5 Questions to Ask Your AC Contractor Before Replacing Your Air Conditioner

It’s an unfortunate reality that air conditioners don’t last forever and eventually need to be replaced. If you’re facing this reality right now, you may be unsure of how to choose a new air conditioner that will meet the needs of you, your family and your budget. The following are five questions to ask your AC contractor before you say “yes” to any new unit.

  1. How will you size a new air conditioner?

    A qualified, experienced HVAC contractor will take time to calculate which air conditioner is right for you. Be suspicious of any contractor who has a quick answer to this question, such as:

    • “We’ll replace your unit with a same size unit.”
    • “We’ll just need to add another ton.”
    • “If your house is 2400 square feet, you definitely need a 4-ton unit.”

    These answers indicate that there has been no calculation of actual heating and cooling loads. This is not the right approach for choosing such an important piece of equipment! Choose a contractor who is willing to take the time to accurately measure your house and evaluate your insulation, windows, orientation, infiltration rate and duct system. This information is then plugged into a load calculation tool to determine exactly how many BTUs per hour your home actually requires.

  2. Do you use a house-as-a-system approach to replacing an air conditioner?

    An air conditioner is only one component of your HVAC system. It’s important to review the entire system, such as the ducts, vents, thermostat, as well as other home elements that impact your home’s heating and cooling. With a system-wide approach, your contractor has a much better idea of what size and type of air conditioner is best for your home.

  3. Do you test for duct leakage?

    Your home’s air distribution system plays a vital part in making your home cool and comfortable. Your contractor should perform a duct leakage test to assess the quality of your home’s ductwork before installing a new air conditioner.

  4. Do you assess air flow in the duct system

    When it comes to your home’s duct system, there’s more to evaluate than just leaks. Many homes in the greater Phoenix metro area were built with duct systems that were not optimized for energy efficiency. Your contractor should offer to measure the total external static pressure to ensure that it’s within the limits specified for the unit being considered. Air flow should also be checked in each room for consistency. It’s important to keep in mind that your air conditioner will only be as effective as your duct system.

  5. Are you a licensed dealer?

    By choosing a licensed dealer, you will not only get a contractor who is trained to install and repair your specific model of air conditioner, you’ll also get the peace of mind of a valid manufacturer warranty.

Want to learn more about air conditioner installation? Call Chandler Air at 480-899-0267.

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