4 Questions to Ask When Buying a New Furnace and Air Conditioner

By: Brian Schutt  |  March 27, 2013

Thinking of buying a new HVAC for your home? Read on for more information on 4 questions to ask when buying a new furnace and air conditioner.

Almost without fail your furnace or air conditioner is going to die on the day you’re least ready for it to happen. It’s going to be frigid or boiling. You’ll be in the middle of taking on kid to a practice and going to another’s doctor’s appointment. You’ll have just put the deposit down on the condo for an upcoming vacation. The last thing you’ll want to have happen is your heating and cooling system to break down, but it will. And you won’t know how to distinguish between one HVAC contractor from another.

It’s far more likely, however, that if you’re reading this that it’s not some future event I’m speculating about, rather that you’re in the midst of what I described above. So enough chit chat, let’s get into those important questions you need to be asking to ensure you make the right decision in a frustrating situation.

1. Permits

If you live in Indianapolis – Marion County (or most major cities) the heating and air conditioning provider needs to be licensed in order to perform the work. They are required to pull a permit, which will likely result in an inspection to make sure everything meets code. While this might add cost, there are reasons why this needs to happen – all of which is to protect your family and your home. Improper electrical, improper exhaust, improper drainage can lead to property damage, inefficiency in operation, and even health risks to your family. Do you know how to ensure the work meets code? If not, you need to choose a provider who’s operating under the legal requirements.

The Question: What is your license number in Marion County? Then call 317.327.8700 to confirm this info. 

2. Load Calculation

When the technician or sales person visited your home, did he take measurements to perform a load calculation? Do you even know what that is? In essence, it’s a measurement that provides an exact sizing of your furnace or air conditioner to meet the unique demands of your home. With variables like windows, insulation, type of construction, not all homes are alike. If you’re making a sizable investment, don’t you want it to be the right size system?

The Question: How did you determine the size of the system you have estimated? 

3. Technician Experience

From a technical perspective, one of the more simple things a certified heating and cooling technician does is replace a system. Usually the most experienced guys are doing diagnostic and repair work. Some of the bigger firms will put their least experienced techs on installs, provide 10 year parts and labor warranties as part of the price on install, knowing that if/when issues arise they can send back the experienced technicians to fix these issues. Homesense made the decision early on to hire only experienced techs, so you only get the best on your system’s installation. This reduces error, and increases quality on new installation. Mind you it doesn’t fully remove potential issues, but certainly reduces them.

The Question: How long has the technician who will do this installation had his EPA certification? (They should be able to provide documentation to support this claim)

4. Quality Control

Related to question 2, it is required that the license holder inspect each job where a permit has been pulled. This follow up visit is something that should be discussed with a homeowner before the job has been agreed upon. Within this visit, the supervising technician should be going through the specifics of the job laid out in your agreement, and going through a check list to ensure everything meets code requirements.

The Question: When will your license holder perform an inspection visit after the installation? 

If you follow these steps above, you’ll be making huge strides to ensure you are selecting a quality HVAC provider which will reduce the risks, the long terms costs, and make your family safer.

Now that you have have answers to the 4 questions to ask when buying a new furnace and air conditioner, give us a call at 317-203-8149 or tweet us @TrustHomesense with anymore you have!


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