Winter is coming soon to Central Florida, and if you have not done so already, now’s the time to make sure your home-heating system is prepared. HVAC contractors are prepared for the seasonal increase in business, and many will be advertising their services locally. Before you choose an HVAC contractor, do your research and watch for these signs of a potentially shady contractor:
If an HVAC contractor offers a very low price for a system tune-up, and it’s not part of an ongoing maintenance contract, you should be wary. A reputable contractor needs to figure in the cost of paying a qualified technician, the travel time to the location, the time spent there, and the usual overhead for running a business. All of these costs add up, and the chances of getting a proper tune-up for an exceedingly low rate diminishes quickly.
Generalized System Sizing
When you need to have a heating system replaced, the proper procedure is to perform a Manual J load calculation to find how much heating your home needs (and as a result what size heating system you need). This takes into account many variables beyond just the home’s measurements. Any HVAC contractor that uses a “rule of thumb” estimate such as X BTUs per 100 square foot as a final quote should be avoided. Otherwise, you may end up with an improperly-sized and inefficient system, leading to higher costs later through utility bills or repairs.
No matter the company, when it comes to replacing a system, phone estimates are simply not accurate. Over time, many things can change in a home, such as the amount of insulation, the quality of windows and doors, or the occupancy. Repairs may be needed on aging ductwork or the home’s outer envelope. Simply replacing the system with an equivalent-sized one may not be appropriate. To account for any changes, a new Manual J calculation should be done before the contractor provides an actual estimate.
A trusted HVAC contractor is well worth the cost, and our professionals at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions provide quality service at reasonable rates. Contact us today for an appointment in Orlando or Central Florida.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about contractor red flags and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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