HVAC Replacement Guide

A Simple Homeowners Guide to Successfully Replacing Your HVAC System


Homeowners often need help navigating the complexity of HVAC installation. Heating and cooling systems are intricate, leaving many feeling overwhelmed by their options. At Weltman Home Services, we don’t expect homeowners to have the knowledge and experience we’ve received in our over 60+ years in business and continued education. 

Our experienced technicians are certified professionals who remain current on the latest technologies in order to provide you with guidance when it comes to deciding what works best for your home comfort needs. Check out our handy guide to ensure you have all the information you indeed before getting started on your HVAC replacement project.

Topics Discussed In Our Comprehensive HVAC Guide

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

When to Replace Your HVAC System

Is your HVAC system showing signs of poor performance? Check out these seven key indicators to determine if it's time for a new unit.

  1. 1
    Your system isn’t cooling or heating your home like you’re used to, even when it’s on full blast.
  2. 2
    Are you noticing weak or little airflow through your vents? The unit’s compressor may be failing.
  3. 3
    The thermostat is giving you problems. One way to tell if your thermostat is failing is if one part of your house is very cold while another remains at the same, lower temperature.
  4. 4
    Moisture or leakage around or near your system can indicate a malfunctioning unit. Leaks are often caused by:
    Leaking refrigerant
    The drain tube which disposes of condensation is blocked or broken.
  5. 5
    Are you hearing strange sounds that resemble squealing, grating and grinding? These noises imply that something is wrong inside the unit.
  6. 6
    Do you notice a pungent or foul smell from your vents? This normally means that your system’s wire insulation has burned out. Musty smells generally indicate mold inside your unit or ductwork, which must be taken care of right away.
  7. 7
    Is your electric bill greater than your town's average electric bill for the square footage you own?

When to Replace Your HVAC System

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

This describes how much heating or cooling the unit delivers for each unit of energy being used – this translates into watts of electricity and therms of natural gas. 

In HVAC terms, efficiency is expressed as the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, or SEER. The minimum SEER for a central air conditioner allowed today is 13; therefore, we recommend you look for units with SEER ratings of 13 or greater. The minimum efficiency for a gas furnace or a hydronic boiler is 80%, and 65% for a steam boiler. The higher the efficiency, the lower your energy costs.

Attention: As of January 2021, SEER ratings for AC units and heat pumps increased from 13 to 14. New residential systems are required to meet new energy efficiency standards. Click here to learn more about how the latest energy efficiency regulations will affect your New Jersey home.

Every piece of mechanical equipment requires routine maintenance, just like your automobile. Therefore, we believe that hiring a service plan that combines regular inspections with discounts on repairs and an extended installation warranty is worth the investment and will bring you peace of mind while keeping you and your loved ones safe. 

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

How To Find The Right System for Your Home

To ensure that your new system is running optimally, it's essential to consider the size of your home as you make a choice. The best way to assess your needs is to schedule an appointment with one of our Home Services Home Comfort Advisors; they will perform a manual J or load calculation. This calculation determines your home’s heat loss, heat gain and efficiency factors. Taking measurements, considering construction and analyzing additional features will allow our expert to determine the capacity needed for your new system. 

At Weltman, we strongly recommend in-home visits to provide you with an accurate quote, as over-the-phone services don’t allow for proper assessment and could lead to erroneous recommendations.

How Important Is The Equipment Brand You Choose?

There are five main HVAC equipment manufacturers in the United States today; however, they operate under over 150 brand names. Behind these names lie individual products carefully designed and painted with labels tailored to every customer's needs.

✓ Goodman and Lennox

✓ Trade and American Standard

✓ Carrier and Payne

✓ York and Coleman 

✓ Amana

Most of the components that make up these brands’ products are manufactured by even fewer companies: Emerson, Johnson Controls and Honeywell. They all utilize rigid processes that produce nearly mistake-proof products to guarantee top quality.

So, is there a difference? 

Small differences can typically be found in high-end products, such as bigger touch-screen thermostats or efficiency levels. However, at the end of the day, these are insignificant.

What is the clear-cut difference? 

The installing contractor. Every home and heating/cooling system is different — no two are alike. Experience and technical expertise are required to complete your installation, maximizing comfort and efficiency.

How Important Is The Equipment Brand You Choose?

As the saying goes, “never judge a book by its cover”. In terms of hiring, this means something unique – when 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, ensuring that each technician employed at Weltman Home Services has a clean record and is drug-free. Our technicians are 100% Trust Certified. Here are some tips to follow when hiring a service contractor:

  1. Ask friends and colleagues to see if anyone you know and trust has personal recommendations for contractors they’ve used in the past. 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 that they have at least a few ratings or reviews of their services.
  2. There’s no definitive number of companies you should call, but there are plenty of horror stories homeowners have experienced from 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 you feel good about and would like to meet with in person. During the conversation, focus on how they speak to you and their specific answers to your questions. During your entire conversation, you’ll want to pay attention to 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 give you the run-around?
  3. Here are a few important questions you should always ask during your first contact:
    1. Are they licensed?
    2. Do they have insurance and if so, what kind 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 in-person 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?

✓ 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.
We are participating contractors for PSE&G, JCP&L and Elizabethtown Gas. We can also offer up to 84 months of 0% financing on qualifying systems.

HVAC #1228 D. Weltman Plumbing Lic. #6440
J. Leto Electric Lic. #17479

Electric Bus. Permit #6808-A
HIC #13VH04948800

Mention this guide and receive $500 off the purchase of a new HVAC system!
Blog Posts