9 Questions You Need to Ask Prospective HVAC Contractors

Is your heating or cooling system making weird noises, acting up, or just not working? Repairing your HVAC systems is not a task for a DIYer. Your HVAC system is complicated and only a professional can fix these systems.

You need someone with expertise and knowledge, which is why you need to contract the best HVAC professional.

But no two HVAC professionals are the same. Some are more reliable and experienced than others. Even the correct licensing and certifications don’t guarantee talent and expertise.

In an over-saturated market, it’s difficult to know the best HVAC professionals from the not-so-great ones.

Before you outsource HVAC contractors, ask these 9 questions.

1. Is Forced Air Heating and Cooling the Best Option?

Energy efficiency is key for many homeowners. Many HVAC contractors are recommending forced air heating and cooling systems as an energy efficient and affordable option to other systems such as central air.

Forced air heating and cooling push air through ducts that either cool or heat your home.

But forced air isn’t your only option. Heat pumps and radiant heating are great energy-efficient options.

2. Will You Provide a System Repair or Replacement Estimate for Free?

HVAC system repair and replacement aren’t cheap. You’re not only paying for the system itself (which goes for several thousand on average) but you’re also paying for labor, parts, and warranty specifications. 

You’re preparing for many expenses, so you shouldn’t have to pay for the initial inspection. 

Your first inspection should only include an HVAC technician inspecting your system to discover if you need intricate repairs or a whole new system.

If they pay for the first inspection, it’s likely that they’re ripping you off.

3. Are Multiple Heating and Cooling Zones Required?

As mentioned previously, energy efficiency is key with the right HVAC system. 

A popular heating and cooling option are multiple units around the house. But many homes don’t require this system. They will get the same benefits with lower costs by installing a central air system. 

All HVAC contractors will recommend a heating or cooling system with affordability and energy savings in mind. That’s why they don’t recommend multiple unit systems unless it’s absolutely necessary.

If your HVAC contractor recommends a multiple zone heating and cooling system, you need to ensure you actually need one to avoid an expensive energy bill.

If your HVAC contractor one recommends it without you needing one, then they’re either trying to rip you off or are uneducated.

4. What Size System Is Necessary?

When replacing your HVAC system, it’s common to buy an HVAC system that was the same as the previous size.

While you could get away with the same size as your previous system, it’s best to ask an HVAC contractor what they would recommend.

For example, if you plan on renovating your home or adding to your home, you’ll definitely need a different size HVAC system.

In addition, sizing your HVAC system is more complex than it sounds. Ask an HVAC contractor, but you should also do your own research. Your contractor’s opinion may not be perfect.

For your own research, there are many calculators and other resources available online.

5. Does the HVAC System Qualify for a Tax Credit?

The Bipartisan Budget Act was signed in February of 2018. This opens up tax credits for residential energy efficiency. Among them are tax credits for HVAC systems.

How do you know if your HVAC system qualifies for a tax credit? Check and see if it has the ENERGY STAR badge.

If your HVAC contractor recommends an HVAC system that isn’t energy efficient, ask them why. Explain you want to save money, save energy, have an eco-friendly HVAC system, and ultimately receive a tax credit.

6. Is a Dehumidifier or Humidifier Necessary?

Did you know you can have add-ons to your HVAC system? Two popular add-ons are dehumidifiers and humidifiers.

The difference is simple. A dehumidifier rids your home of excess humidity and is ideal for humid environments. Humidifiers increase comfort in climates that are too dry.

These add-ons aren’t always necessary. But if they are, they make your home way more comfortable. Ask your HVAC contractor if these systems are beneficial and worth the extra costs.

7. What’s the Efficiency of the New HVAC System?

When talking about efficiency, we’re not just speaking in terms of energy. Ideally, your HVAC system will last for years. Repairs should be minimal and maintenance should be affordable.

When weighing out the price of your HVAC system, ask your HVAC contractor about its efficiency. It’s best to pay a more expensive upfront cost and worry less about repairs.

It’s also best to do your own research when taking the recommendation of an HVAC contractor.

8. Are There Any Offers or Rebates?

A great way to save on a new HVAC system is by finding offers and rebates.

Buying a new HVAC system upfront isn’t cheap. Offers and rebates will help decrease the cost of an efficient HVAC system in many ways.

You can get a flexible financing option and even savings on the installation.

While you can find offers and rebates online, a good HVAC contractor will have enough connections and resources to connect you with many different offers and rebates.

Different HVAC companies, such as Fahrenheit HVAC, offer different coupons for their services. 

9. What Are the Filter Types? 

Your HVAC system will only work effectively if you regularly change out or maintain your air filters. But did you know each HVAC system have a different type of air filter?

Most homeowners are familiar with disposable air filters. Many HVAC systems also use washable air filters, which are cheaper and easier to maintain.

More HVAC systems use high-efficiency particulate air filters or HEPA filters.

These air filters do a better job at filtering out allergens and other unsafe air particles, improving the air quality.

Make sure you know which air filters your new HVAC system requires.

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