Let me tell you from the other side of the bubble. Call around and do not let price be your determining factor. Most reputible companies will be within a range of the other.Originally posted by chibuyer
For fear of getting my ass chewed out… First off I’d like to apologize up front if this is the wrong forum. I read the descriptions and this did seem the best place to make my post.
Secondly, I’d like to thank each of you for taking the time to share your knowledge. Even for someone such as myself who wouldn’t know the difference between a compressor and a capacitor. I’m by NO means a DIY’er; I wish I was because I like to learn. But I know my limitations and prefer to leave some things to the professionals. It’s great to find so many active professionals that seem to care so much for their industry… I can only HOPE I end up doing business with someone of the caliber of professionalism I see in this forum.
I’m about 25 days away from becoming a new home owner. I took the suggestion from a friend to not have the builder install my AC. He said that I could get a better unit and warrantee from a local HVAC company. I live in the far west burbs of Chicago and have started looking into purchasing a unit and finding a company to install. And so the fun begins…
However, I’m finding that a lot of companies aren’t members of BBB so I’ve been unable to do much research on the customer service records of the different companies. Unlike the research I was able to do with my movers and research the Illinois Commerce Commission and BBB, there doesn’t seem to be anything that I’ve found that is similar in function. Working for a Supply Chain Association, I know that just because you say you’re a member doesn’t mean that much unless you’re active and there is no way to police that information.
Being a memeber of the BBB for most cases is like being in the Choir at church. Just because their a member doesn't mean they play fair.
However, I like to do my homework…
I need to find a unit for a 2860sf home with rather LARGE rooms, with another 1k sf to be added once we finish the basement. The builder of course put in the cheapest furnace they could find, Lennox G40, so I’m worried if that will cause me to have to settle with a less than acceptable AC unit. As it’s been mentioned on this board… I don’t want to end up with a system of yesterday (R22) for a house of tomorrow, so I need a unit for the house (410A/R-410). At least that much I know… I also know that sound is important as I don’t want to have to adjust the volume of my TV each time the AC kicks on to cool my home. But that’s about the extent of my knowledge for AC.
Basically I guess my question is what should I look for or ask in regards to the company I hire to do the job? I don’t want to end up with “used car salesman" and a unit to match that is more or less than what I need. I want to do my homework, but I don’t have a clue as to know where to start, what to look for or the questions to ask. With so many brands and units under each of those… I’m overwhelmed at this point.
If they come to do an estimate look for these things: If he does not show up with a tape measure, ask him to leave.
If he holds a piece of paper up to your house from the curb and calls you back with a price, hang up.
If he scratches your info on a piece of paper that already has information in it not from your house, ask him to leave.
If he bad mouths the other companies, ask him to leave.
What you want to see is someone who will measure your house, look around outside your house, uses mathematical calculations or software to determine the "Heat Load" of your home and explains things so you understand what he is doing and why. A good contractor, which there are more than bad, will go out of thier way to make a sale. Also, ask questions.
As far as R22 .vs R410a, if the installer uses R22 and does a good job (sizing and stuff) you'll never need to have the system charged. Refrigerant doesn't go bad or loose it's cool.
R410a is the new wave, yeah they are pushing it in the new lines, but don't let the flash get you to make a decision. R22 is going to be around for plenty of time if you ever happen to need it.
Now if your wondering about a SEER rating, let the installer make that proposal for you. sometimes it's not always the best to go crazy on numbers that you may not fully understand.
Keep doing your homework and you will find a good installer that will make you happy for many years to come.