Choosing and Upgrading Heating and Cooling Systems
When considering the replacement of an existing heating and cooling system, it becomes crucial to initially assess the constraints imposed by your current setup. While it’s technically feasible to install almost any heating and cooling system in any home, the associated costs and aesthetic implications may not align with your preferences. For those selecting a heating and cooling system for a new residence, the options are generally more extensive, although builders or developers may impose certain restrictions.
For both new constructions and established homes, prioritizing the enhancement of energy efficiency is paramount. This proves to be the most economical approach to maintaining home comfort, regardless of the prevailing climate. Once energy efficiency is optimized, explore the potential for passive solar heating and assess whether natural ventilation can suffice for cooling on warmer days before resorting to artificial cooling. Only after delving into these considerations should you finalize the system type and collaborate with a contractor to determine the optimal size.
Even the most energy-efficient heating and cooling system can fall short in saving costs if installed or adjusted improperly. To validate the competence of your chosen heating and cooling contractor, inquire about their certification from North American Technician Excellence, Inc. (NATE).
Here are additional guidelines for selecting contractors:
Seek recommendations from neighbors and friends for trusted contractors. Prioritize local companies for better accessibility. Verify licenses and insurance of potential contractors. Inquire about their past experiences in the field. Check references and consult the Better Business Bureau. Use these strategies to shortlist multiple contractors, then obtain at least three comprehensive, written proposals. Each proposal should encompass an agreement for providing written calculations (detailing the procedures and standards to be followed), equipment and installation warranties, a payment schedule, and a fixed completion date. While price is a factor, avoid making decisions solely based on it. Emphasize the quality of installation, as it directly influences energy costs, comfort, and longevity.