is it required.  Energy efficiency ratings of A/C units can change drastically depending on the type of FAU (Forced Air Unit) that is installed with it”

# 5 – Warranties

Warranties are important, there is always warranties on parts, equipment and labor. Bigger better warranties should NOT be the deciding factor between equipment choices, it should be a metric you look at but not the heaviest one.

# 6 – Bids

It’s a common fact that most seasoned homeowners know they are ALWAYS supposed to get 3 or more bids, but let’s face it, when it comes to HVAC if you’re following the other rules like having the home evaluated by a person most of the contractors will spend up to 3 hours in your home.


#7 – Getting Fair

The biggest mistake of all is not using FairBids.Com to evaluate your system. FairBids.Com is a FREE service to homeowners and they never use any salespeople, so no pressure to buy or choose anything, their evaluators will inspect your complete system and ducting.

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Top 7 BIG Mistakes to Avoid when buying a new A/C or heating system.

Outside of Kitchen Remodeling, Air Conditioning systems or A/C systems are one of the biggest expenses homeowners can take on.

With this being a large investment that hopefully will be around for 15-30 years or more we should probably be aware of the pitfalls to look out for. (Not necessarily listed in order of importance)

Mistake # 1 – Forgetting the ( V ) in HVAC. 

HVAC stands for: Heating, Ventilation Air Conditioning. Most homeowners have no idea if their ducts are in a row (pun intended). The ducting system can be in the walls (which in most cases will always be fine and can be left alone), however most ducting for homes depending on the region is going to be in the attic.  The attic is a hot, dusty place with spiders so no wonder most of us have no idea what’s up there.

It’s important to have your ducting inspected once a year and absolutely prior to buying a new A/C or heating system, some ducting type is wrapped or insulated with Asbestos (A material known to cause cancer) and others could be just in bad shape. After 2002 most ducting started being sealed better however prior to those years your ducting will most likely need to be replaced.

Forgetting to have your ducting inspected is one mistake you will regret. A/C Systems are not plug n play, it requires a professional to come inspect the system and ductwork.  Which leads us to # 2.

 

Mistake # 2 – Buying a AC system online

The online world has brought us many advantages and some disadvantages. Your A/C – Heating system isn’t just a box that blows cold and hot air. It is an integral part of your house and every house/home is different, even in tract housing.

Some sites offer selling equipment directly to home owners which sounds great other than needing to find a contractor to install the system which most reputable contractors will not touch those systems because once they touch it they own it if something goes wrong.

Other sites give you a great fixed price for installing a system without anyone ever going to your home. That’s like buying a car you’ve never been in on the internet. You like the way it looks but it may not be the most comfortable ride you’ve ever been in; the handling may be bad and the seats don’t go back far enough. (There’s no returns).

Stay away from online offers that don’t have someone visiting your house first to evaluate your needs and your home. There are way too many variables that can change things: Asbestos, Electrical Panel, City Code requirements, Equipment sizing and the list goes on!

 

Mistake # 3 – Salespeople

Sales is awesome! The world runs on sales, without sales the world would stop. However it’s the second part of the title here that is the problem “People”. Sales is great but Sales”people” can (not always) be a problem.

Not all are bad but how do you know the integrity of your salesperson. Most homeowners simply go on their gut feeling, however hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent training HVAC people how to “Close” you, how to be friendly and identify within the first few minutes things about you that they can bring up in conversation to try and bond with you and to artificially give you a good “Gut” feeling.

When it comes to HVAC sales a lot of the training capitalizes on the fact that when your AC or Heat system is out your miserable.  You have a greater sense of “Urgency” to buy so buyers in those situations will tend to spend more or not get the 3 bids their supposed to or both.

Wonder why the salesperson talks about your dog, your beautiful grass or that picture? Oh, and what about your military experience or the pictures of a family member in uniform. You can bet that anything in your house that speaks of your life or lifestyle will be brought up by the salesperson because it’s a way of “connecting” with you.

Which in and of itself is not bad, what’s wrong with being friendly?  Nothing. However, this is just a tactic used to get you comfortable enough to open your wallet. EVERY Salesperson in HVAC is paid on commission so it is in their best interest to sell you something.

Mistake # 4 – To Split or not to Split

Most HVAC systems in the U.S. are Split systems which include an outside unit (Condenser or Heat Pump) and in an inside unit (Furnace or Air Handler). A heat pump system is basically an all-electric system, there is no natural gas or propane feeding a furnace.

There are some units which are “package units which have the A/C and heat all in one unit (normally on a roof) so for the purpose of this article we will only focus on split systems.

For split systems, your outside unit is connected to your inside unit (could be in a closet, garage or in the attic) by a copper line-set which is what carries the refrigerant to and from the unit outside.

There is an evaporator coil that is attached to the inside unit and this is what takes a standalone central heating system and makes it an Air Conditioning system as well.

There are only a very small amount of times when you are required to change out your inside unit when you A/C system needs to be replaced.

Doing your furnace or air handler later can save you money off your A/C system now however here are some things to keep in mind. Prices go up every year, waiting till next year or the year after will not be cheaper to install a furnace.

It is always recommended to change out both at the same time however very seldom is it required.  Energy efficiency ratings of A/C units can change drastically depending on the type of FAU (Forced Air Unit) that is installed with it and leaving your old outdated one can drag your shiny new A/C unit down.

Mistake # 5 – Warranties

Warranties are important, there is always warranties on parts, equipment and labor. Bigger better warranties should NOT be the deciding factor between equipment choices, it should be a metric you look at but not the heaviest one.

Most homeowners are not aware that most warranties on HVAC equipment will require that they have a “qualified or certified” company come out once a year to do a maintenance on the equipment.

Once a year for the furnace/air handler and once a year for the A/C Condenser / Heat Pump.  Failing to have this routine maintenance can cause your warranty to be voided.  Huge Mistake, however many contractors use this a “IN” with you.

While there are advantages to using the same company every year to do your certified maintenance, don’t get caught in the trap of not shopping for this maintenance yearly or when it’s needed, since HVAC contractors consider maintenance customers “Gold” there is a chance you can get better deals each year.  Know you know why so much is spent on advertising their A/C Tune Up packages.

Mistake # 6 – 3-Bids

It’s a common fact that most seasoned homeowners know they are ALWAYS supposed to get 3 or more bids, but let’s face it, when it comes to HVAC if you’re following the other rules like having the home evaluated by a person most of the contractors will spend up to 3 hours in your home.

They always tell you 60-90 minutes, that’s just to get them in the house and do the evaluation. Once the evaluation is done the selling begins & depending on how seasoned the salesperson is some are quite skilled at taking a long time. Another tactic to wear you down.

After all of that who wants to go through that 2 or more times? It can be exhausting.

Getting multiple bids is imperative and is always recommended by every consumer group out there.

Do allow the heat of summer or the cold of winter to put you in such a state of urgency that you don’t do your due diligence and get 3 bids.  This mistake could cost you!

Not only financially, it could cost you in comfort in your home and longevity of equipment.

Mistake # 7 – Getting Fair

The biggest mistake of all is not using FairBids.Com to evaluate your system. FairBids.Com is a FREE service to homeowners and they never use any salespeople, so no pressure to buy or choose anything, their evaluators will inspect your complete system and ducting.

One of FairBids.Com representatives will gladly discuss what average prices are for equipment installs in your area even before we come to you home. Who does that right?  They do!

FairBids.Com exist simply to give you the home the advantage back when it comes to home improvement projects. FairBids.Com shops for 3 or more bids for you from their In-Network (Pre-Screened and background checked) contractors to give you the 3 or more bids you need all at once.

FairBids.Com will:

  • Send a professional evaluator to you home to inspect your system and gather some basic needs analysis from the homeowners.
    1. Once the information about what you are looking for and what pains you’re trying to solve is collected, the information will be put into our proprietary software algorithm that will sort through hundreds of local contractors that are In-Network to find the top 3 contractors that fit your criteria including: Budget, Brands, Financing Options, Customer Satisfaction Reviews and much more!
  • The evaluators at FairBids.Com are not salespeople, FairBids never takes any money from Homeowners so you can rest assured that the information you are being given about options, equipment and installers is un-biased.
  • Once the homeowner chooses one of the 3 or more proposals offered by FairBids.Com the winning contractor will be notified so the project can be scheduled.
  • Com will follow and stay up with the progress of your project, help with any rebate filings and even assist the homeowner with evaluating the performance of the HomePro that did the job!
  • Com can even help you with reminders about filter changes, equipment maintenance and much more.

Meet FairBids.Com

Fairbids.com’s process is simple! If you are a homeowner in need of an upcoming contractor to complete a home improvement project. We’re here to help, watch the video to see how!


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