Repairing, replacing, or otherwise servicing your HVAC system can be an intimidating process. You want to do what’s right for your home or place of business, after all. Unfortunately, not all contractors and companies in the industry are 100% straightforward when providing estimates and quotes. In this article, we’ll talk about some key information and strategies that will help you get the service you need without overpaying.
What to Look For in HVAC Quotes
An HVAC quote details critical information related to the repair or replacement of your system. These are often given after inspections have been completed and your contractor is getting ready to head out. When you receive a quote, there are a few key things to look for to determine the reliability of that estimate. Here are some factors to consider when looking over your quote.
Model Numbers and SEER Ratings
If you’re looking for a new part—or a new HVAC system altogether—you want to be sure you’re getting the best equipment possible. Your quote should include detailed information on the model and manufacturer of the item you’re receiving. It should also include the equipment’s SEER rating, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio rating, which measures the unit’s effectiveness at heating or cooling based on energy consumed.
Services that fail to provide this information on their quotes are likely hiding something from you. They’re either trying to sell you an item for more than it’s worth, or a piece of equipment you don’t actually need. Be sure to research the brand and to see what that piece of equipment can actually do for your business and whether or not it’s worth purchasing.
Most HVAC systems come with some kind of warranty, and so you should check with your provider to ensure it’s being offered with their services. Good warranties don’t just cover the equipment itself, but cost of labor when necessary. If the problem with your system is incorrectly addressed the first time, you may need to seek additional solutions, and a solid warranty can help cover some of the expenses of re-installation.
Summary of Work
While you’re probably going to be present during most of the inspection or repair process, it’s still a good idea to request an overview of which tests were run and what was looked at specifically. If your system has broken down completely, you will need to have a lot more work done and should thus expect to receive a more lengthy summary of inspections.
On the other hand, if the problem is relatively straightforward and your contractor is in and out of there in a jiffy, the summary should be short and sweet. If it isn’t, that may be a sign that you’re going to be overcharged, and you should bring your concerns to your contractor.
Maintenance and Financing
Many contractors offer flexible financing so that customers can pay for services over time. It’s worth checking your quote to see what’s included in your provider’s finance and maintenance plan. At Cold Factor we believe that everyone should have access to a comfortable home, especially during the extreme weather seasons. We offer flexible maintenance and financing plans so that you can get the help you need when you need it.
Finally, you should look for the total estimated cost at the end of your quote. This should consist of expected cost of repair and/or replacement and services performed on site on that day. You can compare the estimated cost on your quote to the cost obtained from Modernize’s HVAC replacement cost calculator to determine whether or not you’re actually getting a good deal that’s comparable to what you would generally expect to pay based on your location and required services.
Why You Should Get More Than One Opinion
Picture this: it’s the middle of the night in the dead of winter and your furnace has just gone out. You’re tired, cold, and at that point you really only have one option. You will need to call someone to come inspect the system. The professional will give you a quote detailing the extent of the damage, whether or not it can be fixed and, if so, how much repairs are likely to cost.
The problem with this is that many companies take advantage of desperate people. When you’re stuck at home in the dead of winter or summer with a broken HVAC system, the only thing you can think about is getting the air up and running as soon as possible, and professionals know this. They might overcharge on repair quotes, or recommend that you replace your system when it would be cheaper to just repair a few parts.
If you look over your quote and everything appears to check out, your initial reaction may be to proceed with the repair or replacement, but getting a second—or even third—opinion can mean the difference between a successful repair or a botched job for which you are overcharged. The costs of having a few contractors come out to your place are still significantly less than the cost of having to replace your HVAC system. New equipment can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars.
The bottom line? There’s no need to fix what isn’t broken, and even contractors with the best of intentions can make errors in their estimates. For this reason, you should consider asking around and getting a few different opinions before splurging on new pieces of equipment—or an entirely new HVAC system.
Looking For a Second Opinion? We Can Help
HVAC outages are among the most frustrating things you will deal with as a homeowner. This frustration can be compounded by the fact that many professional services take advantage of or otherwise mislead desperate customers. If you aren’t careful and don’t know what to look for, you can end up paying an arm and a leg for unnecessary services or equipment.
We want our customers to check with multiple people before making a decision. If you’ve received news that you don’t like or have reason to doubt for whatever reason, contact Cold Factor for a second opinion.