Most homeowners appreciate that utility bills are one of the highest costs of the home. Air conditioning accounts for as much as half your utility bills, so it can be worth upgrading your old system to new, more efficient equipment. Unfortunately, many people feel a little overwhelmed by obtaining estimates, but you can negate this by asking the right questions. Before you start speaking to any HVAC companies, here are some of the most important questions you need to be prepared to ask.

What Capacity or Size Do I Need?

A calculator and pen indicate use by a professional for business purposes.

It can be tempting to assume that you can just replace your existing equipment with a similar sized unit, but this can be a costly mistake. There is no guarantee that your existing equipment is the correct size. Whether you’ve had a home addition, renovated an area of your home or it simply wasn’t measured correctly when the original system was installed, it is important that your new system is properly sized. Reputable HVAC professionals will use a number of calculations to determine the optimum size of air conditioner, factoring in the size of your home, level of insulation and cooling requirements.

Can the Current Ductwork be Used?

One of the most cost effective ways to upgrade your air conditioning is to use the existing ductwork, but this is only if your ductwork is in good condition. You’ll need an HVAC technician to assess your ductwork for any cracks, holes or leaks that could compromise efficiency.

Are You Bonded and Insured?

Reputable companies are usually very happy to provide proof that they are fully bonded and insured. These details are normally found on all their paperwork including the estimate. It is always a good idea to obtain a written estimate, as this will detail all the terms and conditions, so there are no unpleasant surprises later.

Are There Any New Technologies That Would Benefit My Home?

The heating and cooling industry is constantly developing new technologies and innovations, so you need to know if there are options that would be beneficial in your home. An experienced technician is likely to take pride in keeping up to date with all the latest industry developments and happy to discuss any options with you.

What Guarantees Do You Offer?

While equipment is often offered with a manufacturer warranty, this can be invalidated by poor installation. So, it is important that you find out what guarantees are offered by the installation company. You’ll need to know what warranty is offered with the equipment and if there is a service contract included in the installation cost. This will make a massive difference when you’re comparing quotes, so you can determine the option that represents the best value.

What’s the Installation Timetable?

Finally, you need to know what the installation timetable will be. This will let you know what to expect from start to finish. You should also ask if removing old equipment and clean up are included in the estimate. You may regret moving forward with a cheaper quote that saves you a few dollars if the installation drags on for weeks. You need to have a clear indication of the timetable, so you can make an informed decision.