22 Common A/C Installation Mistakes – Part 1 of 2
Posted: June 17, 2019
Air conditioning is a critical but costly home comfort investment. To get the most out of this investment, it’s worth it to take time, do research and ally with a trusted, experienced professional) to get everything right.
Unfortunately, many homeowners rush through the process of choosing or replacing their home cooling system – and as a result they make mistakes that could end up costing them money for years to come.
To avoid this situation, we recommend a two-step process. First, educate yourself and learn from other people’s mistakes – and second, work with experienced A/C professionals to make sure the work is done right the first time!
Let’s start with the first step by identifying 22 of the most common mistakes people make when purchasing a new cooling system; for help with the second step, contact the pros at Wilson Oil and Propane today. Yes, we handle air conditioning sales, installation and service too!
The first 11 common mistakes
- Not checking a company’s references. When you’re deciding between several cooling contractor options, always ask for recent references or testimonials from customers. If your contractor can’t produce them, move on.
- Choosing an un-bonded company. The bonding process provides insurance for you as a customer; it guarantees that your contractor will operate in an ethical manner and in compliance with all relevant rules and regulations. If your A/C contractor isn’t bonded, find another candidate.
- Choosing a company with under-qualified technicians. Today’s air conditioners are complex mechanical and electronic devices; if you want to get the most out of them, you need them to be installed by HVAC experts. When you choose a company with NATE-certified technicians, you can rest assured that you are getting A/C installations and service that will maximize your comfort and efficiency – not to mention the lifespan of your cooling equipment.
- Requesting too many bids. Comparison-shopping is a good practice – but you should resist the urge to go overboard. Whittle your bids down to a small handful of providers; if you have a contractor you trust, give them the opportunity to match your best (again, not the cheapest) bid. Remember, loyalty can help you and your contractor.
- Not getting a written estimate on installation work. Avoid phone estimates and handshakes; a contractor can easily renege on their agreement, leaving you with little recourse other than time consuming, costly, and difficult legal remedies.
- Not having a contract in place before work begins. As the adage goes, “get it in writing” – including a detailed accounting of schedule, fees, labor needs, and equipment costs, plus future expenses for upkeep, potential upgrade paths, and more.
- Not getting a written warranty on installation work. A reputable HVAC contractor stands by their work – and they’ll do it in writing with a no-hassle, no-questions asked, 100% guarantee that will protect you and your family from any unforeseen breakdowns and other problems. Look for a guarantee that lasts at least a year, especially if you have your cooling system installed in the cooling offseason.
- Waiting too long for an A/C upgrade. A 12- to 15-year-old air conditioner may still work, but it could be operating at 70% efficiency or less. By replacing it with a new cooling system that operates at well over 90% efficiency, you could save hundreds of dollars in energy bills every summer – enough to pay for the upgrade in just a few years.
- Rushing your installation. Once you decide to replace your cooling system, take your time and do it right. An error in judgment or a rushed purchasing decision could cost you a ton of money – both now and for years to come.
- Not replacing your whole system when the time comes. Your indoor air conditioning components (blowers, fans, and coils) are designed to work with your system’s outdoor A/C component (the condenser unit). Replacing only one component will result in a patchwork system that won’t operate as well or as efficiently.
- Purchasing the least expensive system. If the price of your air conditioner installation seems too good to be true, it probably is. A bargain-priced system often includes cheaply made parts installed by poorly paid people who work for companies that routinely cut corners. When you see a low-priced system, consider it a red flag – you’ll pay more for that installation one way or another, either now (with higher cooling bills) or down the road (in the form of repairs and replacement parts). In most cases, it’s usually both.
We’ll continue with 11 more common mistakes for cooling system installations in Part Two of this post.
For expert air conditioning system installations – including central air conditioners and ductless mini-split units, turn to the people you can trust at Wilson Oil and Propane. Contact us today for a FREE, no obligation estimate on a cooling system for your Delaware Valley home!