If you are planning a new HVAC system, it’s important to understand that competent installation isn’t something that you can take for granted – not even if you go with a well-known, name-brand contracting business.
Many homeowners make the mistake of believing that the quality of their installation is mostly down to the brand of equipment that they get. This isn’t the right way to think about such installations, however. There is room for serious error every step of the way. Poor quality installation can render the best HVAC equipment inefficient and ineffective. It is the contractor’s knowledge of his trade that makes HVAC equipment actually usable.
Your first step to finding the right contractor is learning how to recognize how things can go wrong and what there is to watch out for.
You may get equipment that’s too powerful
Many HVAC installation contractors prefer to sell their customers more heating and cooling power than they need. They do this, usually, because they aren’t confident in their ability to make precise calculations. They choose to err on the side of caution. In the event of an underestimation, the home can turn too warm in summer, and the client could find it easy to blame the contractor.
On the other hand, if an installation is too powerful, the problems that arise can be complicated ones. They can be hard to pin on the contractor. If it’s hard for you to imagine what kind of problems an overpowered installation might come with, here are examples:
- With excess capacity, air conditioning units tend to lower the temperature of the space to be cooled too quickly. This way, the unit has little time to remove moisture from the air before it cuts out. The result is indoor air that’s strangely cool and heavy with humidity at the same time.
- With its short run cycling, such an air conditioning unit is likely to either keep the temperature too cool or too warm.
- There’s likely to be excessive noise.
In addition, you’re likely to pay more up front for such a system, and more to run it. An oversized unit will usually receive inadequate airflow, and have its coils ice over. This can decrease efficiency.
They can install a poorly planned HVAC ducting system
A professionally done ducting system should use wider ducting for larger rooms or rooms with greater heating or cooling needs, and smaller ducting for smaller rooms. There’s an easy way to determine if the ducting system in your home is correctly sized – if it uses ducting of the same size for every room of the house, no matter how large or small, there’s something wrong. A poorly done ducting system will end up being inefficient.
Poor design in a ducting system can also cause mold, excessive power consumption and structural damage to a house. When a ducting system’s vents are positioned to directly aim air at the floor, for example, the hardwood can dry out and cause warping. If every joint in the system isn’t properly sealed (while good contractors use mastic, the others use tape), it can cause considerable air leakage and moisture formation that leads to mold. Experts estimate that 80% of homes have poorly designed ducting systems, and these families lose about 35% of the cool or warm air that they pay for.
A bad ducting system can also cause serious health problems. Many contractors design these systems to pull air in from crawlspaces. If a crawlspace has mold, the whole home becomes contaminated.
They can put in installations with poor filtration systems
Many homeowners don’t realize how important the filter rack of an HVAC system is. It keeps dust out of the system, makes for cleaner internal coils, and provides greater efficiency. A dust-clogged system cannot cool or heat air well and ends up wasting a great deal of energy. Unfortunately, there are plenty of new installations that come with loose, incorrectly sealed filters that liberally leak air.
There’s so much more that can go wrong…
There are other mistakes possible with an installation, as well. A thermostat that’s placed too close to a vent can fail to register the right temperature because it is directly exposed to cool or warm air. An outdoor condenser system that gets too much sunshine and too little ventilation, or one that has poorly insulated copper interconnect tubing, will waste energy. A refrigerant valve without a protective cap will get dirty, will leak refrigerant as a result, and will cost you lots of money for recharging.
The answer isn’t simply to go with some big-name installation company. They make these mistakes all the time. Instead, it takes some hard research. You need to look up reviews and ask pointed questions of every installation contractor that you put on your shortlist (you should look into at least three contractors). In an industry prone to unscientific practices, you can’t afford to be shy. If your contractor makes a mistake, you could end up paying for it for the next 20 years.
… but it won’t – not with us!
While everything you’ve read so far in this article definitely is worthy of being mindful of, the professionals here at Hey Neighbor Heating & Cooling will go above and beyond during every step of the installation process to ensure that you don’t encounter any issues. Even if we somehow do make a mistake… we’ll make it right, because that’s how neighbors should treat neighbors!™
Call us today at 1-844-HEY-NEIGHBOR or click the Request Service button above to setup a no-obligation consultation – we look forward to working with you to make your home comfortable and energy-efficient.