Many heating and air conditioning units are used for decades, and replacing an old one will be a major financial decision. The investment is worth it if the old unit is unreliable, inefficient, or uses a CFC refrigerant. Units made more than two decades ago are less efficient and prime candidates for an upgrade.
The next step is to find a qualified installation company. While independent refrigeration mechanics can repair an HVAC unit, a contractor is needed for an installation. The house must be examined before any significant work begins, and delivering and installing an air conditioner requires a team of workers.
Reliable HVAC contractors have been in business for at least a few years, like Bartlett Heating and Air Conditioning, and have a long list of satisfied customers. Friends and relatives might have personal experience with a company, and many established companies have independent reviews posted on the Internet. A contractor does not have to be based in town. Searching surrounding towns is also a good idea. Excellent contractors have a positive reputation and a competitive price.
Homes are inspected to determine the quality of the duct work and to see how large the HVAC unit should be. Smaller homes and better insulated homes need smaller air conditioners. An over-sized air conditioner would waste energy and cost more upfront. Some spare capacity is desirable, because extreme weather is inevitable. Inspection also detects worker risks and residential health hazards.
Installing an air conditioner requires a contract. This makes demands on both the contractor and the home owner, and it locks in a price and unit order. Because purchases are hard to change at this stage, it pays to determine exactly what unit is desired and when the work should take place. Soliciting opinions from other professionals is desirable in uncertain cases.
The best contract sets a work schedule that does not interfere with family hours. Installation should not take more than a day, so this point is flexible. The HVAC unit will arrive on schedule, and a forklift will set it in place. The most tedious task will be wiring, which requires an electrician.