How do I know the contractor is qualified to install my Heating and Air Conditioning System?
It can be difficult to check qualifications of a contractor. A smooth talking contractor is the one I would worry about the most. Check references for difficult jobs, the Better Business Bureau to see if complaints have ever been filed, request a copy of their certificate of insurance (Liability and Workman’s Compensation) to ensure they have the proper insurance in case something goes wrong, N.J. Home Improvement License is to be printed on all documents (Proposals, Contracts, Invoices etc.) also ask for any type of industry certifications.
It is also very important to make sure the contractor does criminal background checks on all their employee’s but be careful some contractors say they do background checks but they really don’t. It is not only important that the contractor does a good job and you get what you pay for but you also want to make sure your family and belongings are safe.
Another very important item to check is the warranty they are giving you. Short labor warranty’s on new equipment installations or replacements means one thing, the contractor does not plan on giving you a quality job. Long labor warranty’s (5 to 10 years) means the contractor is going to ensure that everything is going to be installed 100% proper because he is not going to want to come back, redo something and lose money on something that could have been avoided in the first place. Most problems do not show up until 3 to 5 years after the start up of your system. A 5 to 10 year warranty will give you peace of mind after your system is installed.
The most important thing to remember is the cheapest price is not always the best price especially when it comes to contractors. Cheap now can mean pay more later.
How do you size the Heating and Air-Conditioning equipment for the house?
Using an ARI manual J. There are actually two calculation that are performed a heat loss and a heat gain. This is a calculation that uses many factors and most contractors do not know how to properly perform this. It uses factors such as insulation R Values, building construction type, direction the exterior walls are located (North, South, West, East exposures), window type and sizes, roof type and color, etc. It shows different load needs for a different orientation of the home.
The calculations are the same for buildings located all over the world with one exception. The average outside air temperature in the summer and winter based on where your building is located. Consider it an investment in future energy savings when this is performed. This is required to be performed to qualify for certain rebates.
Any salesman that guesses should be run off the job. The process only takes about 1 to 2 hours to perform based on the size of the individual home; commercial buildings are more complex and can take many more hours. To have a Manual J calculation performed on your building call Environmental Air Systems 866-339-HVAC.
I was told that I need to replace my evaporator coil because it has a leak, Is this normal?
For lazy technician’s maybe, but to say replace the coil, when the leak is on a fitting, is sloppy work. Most coils can be repaired. If multiple leaks or advisories to replace are known, then it is best to replace the coil. If the leak is behind the coil fins, then replace. If under warranty, then replace. If replacing the coil, try to match the coil to get the best SEER available. Most technicians will not want to do this, because they don’t know how to do the SEER comparison.
Cleaning your evaporator coil (by a professional) and frequently changing your air filters can prolong the life of your evaporator coil.
I moved into a new home and the HVAC does not work right, What should I do?
There are many things that can be installed wrong, not sized properly, or broken. Try to get as much information from the previous home owner and then call Environmental Air Systems at 1-866-339-HVAC for a whole house evaluation by one of our sales engineers.
My air-conditioning stopped cooling, what can I do?
A lot of problems with air conditioning are caused by dirt. Dirty outside coil can cause the head pressure to go high. On a hot day the Freon can burst a hole in the system, cause a compressor to fail, cause an electrical breaker to trip then fail. Keep the outside coils as clean as possible. (This needs to be professionally cleaned with proper chemicals.) Keep plants from growing against the finned area, keep the exhaust pathway free of obstructions a least 16 inches. The inside coil is another story.
A dirty inside coil can cause the coil to Ice over and the flow of air is reduced. When this happens the ice gets thicker and the air eventually stops completely. This can also cause major compressor failure. The major cause of dirty inside coils is not changing the filter often enough. To clean an inside coil is a dirty time consuming job. Sometimes cleaning jobs can cost more than the labor for the new installation of a new coil so always ask for a price comparison.
Other items to check is the furnace or air handler emergency switch as sometimes it is accidentally shut off and check to see if the thermostat settings was accidentally changed. If further trouble shooting is required you will need a certified technician. Call Environmental Air Systems at toll free 1-866-339-HVAC and ask for one of our certified technicians to come out.
What is the best HVAC equipment?
This is a subjective answer at best. Like buying a car, all equipment has the same basic components, and many are made by the same OEM manufacturers.
Some manufacturers limit purchasing to their dealers only. This is a very stupid idea. They are increasing the cost of business with this rule. In some cases they claim superiority, but in reality are inferior to the cheapest equipment built.
There are only a few equipment manufactures out there and they make many different Brand names they just change the color of the equipment or just change the sticker on the door. In fact some manufactures ship different stickers in the same box with the equipment. The difference is in the installer and the expressed warranty. If the most expensive brand name, high efficient equipment is installed by an unqualified or careless contractor the system will not work properly, break down frequently and may cause additional problems like mold in the building, carbon monoxide poisoning, fire or even cause high utility bills.
Trained professionals are needed from the start to the finish when installing Heating and Air Conditioning equipment. Supervised workers can be used, but the man in charge on the job, needs to be qualified.
The best HVAC equipment on the market are the ones that give you the best part warrantys and the best qualified companies to install your new equipment are the one who give you the longest labor warranties. You are about to make a big investment into your heating and air conditioning system and you are going to want to save money on your utility bills. By having to pay for just one repair within a couple of years you could spend all the money you have saved or would have saved from lowering your utility bills.
So where is your investment? No savings on your utilities and a unit that is costing money in repairs. That is why the best equipment is the equipment that has the best warranties. With longer Parts and Labor warranties you will not have to pay for any repairs and you will reap the benefits of having a High Efficient heating and air conditioning system.
Please be aware that all manufactures do require proper maintenance to be performed to keep certain parts under warranty. They will not warranty a part that failed due to someone’s negligence to properly maintain it. Also be aware of Life Time warranties on all parts. Certain parts should last a Life Time but not all parts. Always read the fine print and ask questions, don’t just take the salesman’s word for it. Some contractor’s offer Life Time Parts and Labor warranties but you may find out that you don’t have a Life Time All Parts and Labor warranty when your system fails. Mechanical equipment will eventually break down or malfunction.
What is carbon monoxide (CO) and how is it produced?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a deadly, colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. It is produced by the incomplete burning of various fuels, including coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane, and natural gas. Furnaces, Boilers, Hot Water Heaters and cooking stoves produce carbon monoxide. Other products and equipment powered by internal combustion engines such as portable generators, cars, lawn mowers, and power washers also produce CO.
What do I do If my Carbon Monoxide Detector goes off?
If your Carbon Monoxide Detector goes off IMMEDIATELY EVACUATE THE BUILDING and call 911 from outside the building do not shut the door behind you. The local emergency management team will be able to check the building for your safety. Please be aware carbon monoxide poisoning is deadly and poisoning can only be confirmed through blood testing. Call Environmental Air Systems toll free 1-866-339-HVAC to make proper repairs.
What do I do if I smell Gas in my House?
If you smell gas in your house or building IMMEDIATELY EVACUATE THE BUILDING and go to a far distance from the building, call 911 from outside of the building do not touch any light switches and do not shut the door behind you. The local emergency management team will be able to check the building for your safety. Call Environmental Air Systems toll free 1-866-339-HVAC to make proper repairs.