As a blog writer for a plumbing and AC company, I get many requests for content about “do-it-yourself” options for heating and air conditioning systems. And while there is plenty a homeowner can do to assist in the maintenance and upkeep of their HVAC system, when it comes time for a new HVAC system installation, a homeowner must seek the help of a professional HVAC company like Nick’s Air Conditioning.
HVAC Installation is NOT a Do-It-Yourself Project!
I feel safe in suggesting that 99% of you reading this would never even think about purchasing a new HVAC system, having it delivered to your home, and that’s it. Now your driveway is filled with heavy components, from heat exchangers and outdoor condenser units all the way to new flexible ductwork, thermostats, and heat registers. Who is going to make sure all of this equipment gets installed correctly, and more importantly, who will get it out of your driveway?!?
Understandably, a homeowner facing a costly HVAC system replacement would want to save a few hundred dollars on the installation. And yes, professional HVAC installation is expensive. However, the worst choice that homeowners can make is to cut costs on installing their brand-new HVAC system by hiring a local handyman or having a “friend with an awesome set of tools” take care of it.
Why Can’t I Hire a Handyman to Install My HVAC System?
While the local handyman—or “Chuck in a Truck” as we refer to them—may be skilled in various basic home repairs, there are several disadvantages to letting ol’ Chuck install your HVAC system instead of a professional services company like Nick’s Air Conditioning.
Lack of Specialized Knowledge.
HVAC systems combine many complex components that require specialized knowledge for an installation to go smoothly. Professional HVAC technicians undergo extensive training and have specific expertise in HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance techniques. Your neighbor’s brother’s friend may be able to get the job done cheaper, but without a comprehensive understanding of HVAC systems can lead to installation mistakes that can result in inadequate performance and poor energy efficiency issues.
Compliance with Codes and Regulations.
The first and most important point to make under this header is that it is illegal for anyone other than a licensed plumber to do plumbing work in any residential or commercial building. HVAC contractors must also adhere to local building codes, requiring them to be well-versed in these requirements. This ensures that the HVAC work being performed meets all necessary codes and safety standards. Handymen may not have the same familiarity with these regulations, increasing the risk of non-compliance citations along with various safety hazards.
Voiding Manufacturer’s Warranties.
Most HVAC equipment manufacturers require professional installation for warranty coverage to apply. Suppose an unlicensed handyman installs your HVAC system. In that case, it can void the warranty, leaving you responsible for any repairs or replacements out of your pocket, even those issues that would have been covered had the system been installed by a professional.
HVAC installation involves electrical connections, often drawing 220 volts—unlike the lower 110 volts other appliances operate on—which can pose dangerous electrical shock risks. Non-professional HVAC installers often lack the appropriate tools for creating safe electrical splices or meters to check that any readily accessible components are properly grounded against shock risk. Professional HVAC companies have the expertise and appropriate tools, equipment, and knowledge to perform routine maintenance and address any potential issues the average handyman lacks.
Why Should I Hire a Professional HVAC Installation Company?
Expertise and Experience.
Professional HVAC companies have extensively trained their technicians, providing them with the skills, knowledge, and experience to handle even the most complex HVAC installation. While Nick’s Air Conditioning exclusively offers direct sales of Trane® HVAC systems and Mitsubishi Electric ductless mini-split heat pumps, our technicians are familiar with all popular manufacturers’ equipment. We can install, repair or perform maintenance on all HVAC brands like Carrier, Lennox, Rheem, and Daikin.
Ability to Properly Size and Select Proper Components.
HVAC systems need to be properly sized and selected based on the specific requirements of your home. Professional HVAC companies will conduct load calculations to determine the appropriate system size and capacity for the living space. Not only limited to mathematical calculations regarding square feet but other factors are also considered that can negatively affect your HVAC system’s ability to perform. Doors and windows are counted and factored in, as well as the type and amount of insulation your home has in the attic and exterior walls. Even details like which way your house is facing and how much old-growth tree coverage your house will play into your HVAC system selection.
Newest Equipment and Longest Warranties.
Established, professional HVAC companies can access a wide range of current, high-quality equipment from reputable builders. Many smaller fly-by-night HVAC installation companies use outdated technology bought from construction companies that end up with extras at the end of the season. Quite often, these outdated units will languish in a storage unit for a year or two before the liquidator gets around to selling them. By then, they’re years behind from a technological standpoint, and the system’s warranty period is much closer to its end date.
System Performance and Efficiency.
Professional installation is necessary for your HVAC system’s optimal performance and energy efficiency. Professional installation ensures that the equipment is calibrated, components are correctly connected, and all ductwork is appropriately sealed and unobstructed. These factors result in much more efficient operations, even cooling and heating throughout the home, and reduced energy consumption.
Warranty and Maintenance Support.
Professional HVAC companies often offer warranty coverage on the physical installation of the system that is over and above the manufacturer’s warranty. This allows the customer to have the peace of mind of contacting the installer if any problems arise following the installation. Professional HVAC companies can also provide ongoing maintenance services to keep your new HVAC system running smoothly for years.
What Should I Ask My HVAC Technician Before Installing an HVAC System?
1. What is the Appropriate Size System for My Home?
Knowing the appropriate size and type of HVAC system (central or mini-split heat pump) is essential to obtaining optimal performance and energy efficiency for your home. Ask your technician to explain the measurements they’ve taken and how those and other factors are being used to determine your system’s size.
2. What Are the Energy Efficiency Ratings of the Recommended HVAC System?
Energy efficiency directly impacts your energy bills as well as your carbon footprint. With air conditioning alone responsible for as much as 40% of the earth’s greenhouse gases, today’s efficiency is more critical than ever. Please inquire about the energy efficiency ratio of the HVAC system, such as its Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) for cooling or Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) for furnaces.
3. What Will the Total Cost of Equipment and Installation Be?
This is probably the hardest question to hear the answer to. Still, it is important that the final cost of all equipment, installation, clean-up, haul-away of your old system, and any other extra be agreed upon in writing.
4. Are There Any Rebates or Incentives for Installing New HVAC?
HVAC equipment manufacturers often offer discounts, rebates, or other incentives, especially during the slow seasons of spring and fall. Additionally, there are current government-sponsored and financed rebate programs for installing more eco-friendly HVAC equipment options.
Why Choose Nick’s for Your New HVAC System Installation?
Professional intervention in an HVAC installation will ensure your new system’s proper, efficient, and reliable setup. It protects your investment—especially if warranty repairs are ever needed—promotes safety, and helps you get the most out of your new system for years. Nick’s staff of fully-background-checked, licensed, and experienced HVAC technicians are standing by to help ensure your family’s comfort.
Nick’s Air Conditioning is more than whole-house central HVAC system installations. Nick’s is available for all your heating and air conditioning repair and maintenance needs, offering competitive pricing and five-star service.