8 tips for choosing a Utah HVAC contractor
Adding or replacing an air conditioner in your Utah home is a major investment. If installed correctly a central air system will provide efficient, comfortable and reliable cooling for many years. Poorly installed central air systems will short cycle, freeze up, break down, and cause high power bills. When choosing a Utah HVAC contractor there are several things to consider:
- Choose a reputable contractor: Salt Lake City area homeowners have many HVAC companies to choose from. A good place to start is the Utah BBB. Check Google reviews and read comments from real customers on AngiesList. Keep in mind the companies with the big advertising budgets will have to charge more than other HVAC companies. Choose a company that has been in business for more than 10 years. Ask who will be doing the work and how much experience they have.
- Cost: The lowest bid you receive isn’t always the best choice. Consider things like what is included in the bid...is the disconnect box going to be replaced? What about the pad? What are the warranties? Use a company with pictures of their work on their website. Systems with higher SEER ratings will cost more upfront but they may pay for themselves over time. Be wary of very low estimates. A central air installation is a complicated undertaking with hundreds of connections and dozens of considerations.
- SEER: The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is a rating given to air conditioners according to how much electricity they use. The higher the SEER the more efficient the unit. If a central air system is not installed properly it will never reach the rated SEER. Because we live in a moderate climate in Salt Lake City, Utah a 13 SEER to a 16 SEER is recommended.
- Location: The outdoor unit of a central air conditioner is called a condenser. It should be located in an area away from trees and plants preferably in the shade. The condenser should be at least 18” away from the house and sit on a plastic pad. A disconnect box should be within 5’ of the unit.
- Brand: When considering the brand ask the contractor why they use the brand they are recommending. Stay away from builders model units. Research the websites of air conditioner manufacturers such as Amana. Look for the features and benefits of the different units. Condensers with spine fin coils will require more expensive maintenance because they need to be disassembled to clean. Consider the manufacturer warranties and ask for lifetime unit replacement if the compressor goes out.
- Size: The size of an air conditioner is expressed in Tons. Residential air conditioners range from 1 ½ tons to 5 tons. An experienced HVAC contractor will take things such as square footage, the duct system, exposure to sun and more into consideration when determining the proper size of the air conditioner needed for your home. Bigger is not better and oversized air conditioners will short cycle and freeze up.
- Warranty: Manufactures will have a warranty on the parts of the air conditioner. The labor warranty from the HVAC contractor should be clearly explained and written on the proposal. Make sure the company has been in business for at least 10 years and is registered with the Utah Department of Occupational Licensing.
- Your furnace: The furnace is the heart of any HVAC system. The blower runs all year long circulating air through your home. While replacing your air conditioner you should strongly consider replacing the furnace at the same time. The cost will be much less if it were replaced on its own. Furnaces with variable speed blower motors will provide superior operation and will use less electricity. High-efficiency furnaces installed in Utah qualify for a rebate from Questar which can be applied for here.
Humphrey Heating and Air has been a Utah HVAC contractor since 2006. We have excellent reviews and we are licensed and insured. When you are ready for a bid for your furnace or air conditioner replacement in your Utah home please give us a call.
2124 s Orchard Dr. Bountiful Utah 84010