(BPT) - Cool spots. Warm spots. Rooms that smell musty. A system that seems to perpetually be cycling on and off. Any of these issues (and more) may have you doubting your HVAC system … and wondering if it’s time for a replacement. New equipment is a significant investment so it’s important to consider whether other issues could be causing HVAC havoc in your home. How can you determine if new HVAC equipment is the best solution for what your home needs?
An HVAC contractor who understands how the components of a home’s heating and cooling system work together is key to supporting your home’s comfort and energy efficiency. Here are six questions you can use to get the conversation going and help evaluate whether an HVAC contractor is the right fit to solve your home comfort issues.
1. What might be causing the problem?
Whether you’re experiencing comfort issues, a high electric bill or a system that can’t keep up, you shouldn’t assume the problem is your AC unit or furnace. A knowledgeable HVAC contractor trained to care for a home’s air should be able to present you with a few possibilities but will only confirm the causes after a thorough inspection. There’s a difference between being experienced with typical issues and jumping to conclusions.
2. What parts of my home will you be evaluating?
Various components of the HVAC work as a system, so it is important that a contractor does not just check the air conditioning unit or thermostat. That means various components depend on one another. An issue in one place — like a poorly insulated attic or even a dirty furnace filter — can put stresses on other areas (such as making a system run too frequently). Your HVAC contractor should be gathering all of the information necessary to make a proper diagnosis. Their inspection should always include a look around the attic. Problems with attic ductwork — like insufficient insulation or holes, leaks and loose connections in ductwork — can lead to issues throughout a home. The inspection process should be comprehensive — so your decision can be an informed one.
3. What if you determine the problem isn’t my equipment (or it’s more than my equipment)?
Your HVAC contractor should be prepared to service all aspects of your HVAC system. This includes things like properly sealing or insulating ductwork, ensuring the attic is properly insulated, and, yes, repairing or replacing furnace and AC units when required. They should be ready with holistic solutions that may touch multiple components — and the “box” might not even be on the list.
4. What’s your expertise in HVAC issues beyond the unit?
Many of us assume our HVAC contractors are experts in the equipment they sell and service, but how do you know if they’re experts in the other components of a system, such as ductwork and insulation? Owens Corning® Certified AirCare® Professionals receive special training and tools that support a whole-home approach to HVAC solutions. They have the skills and equipment to properly evaluate your HVAC issues and correct them with trusted materials from Owens Corning®.
5. What difference will your recommendations make in my home?
Your HVAC contractor should be able to explain to you how any recommended repairs, replacements and additions will help solve your issues. For example, sealing leaky ducts may address problems with excess dust in your home. Proper attic insulation helps keep your living spaces warm in winter and cool in summer. A properly trained contractor can — and should — explain these principles to you, so you understand the gains in efficiency, comfort and air quality you can expect after implementing their recommendations.
6. What questions do you have for me?
Because a qualified HVAC contractor is the expert, he or she should have questions for you about what you’re experiencing in your home, the history of your system and whether your family has any special concerns, like allergen levels. A great contractor may even follow up with more questions post visit as they’re creating a thorough set of recommendations for you.
Whenever a contractor leaves your home, you should feel more informed. A qualified HVAC contractor, like an Owens Corning® AirCare® Professional, can open your eyes to ways to improve your entire home’s comfort, function and efficiency and will welcome these questions and many more.