View Full Version : Replacing 30 yr old system
07-07-2006, 07:43 AM
Green as the hills, and trying to get this done right. Our 30 year old HVAC system is still functional, so there's no emergency, but I'd like to replace it before one occurs. My main concerns are choosing the right brand and equipment and finding the right contractor. No idea what questions to ask to help me tell the difference between a competent contractor and a klutz, don't know where to look for comparitive ratings on different brands. The ideal time to replace would seem to be October, which in southern Calif. is between the heating and air conditioning seasons. That means I probably don't have any time to waste.
Please make me instantly smart. Thanks very much for your input.
07-07-2006, 10:06 AM
This association has a contractor locator you can use.
Visit http://www.ari.org for information related to equipment, (but it does not give brand recommendations).
The contractor should have "NATE certified" technicians, and be licensed to perform all heating/cooling related work. Visit http://www.natex.org to learn more about NATE --North American Technician's Excellence. Call toll free (877) 420-NATE. They may be able to refer you to a member in your area.
They must do proper calculations when they visit your home (Manual J for a "load" calculation; Manual D for ductwork, if necessary).
Brand is not as important as the quality of the contractor. You do have good better best in all brands, but first get a good contractor. Don't rush into this either. Take your time, but don't shop based on price.
And don't settle for a "deal" on a 10 SEER unit. You will want a minimum 13 SEER unit. This is related to the new efficiency ratings established by the US govt.
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