Its the first hot and humid day, and it’s inside your home! Can’t believe you need an air conditioner! Buying a new air conditioner is something that you may do only once or twice in your lifetime, and, based on over seventy years of selling, servicing, and installation experience, Thornton & Grooms plumbing, heating and cooling has developed a 7-step checklist that makes purchase of your new air conditioner relatively stress free and easy.
- Choose a qualified contractor. Ask your Chamber of Commerce, friends, or family, for a referral. Look for a contractor that has been in business, is licensed and insured and has trained NATE certified technicians to install different types and brands of equipment.
- Call your City Hall and speak with your building inspector. Air conditioning installations require permits to be filed with the city for both heating and electric, (electric is because most furnaces today require a grounded current from your panel and sometimes increasing the current size to 20 amps) and inspections by the building inspector upon completion. Check to see if there have been any problems with the contractor.
- Set up an appointment with the contractor. Make sure the contractor comes to your home at your convenience, and you have the name of the person visiting. Check their Certificates of Insurance and State and City licenses. Find out if they have a showroom and visit it. Ask for references. Ask to visit sites where they have made an installation similar to yours.
- Get a type written estimate. Talk to the contractor about your home, any special comfort needs, and how long you plan to stay in the home. Make sure they perform a heat gain/loss using an accurate infiltration number. This information will help the contractor propose the best air conditioner and associated equipment solutions for you. Have the contractor list exactly what is covered by the estimate-new equipment installed, old equipment removed, warranties and time frame.
- Explore payment options. Your contractor should offer options-cash, check, Visa and MasterCard, or 100% financing with terms. Often contractors ask for a down payment to schedule the job and secure the equipment.
- Schedule installation. Make sure it is convenient for you, confirm the time frame, and ask for the names of the installation technicians. Check identification when the technicians arrive. When they are finished, good technicians should explain to you how the system works. They should also provide literature, maintenance instructions, and phone numbers on your furnace.
- Consider a maintenance plan. Annual maintenance of your furnace saves energy and prolongs the life of your equipment. Good contractors offer these plans and the savings in your utility bill covers the cost of the plan.
Just follow this checklist and your new air conditioning purchase should be easy. Still have questions? Want more information? Contact us online. Better yet, visit our showroom, join us for a cool glass of water, and meet the people who will drive that heat from your home!