Let’s face it, one of the biggest purchases you’re going to make when it comes to your home is the air conditioning system. You probably don’t know this, however there are only five manufacturers that provide air conditioners to contractors. What that means is every contractor buys the AC unit they are going to install at your house from one of five places.
As a reminder to my regular readers and knowledge for any new-comers, the most important day in an air conditioners life is the day that it is installed. So, if the equipment is all coming from the same places, the company that is installing it is what makes all the difference, agreed? If you take short cuts when installing a new unit, things like shorter equipment life, lower efficiencies and loud noises can happen. A question I get regularly is, what should you look for in the company that you are going to trust with thousands of your hard-earned dollars to? Let’s take a look.
- Is the company licensed? They should display their license number on their trucks and paper work. The license number should start with the letters “CAC” followed by 6-8 numbers. CAC stands for certified air conditioning contractor. I also recommend checking to ensure their license is in good standing. You can do that by clicking here.
- Does the company have favorable online reviews? Go to Google, Facebook and the Better Business Bureau and check to see what others have experienced with the company you are considering. In today’s day and age if a company doesn’t have an online reputation established they are likely a newer or very small company. The bottom line is to do your homework.
- Does the company background check and drug test all their employees? I know it seems like a no-brainer, however I can tell you that not all companies do this checking and testing. Why they do business that way I don’t understand, however with a company that does check and test, you should have a better, more pleasurable experience.
- Did the person that came to give you the estimate do a complete inspection? Air conditioning systems are just that, full systems. They are made up of the equipment of course but you cannot forget the duct work, the electrical system, the drain line, and several other things. If the person that came to your home, spent 15 minutes, wrote up a fast estimate, and ran out the door without truly checking the whole system you are probably going to have big problems.
- Did the company representative in your home explain the installation process? There are tons of short cuts that can be taken when installing an air conditioner. You, not being an air conditioning professional, will never know that the short cuts were taken until your equipment fails prematurely. Ask them if they are following the manufacturers recommendations when installing the unit. Also ask them how long it will take. A good AC installation in a very easy application will take at least 5 hours. If they are in and out in 2-3 hours it is likely that shortcuts were taken.
- Ask them about their labor warranty. All new air conditioning equipment comes with a 10-year warranty from the manufacturer in residential applications. Most air conditioning companies offer a standard one year labor warranty on new systems which means if something on the unit fails in year three you are going to be paying the labor to make the repair. If it is a major failure labor for certain repairs can be in excess of $1,000. I recommend finding out if you can extend the labor warranty to 3, 5, or even 10 years for your peace of mind. I would also ask if the company includes a maintenance agreement with the equipment. In some cases you can know your fixed air conditioning costs for a set period of time by combining labor warranty and maintenance agreements.
Sure, there are other things to consider such as price, time frame for the unit to be installed and do you have a good feeling deep down in the cockles of your soul about the company, but those should come into play after you consider the above.
Okay my friends my time here is up, the clock has run out on time to type. Until next go-round, the boss said the other day we all need to improve our posture, in fact he was firing the person with the worst posture. I have a hunch it could be me…
House Whisperer out!!