Choosing A Heating Contractor? Make A Wise Choice

Posted On: November 11, 2012

Picking a new and efficient heating system for your Metro-East home is the first step toward enjoying greater comfort with lower utility bills this winter. The second step is choosing a heating contractor who can complete the installation correctly. Poor installation can decrease a system’s efficiency by up to 30 percent, causing higher energy bills, comfort problems, poor air distribution and possibly even tainted indoor air quality.

To avoid these concerns, ask the following questions when choosing a heating contractor:

Do you offer Energy Star-qualified heating equipment?

Energy Star is a government-backed symbol for energy efficiency. Any appliance awarded the Energy Star label is more efficient, dependable and convenient than baseline models. It’s nearly always in your best interest to invest in Energy Star qualified equipment.

Will you size new equipment correctly?

Picking the most efficient equipment isn’t enough. It must also be sized properly. Contractors should use the Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s (ACCA) Manual J to size equipment based on your home’s specific heating needs. The proper size is imperative for comfort and optimal efficiency.

Can you help me set up a programmable thermostat?

Programmable thermostats often accompany new HVAC systems. They allow you to implement daily and weekly schedules – for instance, allowing you to set the temperature back when you’re away from home or sleeping for efficiency benefits without sacrificing comfort. If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, try choosing a heating contractor who will install one with the new equipment and show you how to use it.

Will you check the ductwork?

Ducts may become damaged over time as the force of the air flowing through them pulls them apart, and poorly attached insulation falls away. Your contractor should seal and insulate leaky ducts to improve efficiency and ensure cleaner indoor air.

When choosing a heating contractor, it makes sense to rely on that company for future maintenance and repairs. Ask for copies of all relevant paperwork, such as Manual J calculations and any records of measuring or testing, so you have these on hand in the future.

To work with a reputable contractor who meets or exceeds your expectations, contact Ernst Heating & Cooling. We serve homeowners in the Metro-East area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about heating contractors and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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