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Everything the First-Time AC Buyer Needs to Know


June 19, 2020



Are you a first-time air conditioner buyer? If this is your first experience with AC systems, take a look at everything you need to know to make the sales and installation process easier.

Choose the Right HVAC Contractor

What should you look for in an HVAC contractor? As a first-time AC buyer, you may not have worked with this type of company before. While you could Google HVAC companies in your area and choose the first option on page one of the search results, this isn’t the best method to find a quality contractor.

Before you choose one air conditioner contractor, ask the potential service companies:

  • How much experience do you have in AC sales?
    You need a new air conditioner. This means you need a company that has extensive experience in AC sales. A contractor that primarily handles heat pumps or plumbing won’t provide the sales guidance you need right now.
  • How much experience do you have in AC installation?
    After you choose a new AC unit, you need a contractor that knows how to correctly install it. Make sure the company also has experience in air conditioning (not just heater or water heater) installations.
  • Do you have references?
    Any HVAC contractor will likely not openly explain that they have unsatisfied customers. Even though the contractor may talk up their expertise, references offer a customer’s view of the company’s AC sales and installation ability.
  • Are you insured?
    You don’t want to get stuck with unnecessary bills for damage, accidents, and other on-the-job issues. A quality AC contractor should have the appropriate insurance coverage for your area.
  • Do you offer a written estimate?
    While a verbal agreement is binding in some areas, it won’t help you in a price dispute. Verify the company’s ability to provide a written estimate before they order a new unit or start the job.

After you choose a contractor, you’re ready to move on to the next step and choose a new AC system.

Choose the Right AC System

Not all air conditioners are created equal. Without prior experience, you may not know what to look for in an AC system. Start with some professional guidance. Provided you feel comfortable with your AC contractor choice, ask the expert for an in-home inspection and recommendations on specific systems.

If you’re not sure what to ask the contractor, start with:

  • What is the energy efficiency of each model?
    According to the U.S. Department of Energy, six percent of the average American household’s energy use goes to cooling. A new high-efficiency air conditioner can reduce cooling-related energy use by between 20 and 50 percent.
  • What do customers say about the unit?
    You don’t only need references for the HVAC contractor. Ask about real-world references or reviews for each air conditioner option.
  • What does your home need?
    Different homes have different air conditioning needs. If your home doesn’t have ducts, you’ll either need a ductless mini-split system or newly installed ducts.

Along with these issues, you may also need to consider the outdoor condenser unit options. The contractor can evaluate the outdoor area and help you to better understand which type of system is right for your home and yard.

Choose the Right AC Installation

Now that you’ve chosen a system, you can schedule the installation. Before the big day arrives, ask the HVAC contractor:

  • Are there additional issues to resolve?
    These could include leaky ducts, a lack of ducts, electrical wiring, or other related issues.
  • How long will the installation take?
    Make sure the installation fits into your timetable. Ask the installer what to expect and how much time they’ll need.
  • What are the local building codes?
    Do you need a permit for the installation? Does your community have outdoor condenser placement requirements? Ask about applicable rules and codes before the installation. This can save you time and money.

The contractor should also provide you with the estimated costs of installation. These should include parts, materials, the AC unit, and labor.

Are you ready to buy a new air conditioner? Contact Comfort Solutions
for more information.