Most houses must have repairs made to the existing duct system in order for the new equipment to work properly.
Because of the long term costs of operation and the impact of inefficient heating and cooling equipment
on outdoor air pollution, the US government is also advising homeowners to be wary of the lowest price. Here’s a statement from the US EPA:
“Remember, the contractor who gives you the lowest bid may not be the best choice for you. Carefully evaluate a contractor’s proposal to ensure you get the equipment and service that best meets your needs”
A new heating and cooling system is a much more involved engineering, installation and commissioning project than virtually any other home improvement. It certainly can’t ever be compared to buying a new plug-in appliance like a refrigerator or a washing machine.
In fact, for many projects, we find that the cost of the new furnace, heat pump or air conditioning “metal boxes” is only a small part of the total investment required.
“It's a major economic mistake for a customer to make the hiring decision based on cost instead of quality. But, of course, everybody does just that all the time, and so you see bad work".
John Proctor, Professional Engineer
Quoted in Home Energy Magazine
It’s not uncommon for the right price for a complete new heating and cooling system, installed properly by a good contractor, to be many thousands of dollars higher than other companies’. Since it’s so hard to compare apples to apples, the right question to ask is often simply: “Have many other homeowners bought from this company, and were they glad they did?”
A good contractor will be able to provide page after page of customer lists, references and testimonials. This helps assure you their prices are fair and that they are a good company for you to partner with.
Price does matter, just don't let price be the only consideration when choosing a heating and cooling contractor.
Look instead for the contractor who will give you the most value for your money. You probably don't buy
the cheapest car, clothes, or foods. Don't choose the low priced heating and cooling contractor either. It could end up costing you in terms of undependable operation, an uncomfortable home, repeated visits to get problems resolved, higher utility bills, and even unsafe operation.
If you pick the wrong contractor, you probably won’t be able to justify tearing it out and starting over. You will literally have to live IN your decision for as long as you own your home.
"It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little mmoney, that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.
The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot -- it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better."
19th century philosopher
For more information, contact a Comfort Institute a HVAC / Home Performance Contractor near you. Click the button below to locate a contractor today.