If you’re considering either an air conditioning replacement, a furnace replacement, or both. Chances are, this is your first time facing such a project and you’re not quite sure what to expect. That’s why we’ve come up with some information you’ll need that will help you prepare your home before the HVAC replacement project begins and give you an idea of what to expect. We’ll cover:
- Estimating Your HVAC installation Costs
- Deciding Whether to Replace or Repair
- Basic HVAC Terms to Know
- Finding an HVAC Contractor
- The Replacement & Installation Process
Estimate Your Cost
Before you start the replacement, we highly recommend that you get at least 3 quotes from different companies. Upon arriving at your property, the HVAC contractor will measure square footage and perform load calculations based on the size of your property, and condition of the structure’s envelope, or its ability to contain conditioned air.
After completing the assessment, the contractor will recommend the size and type of HVAC system, as well as any necessary repairs or modifications to your current ductwork and/or exterior envelope.
Your HVAC installation contractor should recommend the best air conditioner for your home or a list of the best furnace brands based on top brands, your budget, and the energy efficiency rating you are hoping to find in your new AC unit, furnace, or matched system. Schedule your free consultation with Spurk HVAC today. Our professional estimators will help you find the best possible equipment for your situation.
Finding a Contractor
- Make a list of licensed, insured, and bonded HVAC contractors in your area then schedule a visit for each contractor. – Allow each to take measurements & inspect your current system. Never accept a quote over email or over the phone unless the contractor has actually been to your home and has had the chance to look around. Every home has nuances and it’s almost never the case where replacement installations are exactly alike.
- Ask for proof of current HVAC license and insurance. You need the license number so you can do a follow-up to ensure the license is active as well as their insurance. You can also request a list of additional certifications. Such as the industry-leading NATE Technician Certification.
- Make sure the HVAC estimate is dated and signed and has all areas of an HVAC replacement covered including but not limited to:
- – Job start date & completion
- – Each particular task of the job listed out
- – HVAC system to be replaced
- – Price list for each task
- – Additional material costs
- – Clean up costs
- – Removal of old HVAC unit costs.
- – Know what’s included in your warranty.
- Check out the contractor’s reviews and read about the experience others have had. Check out Spurk HVAC’s here.
Repair or Replace?
Oftentimes, when a customer is looking to replace their system, we recommend replacing your entire HVAC system at once. This is what we refer to as a matched system. We touch on this in our article The Million Dollar Question.
Basic HVAC Terms
You’ll want to know these terms before deciding on the best replacement HVAC unit for your home.
- HSPF – Heating Season Performance Factor: This rating determines the efficiency of a heat pump. The current standard that all new heat pumps must have is a minimum rating of 7.7.
- SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio: This rating notes the efficiency of the cooling system. The current rating is set at a minimum of no less than 13 for all new systems.
Keep in mind when shopping for a new, complete system or individual unit: units with a higher HSPF and SEER rating (high-efficiency) than the current standard will cost more upfront. However, you will have a better return on your investment over time.
Getting Ready for an HVAC Replacement
There are several things you can do before the installation crew arrives that can speed up the process. Move valuables such as antiques and irreplaceable objects to a safe location. Many contractors are uncomfortable when asked to move expensive items from work areas, as they do not want to be liable in the case of an accident. In addition, if you have pets, move them to a safe, quiet location away from expected work areas.
Length of HVAC Replacement Installation Job
Now that the estimate is complete and you have chosen an HVAC contractor and new system based on their recommendations, you’re ready to move forward with the installation. While most HVAC system replacements can be completed within a day, more complex jobs could take more time. Upon arriving at your property, Spurk HVAC Installers will assess the job site and begin setting up their work areas.
Setting up the Area for an HVAC Replacement
First, the crew will protect all flooring in applicable work areas by laying drop cloths and/or protective paper. Next, they will direct your attention to furniture and other household belongings that may need to be moved to a safe location and out of the way. Because there may be some dust created during the installation, heavy furniture and other household items that cannot be moved will be covered with plastic for protection. After ensuring all flooring and household items are protected, the crew will bring in their tools and begin the project.
Replacing Old HVAC Systems
Before installing your new air conditioner and furnace, the crew must first remove the old equipment. The crew will need to access attic areas, crawl spaces, and basements that typically house the system. After cutting the power to the HVAC unit, the crew will begin disassembling and removing the old equipment.
Duct Repair and/or Modification
Depending on the scope of your project, ductwork repair and/or replacement may be involved. One or two crew members will typically begin this work, while the lead installer begins assembling the new equipment. In most cases, Spurk HVAC installers are equipped to fabricate minor pieces of ductwork on site.
If major ductwork modification or repair is involved in your HVAC project, you can expect to have crew members navigating their way through attics and crawl spaces to make the repairs or modifications necessary for the new equipment. In addition, major ductwork could prolong the completion of the HVAC replacement, so plan accordingly.
Installing Your New HVAC Unit Replacement
After repairing or modifying the existing ductwork, the crew will begin installing the new equipment to the manufacturer’s specifications. Depending on the type of system you choose, the equipment may be installed both inside and outside your home. The components installed may include the inside air handler or evaporator, outside compressor or condensing unit, new refrigerant supply lines, thermostat, condensate drain lines, and the condensate pump when applicable. In addition, while most HVAC contractors can upgrade wiring and circuit breakers during a typical HVAC installation, major changes to the property’s electrical system and circuitry may require the services of a licensed electrical contractor.
*Possible Unforeseen Circumstances
As with many home improvement projects, unexpected repairs—in addition to your written estimate—can pop up that are necessary to complete the project. While our expert estimators are normally excellent at discovering potential problems immediately, on rare occasions, there are things that cannot be assessed until the project has started. Our estimators will do their best to make you aware of their concerns during the estimating phase.
Testing the New AC System
Upon completing HVAC replacement installation, pressure and vacuum tests are performed before charging the system with new refrigerant. After a complete inspection of the new HVAC system, refrigerant is added and the system is activated and retested to ensure all components are working properly.
After all testing is complete, your installers will go over the proper operation of the new system and warranty information as well as answer any questions. Nearly all Spurk HVAC Installations, you’ll receive a new thermostat that your installer will teach you how to operate.
*During periods of colder weather, a return visit may be required for the air conditioning startup when the temperatures rise.
Now you’ll be ready to reap the benefits of a more comfortable home.
ABOUT SPURK HVAC
Spurk HVAC was formed in 2018 and is located in Warrendale, Pennsylvania. We proudly serve Cranberry Twp., Wexford, Gibsonia, Mars, and the surrounding Greater Pittsburgh area.
We service all makes and models. If you are seeking a heating repair, heating system replacement, air conditioner repair, air conditioning maintenance, air conditioning replacement, or any other heating & cooling services. Whether you are looking for residential or commercial HVAC services, we look forward to any and all opportunities to become your preferred HVAC contractor.