If you own your home for an extended period of time, you will almost certainly need to replace your air conditioner or furnace sooner or later. These heating and cooling systems cost much more than the typical household appliance, and if you buy a unit that’s not well-suited to residence, you may regret your purchasing decision for as much as a decade or longer. Fortunately, you can increase your chances of buying a suitable AC or furnace by avoiding a few common pitfalls.

 

Buying an Inappropriately Sized Unit

Furnace and air conditioner manufacturers design their products to work under a certain set of conditions. Key factors here include the size of your home, as well as your home’s layout. If you buy a heating or cooling unit that’s too powerful or too weak for your needs, you can easily experience a number of serious problems, including spikes in your monthly heating or cooling costs, an inability to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout your home and premature failure of one or more components in your AC or furnace.

 

Not Verifying Your Contractor’s Reputation

Most HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) contractors are reputable businesspeople who will do their best to provide you with quality work. However, quite frankly, some contractors are incompetent or dishonest. If you don’t verify your contractor’s reputation with other homeowners in your area or (better yet) a trusted service like the Better Business Bureau, you have no way of knowing if he or she will do good work and maintain a safe working environment on your property.

 

Basing Your Choice Solely on Price

Some HVAC contractors will work for what seems like a very low price. However — as the cliché goes — you get what you pay for, and a cheap contractor may try to cut corners in important ways or simply deliver inferior work. Even if you have a limited budget, it makes sense to balance pricing considerations with the short- and long-term quality of the work you will receive.

 

Not Locking Down Your Contract

All trustworthy HVAC contractors should be happy to supply you with a contract that details the work they will perform and the price they will charge for this work. This type of detailed contract is critical to your ability to take legal action if something goes wrong or the contractor fails to complete the agreed-upon work at a reasonable price or within a reasonable timeframe.

 

Leaving Energy Efficiency Out of the Equation

A highly energy-efficient furnace or AC will likely cost you a good deal more money up front than a unit with a much lower efficiency rating. However, the energy-efficient option may actually cost you less money over time if you factor in the long-term impact on your monthly utility bills.

 

Consulting a Single Contractor

Prices among trustworthy HVAC specialists can vary considerably. If you only talk to a single contractor, you could easily miss out on significant savings in the cost of your unit or your installation fees.

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It can be a constant battle to keep the temperature of your home at a cool and comfortable level while not breaking the bank to pay your electric bill. Many families are feeling the heat, literally and figuratively, during the warmer months. However, there are some cooling tips for your home that can help create a comfortable balance and be better on the environment. For the benefit of your budget, your comfort, and the environment, follow these summer cooling tips:

If the temperature drops enough in the evening and at night, open your windows to let the cooler air in. This can give your air conditioning unit a break during the night, yet still keep your house at a tolerable temperature. In the morning when it starts to warm up again, close your windows and consider turning on the air conditioning before it gets too hot and the unit has to overwork to catch up.

One of the simplest house cooling tips is to keep the blinds closed. Keeping shades and blinds closed during the day can keep several degrees of heat out of your home. In the morning, make sure the windows are covered on the east side of the house, and in the afternoon the west side of the house. In addition, you can take this a step further and buy shades that reflect and further block the sun’s heat out of your home.

Tips to stay cool in summer would not be complete without remembering to keep your air conditioning unit well maintained. This step includes changing the HVAC filter at least four times per year. Doing this will make your unit run more efficiently, as well as reduce allergens in the home. Each summer before the weather gets warmer, have your air conditioner serviced by a certified technician. This will help ensure it is running at its best and less likely to breakdown when you need it most. If your unit needs work, you can possibly do the work now to avoid a larger bill in the future when you really need your a/c unit functioning properly.

Use these tips to keep your home at a comfortable temperature during the warmer months, as well as keeping your electric bill within your budget. Call an a/c technician today to make sure you unit is functioning at the best that it can be.