What's involved in a heating or cooling project?
Call in a HVAC pro for a heating or cooling unit installation, service call, or annual tune up. Some companies offer warranties or insurance on their services, which can help homeowners save money in the long term.
A technician may need to drill some holes in loadbearing and non-loadbearing walls (depending on the project and device type) for pipes and cables when they install a unit.
Forced air systems require duct installations. This can be a time consuming and messy project. The contractor will remove the ceiling to complete project.
Homeowners who are looking to install a heat pump or external air conditioning unit should expect the company to find a suitable space for the unit beside the home. They will probably place it atop a cement slab.
How much does it cost?
Prices depend on the project and unit. Homeowners can expect the following:
- Furnace and air conditioning service calls: $200 - $400+
- Central air system installation: $2,000 - $8,000 (duct work installations account for the price range closer to $8,000)
- Gas furnace installation: up to $4,000
- Heat pump installation: up to $8,000+ (heat pump is usually included; additional zones are extra)
- Split system AC installation: up to $3,000 (split system is usually included in cost)
Is this a DIY project?
Homeowners can do an annual checkup of their furnace or air conditioning unit. Make sure that the electricity is cut before inspecting the unit. Homeowners can also install their own AC window units. It's best to leave other furnace or AC maintenance up to the pros for safety reasons.
Homeowners can improve their AC efficiency by ensuring that the coil fins are straight rather than bent (using a fin straightener comb).
Changing the central air filter on a bi-monthly basis will increase HVAC efficiency up to 15%.
Homeowners should ask their HVAC technician for an itemized receipt or invoice. This will help future technicians.
Question the charges that your technician wants to bill you for. They may be charging you for “seasonal procedures”, which may be unnecessary.
Make sure that all the technician's replacement parts are new. New parts will either be boxed, or have their barcode taped on the side.
Ask questions, and expect solid answers. The tech must have legitimate reasons for part replacements and procedures.
An insurance plan ($15-$20/month) may be helpful with those wo have an old furnace.