Questions to Ask Before Replacing Your Air Conditioning Unit
A new air conditioner is a big investment. As you consider your air conditioner replacement, here are some questions to ask before replacing your air conditioning unit to be sure you’re getting quality work, a qualified professional, and the right air conditioner unit for your home or business needs.
How should the new air conditioner be sized?
When considering air conditioner replacement, you don’t want to simply select the same size as your current air conditioner. It’s possible that your needs have changed, or that the original wasn’t the right size to begin with. The wrong sized air conditioner replacement unit will use excessive amounts of energy and likely won’t be able to efficiently cool your home, so this is an important step. Make sure that the house is measured properly, and that your needs are calculated based on a variety of factors, including your window types, the orientation of your house, and other factors. It’s a complicated calculation that should be based on far more than just your square footage and what’s been done in the past which definitely puts it on the list of questions to ask before replacing your air conditioning.
What are your system’s energy needs?
Air conditioners cool your home by using energy to transfer indoor heat to the outdoors, and different systems use different amounts of energy to get the job done. Considering your air conditioner replacement energy needs isn’t just a matter of saving money or the environment. It’ll also help ensure that the system runs efficiently and keeps your space comfortable even in the hottest summer months. Talk to your contractor about your system’s energy needs to ensure that you’ll be satisfied by the results.
Should you replace ducting at the same time?
One of the important questions to ask before replacing your air conditioning is should you replace ducting at the same time? Your air conditioner replacement unit is just one part of a system that’s made up of many components, so you’ll also need to consider whether or not to replace the ducting. Talk to your contractor about this, and ask about conducting a duct leakage test. The duct leakage test measures the airtightness of your ductwork, and will help determine if your ducts are dirty, damaged, need to be replaced.
Does your contractor have a California HVAC Contractor’s License?
Make sure that the contractor installing your air conditioner replacement is properly qualified and has a California HVAC Contractor’s License. To obtain this license, contractors need to sit for multiple exams, among other qualifications. If your contractor has this license, it’s a good indication that they are qualified to do the work.
What level of experience does your contractor have?
In order to obtain the license mentioned above, candidates need to have four years of experience. Even with this requirement in place, however, it's a good idea to ask about your contractor’s experience and the work they’ve done in air conditioner replacement.
What certifications are required to install the system?
Other types of certifications beyond the California HVAC Contractor’s License may also be relevant. For example, the EPA requires all HVAC technicians to have the EPA 608 certification, which allows them to handle refrigerants. The NCI (National Comfort Institute) certification are not required, but are additional indicators that your contractor is qualified for the job, and will show their level of professionalism and experience.
What type of warranty does the system have?
And last but not least of the important questions to ask before replacing your air conditioning is what warranty is offered by each contractor. Different manufacturer's parts might have different warranties. Make sure you understand not only what is covered, but also the amount of time the warranty lasts. Your contractor’s labor may also be covered under warranty, so make sure you’re aware of what type of work is covered, and for how long.
If your contractor can satisfactorily answer these questions to ask before replacing your air conditioning unit, it’s a good indication that you’re not just getting quality work, you’re also getting the right air conditioner replacement for your space. With an investment this big, that’s peace of mind worth having, especially as the summer months approach.