Here are some of the best questions to ask the installer of your air conditioning system before he starts:
1. “Are you going to have the City/County issue an HVAC installation permit?”
Installers will conveniently leave out this information if not asked. Don’t be fooled, Permits are normally a very small fraction of the total installation costs and will only benefit the homeowner. When a permit is issued it triggers an air duct test, performed by a HERS Rater and a visual inspection of the installed exterior equipment only.
2. “Who will be testing the leakage of my HVAC system?”
Some installers have the proper equipment to test the system, but lack current certifications. Also, air conditioning contractors are allowed to test their own work but only a third party HERS rater’s results are accepted by the inspectors. This question will also flag the fact that you are aware this test is needed.
3. “If the test results show severe leakage in the duct system, will I be charged for the repairs?”
While most good installers will repair existing ducts to meet code requirements, some will charge for this service when the leakage is unknown from the beginning. These instances can be avoided when a “PRE-TEST” is performed. Some installers will coax homeowners to make repairs that are unnecessary. We can be a second pair of experienced eyes on the job to verify their assessment and validity.
Many questions need to be asked when purchacing an HVAC system. The answers to these questions will show the quality of the installer.