Few things are more infuriating than discovering you were overcharged by an unreliable contractor when it’s too late to do anything about it. You’ve been duped into paying high installment prices for an expensive new system that is not the best option for your home. To help you avoid this frustration, the team at OnTime Service is here to share 6 questions to ask during your AC estimate.

1. What size or capacity system does my house need?

Firstly, you should make sure you are given accurate estimates of what size your AC unit should be. If you install a system that is too small, it will not adequately cool your entire home. Conversely, a system that is too large for your home can use too much energy and fail to deliver a comfortable temperature. As a follow-up question, ask: “How do you determine the right size of AC unit I need?” Take some time beforehand to learn about the calculation process professionals should use, called the Manual J Load Calculation. This will help you discern the reliable contractors from the inexperienced ones.

2. Can the existing duct work be used?

As the circulatory system for air throughout your house, your ducts are a vital part of the discussion. A thorough technician will perform an in-depth inspection of your duct work, along with a good cleaning or replacing before installing a new AC unit. As a follow-up, ask:

“Are there any leaks in my duct work?”

“Should the ducts be cleaned before installation?”

3. Are there new technologies I should consider?

Because there are so many new innovations in the HVAC business, this is a wise question to ask. Many new technologies on the market offer higher energy-efficiency, lower cooling costs, and are more environmentally friendly. Some of these options to consider before your AC estimate discussion include ductless systems, programmable or smart thermostats, or mini-split systems. After you’ve done some research and learned more about top brands, follow up with:

“What brands do you offer?”

“Why do you prefer those brands over others?”

4. What’s the most energy-efficient system for my house?

One of the most important qualities to look for in a new AC system is energy-efficiency. Simply put, you are looking for a system that will give you the most “bang for your buck.” To accurately gauge their response, make sure to do your research ahead of time. Explore different types of systems and compare seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) ratings. This rating is similar to the miles per gallon for your car and is an important indicator of how much “bang for your buck” a new AC unit will give you. You can follow this by asking:

“What is the SEER rating?”

“Can I expect my utility bills to decrease?”

5. Could you please provide proof that your company is licensed, bonded, and insured?

If the contractor has correctly answered your questions so far, you should ask for proof that they are licensed, bonded, and insured. Any hesitance to provide proof of any of these three qualifications should be a red flag. A license indicates that a contractor is trained and experienced in handling and installing the HVAC equipment for the job. As an equally important credential, proof of being bonded and insured means a contractor is able to assume financial responsibility through a third-party bonding and insurance company. This is essential in case of any on-site accidents, property damage, or failure to complete the job.

6. What’s the time-table for installation?

Finally, the details about the installation process should be laid out. To make sure the estimate is commensurate with the services being performed, follow-up with these questions:

 “Do you dispose of the old unit, and if so, is this service included in the fee?”

“Does your fee include cleanup?”

“Will the work area be finished as it was before the installation process?”

Put Your Worries to Rest with OnTime Service!

Now that you know 6 questions to ask during your AC estimate, you can make an informed decision when you select your new AC unit. However, selecting the right HVAC technician is just as important. If you are looking for the best technician for the job, look no further than OnTime Service! Our experts are ready to help you find the ideal HVAC system for your home. Call us today at 251-272-3595 or fill out a service request form on our website.