How to Make Sure You’re Getting a Good Heating and Cooling System

Buying a new heating and cooling system can be intimidating. Many homeowners only make this kind of purchase once or twice in their lives. There is a good amount of misinformation out there. Some customers are mislead by shady sales reps, others are may not even be aware of a problem until years down the road. When the unit fails prematurely because of a bad install.

Bad HVAC installs are a common problem. According to ENERGY STAR, more than half of new systems in U.S homes do not perform to their rated efficiency as a result of improper installation.

A bad install will cost you hard earned money from lost efficiency. Why invest in a high efficiency air conditioner or furnace if you can't get it to perform its promised efficiency?

Another consequence of bad installs are frequent breakdowns and early failure.

Many customers end up blaming the manufacturer for these issues. While anything mechanical can fail, there are plenty of times when the HVAC contractor didn't do the job right. The leading heating and cooling brands like YORK® have stringent manufacturing standards in their facilities simulating normal and extreme conditions.

With the right equipment and right contractor, you should have a safe, comfortable, and energy efficient home.

Reference the ENERGY STAR installation checklist, you can make sure you're not just buying a piece of equipment, but a properly installed heating and cooling system:

Do you offer ENERGY STAR qualified equipment?

This question helps you divide the real contenders from the "chuck in a truck". HVAC is a classic example of where everybody knows a "guy". But do you want to trust a random person or certified experts? When you take your car to the mechanic, do you want someone with the right tools and experience? Or do you want to take your car to the guy who uses outdated parts in a broken down warehouse?

Back to the right equipment, ENERGY STAR

ENERGY STAR equipment will give you:

  • Better Performance
  • Better Energy Savings
  • Better Quality
  • Better Comfort

Will you measure my home and calculate the correct size for my equipment using Manual J?

This question is key because many contractors do not measure your home, insulation, or ductwork. Neglecting these areas of your home is a major disservice to your HVAC install.

This is because everything your home is connected as a system. And your furnace is more than a machine that blows warm air, and your air conditioner does more than blow cool air. They are systems that need to be matched to your home’s unique layout, size, and other characteristics.

Measuring your home and finding the right size equipment you need using Manual J is the only Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) approved way of determining what size unit you need.

Going by square footage along or other outdated “rule of thumb” will probably lead to over-sized equipment. Over-sized equipment costs you more in upfront install costs and over time in wasted energy costs. A bigger unit costs more to run, and that will come right out of your wallet if your house doesn’t need all that capacity.

Will You Check My Home’s Ductwork?  

Your ductwork is important because without it your system

If you answer yes to any of these questions, it may be time for a replacement. An Energy Stars comfort adviser can help decide. Not only that, we can also help select the unit that’s most appropriate for your home's needs and your budget. 

Will you provide me with information on any locals rebate programs for which I might be eligible?

Since buying a furnace and air conditioner is a sizable investment, it is always a good idea to check to see if you qualify for local rebates. Your utility provider, like Ameren Illinois, can help you cover the cost of quality, high efficiency units or new thermostats.

By educating yourself, you can ask the right questions. With the right questions, you can make sure you’re getting the right heating & cooling system for your home. If you have any questions on how to make this purchase or want to learn what your options are for HVAC replacement, call Energy Stars Heating & Cooling Co.