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HVAC Replacement Guide

The Simple Homeowners Guide to Replacing Your HVAC System

HVAC installation can be confusing to the average homeowner – heating and cooling systems are complicated, and most people do not have knowledge of the equipment. Weltman Home Services doesn’t expect homeowners to have the knowledge and experience we’ve received in our over 55+ years in business and through continued education. Weltman Home Services is here to assist you with that knowledge and help you make the best decision for your home comfort needs.

In this guide you’ll discover:

  • When to replace your system
  • Important factors in choosing your new HVAC system
  • Getting the right system for your home
  • How important is the brand of equipment
  • How to hire a service contractor
  • Why to hire Weltman Home Services for the repair or replacement of your system

When to Replace Your HVAC System

Here are SEVEN tell-tale signs you might be in need of a new system.

  1. Your system isn’t cooling or heating your home like you’re used to, even when it’s on full blast.
  2. Are you noticing weak or little air flow through your vents? The unit’s compressor may be failing.
  3. The thermostat is giving you problems. One way to tell if your thermostat is a problem is if one part of your house is very cold while another part remains at the same temperature.
  4. Moisture or leakage around or near your system can be an indication of problems. When you see leaks from your system, it can mainly be because of two reasons. You could be leaking refrigerant or the drain tube which disposes condensation is blocked or broken.
  5. Are you hearing strange sounds like squealing, grating and grinding sounds? These noises imply that something is wrong inside the unit.
  6. Do you smell a pungent or foul smell from your vents? This normally means that your system’s wire insulation has burned out. Musty smells generally indicate that there is mold inside your unit or ductwork which must be taken care of without delay.
  7. Is your electric bill greater than the average electric bill in your town for the amount of square footage you own?

Important Factors in Choosing Your New HVAC System

Size

A synonym for the air conditioner’s cooling capacity size is measured in British thermal units per hour (Btu/hr.) or in “tons.” One ton of cooling equals 12,000 Btu/hr.

Efficiency

This describes how much heating or cooling the unit delivers for each unit of energy being used. That translates into watts of electricity and therms of natural gas. Efficiency is expressed as the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, or SEER. The minimum SEER for a central air conditioner allowed today is 13, so look for units with SEER ratings of 13 or greater. The minimum efficiency for a gas furnace is 80%, hydronic boiler is 80% and steam boiler is 65%. The higher the efficiency, the lower your energy costs.

Maintenance

A service plan that combines regular inspections with discounts on repairs and an extended installation warranty is worth the investment. Every piece of mechanical equipment requires routine maintenance, just like your automobile.

Programmable Thermostats

Proper use of a programmable thermostat can reduce your cooling costs by up to 20 percent.

Getting the Right System for Your Home

In order for your new system to function properly, it needs to be sized appropriately for your home. A Weltman Home Services Home Comfort Advisor will perform a calculation called Manual J, also called a load calculation. This considers various factors about your home that contribute to heat loss, heat gain, and efficiency. Measurements are taken, construction and features of the home are considered, which help your Weltman Home Services Comfort Advisor determine the capacity needed for your new system.

If a company offers to quote a new system over the phone and does not visit your house, you cannot know that the system is the right size for your home.

How Important is the Brand of Equipment?

There are about six HVAC equipment manufacturers in the United States today, but they operate under more than 150 brand names. Here are some brands that come off the same manufacturing lines — just different paint, labels, and marketing:

  • Goodman and Lennox
  • Trane and American Standard
  • Carrier and Payne
  • York and Coleman
  • Amana

You get the idea.

Most of the components that make up these brands’ products are made by even fewer companies: Emerson, Johnson Controls and Honeywell manufacture the majority of components.

These companies are huge billion-dollar conglomerates. They all utilize rigid quality processes that produce nearly mistake-proof products.

So, is there a difference? Typically, there are small differences on the very top-end products, such as who has the bigger touch-screen thermostat, or is it 98.4 percent or 98.3 percent efficient. At the end of the day, these are really insignificant.

So, what is the clear-cut difference? The installing contractor. Every home and the system that distributes the heat or the cool are different—no two are alike. Experience and technical expertise are required to complete your installation, maximizing comfort and efficiency.

How to Hire a Service Contractor

“Never judge a book by its cover.”

That’s a common saying that’s been around for many generations. In terms of hiring, it means something very unique. When it comes to selecting the best candidates to work for your business, going deeper than just face value should be a routine practice.

Weltman Home Services performs extensive background checks on all employees securing that each technician employed at Weltman Home Services has a clean record and is drug free. Our technicians are 100% Trust Certified.

  1. Ask friends and colleagues to see if anyone you know and trust has any personal recommendations for contractors that they’ve used. Searching for local contractors on the Internet is an easy way to start if you cannot get any personal recommendations. Be sure to check if the contractors you are interested in have professional, up-to-date websites and if they have any ratings or reviews of them on the web.
  2. There’s no definitive number of contractors that you should call, but there are plenty of horror stories of bad contractors. That’s why it’s important to settle on a list of 3-5 contractors to call based on your initial research. Your goal is to find 2-3 contractors during those phone calls that you feel good about and would like to meet with in person. During the conversation, focus both on the manner in which they speak to you and their specific answers to your questions. During your entire conversation, you’ll want to be aware of a few details:
    1. Do they answer the phone professionally?
    2. Do they speak to you with respect?
    3. Do they seem interested in and excited by your project?
    4. Do they answer your questions directly or do they give you the run-around?
  3. Here are a few important questions you should make sure to ask:
    1. Are they licensed?
    2. Do they have insurance and if so, what kinds of coverage do they have?
    3. Do they have a positive rating on a well-respected website like Google?
    4. When will they be able to start the job?
    5. Will they provide you with a detailed contract once you have both agreed to the terms of the project?
  4. Here are some important questions to ask during the meeting. Have a pen and paper ready to write down their answers, just as you did during the phone call.
    1. How long has their company been in business?
    2. What is their permanent business address?
    3. Will your project require permits?
    4. How many projects like yours have they completed in the past year?
    5. Will they provide you with a guaranteed price that will not change regardless of the job condition encountered?
    6. What do their payment plans look like?
    7. Are they willing to show you a project they are currently working on?

Why Hire Weltman Home Services?

The Weltman Home Services Triple Guarantee
100% Satisfaction /Money Back Guarantee
Trust Certified Technicians
Clear and Upfront Pricing

We are fully licensed, bonded and insured for your peace of mind. We pull permits on EVERY single job.

HVAC #1228
D. Weltman Plumbing Lic. #6440
J. Leto Electric Lic. #17479
Electric Bus. Permit #6808-A
HIC #13VH04948800

Mention this guide and receive $450 off the purchase of a new HVAC system!