Buying a New HVAC System: Questions to Ask, Things To Consider

MILWAUKEE, Wis. — Choosing the right HVAC system that best meets your heating and cooling needs is not always easy. To refine your search and help you make an informed decision, the experts at the Luxaire brand of Johnson Controls offer some helpful advice.

First, find a contractor you can trust – preferably one who is North American Technician Excellence certified and a member of state and national contractor associations. Then, ask the following questions:

  • Does the contractor do the work, or does he/she subcontract it to someone else?
  • Is the contractor adequately insured?
  • What is the contractor’s schedule for getting the work done?
  • Will other projects affect the contractor’s ability to complete the job on time?
  • Does the contractor offer a maintenance service agreement?
  • Can the contractor provide any references from prior customers?
  • Will the contractor conduct a load calculation to determine the proper size of equipment for your home?

Next, determine what kind of equipment you need by considering these questions:

  • What equipment does the contractor recommend and why?
  • What is the efficiency rating of the equipment? Is this enough/too much for the size of the home? The efficiency of a cooling system is expressed as a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio number. Heat pump efficiency is expressed by a Heating Season Performance Factor and the efficiency of a furnace is expressed as the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency.
  • Where will the equipment be located? Will the recommended equipment fit here?
  • Is ductwork properly sealed, insulated and sized for the new equipment?

Finally, consider the financial questions that come with a purchase this significant:

  • How much does the new system cost, including installation?
  • Does the contractor or manufacturer offer any warranties on the equipment? If so, what does the warranty cover?
  • Are any rebates available?
  • Does the contractor offer any financing options?
  • Was the cost of operating the system considered, as well as the initial cost?

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