Should we have Duct cleaning performed?
This is usually a bad idea that will create more problems than solutions! These problems will usually cost much more than the advertised duct cleaning.
Simply put for the price of about $1,000.00 anyone can buy ducting cleaning equipment and be in business. All they need is a vehicle that will hold the equipment, and maybe some advertising if they don’t already have a business in the cleaning or HVAC industries. Duct cleaning can usually be a very profitable business. On the surface, you might ask, who wouldn’t want clean or cleaner ducts? So, with all this logic, why don’t I buy some duct cleaning equipment and start cleaning it up? There just isn’t a good solution today, for cleaning most duct systems. In fact I can’t give a number as to how many calls I have received, stating that they had duct cleaning and now they don’t have any air flow in one or more areas of the home, and because of this, they would like me to come out and tell them what happened to their duct system. Sometimes the sheetrock needs to be removed to fix the duct. You are probably getting the idea of how it can create more problems than previously imagined. The duct cleaning equipment and methods we have today can be beneficial sometimes. One area I have seen success is with drier ducts but this isn’t a sure bet either. With most of the drier ducts that I have had to deal with, removal and replacement is needed. And hopefully, we can do so with a bigger pipe and better design than was installed previously.
Why do you charge a minimum of $150.00 for a service call or diagnostic of the HVAC system, when other companies will show up for free?
Well, the emphasis needs to be, that this is a minimum and that the minimum is sometimes exceeded especially (but not absolutely) if you have a zone system or more than one furnace or AC or more than one challenge with your HVAC system. The minimum charge is a reassurance that we are not going to force you to choose us for the repair once we disclose our findings and how much the repair will be. More importantly, you won’t be coerced into believing you need to buy something that is unnecessary, which many repairmen try to sell a completely new system. We also, don’t have a list of items to recommend to the homeowner to increase our overall ticket sale because we began with a low rate or we came to your home for free. We will give you a diagnostic and if you don’t want to spend the money on the repair then the only fee will be for our time. The $150.00 covers the first ½ hour which is usually enough time for us to discover what the problem is, however sometimes we may find a problem where a part needs to be replaced to get the appliance back in operation; only to then discover a refrigerant challenge or possibly another part that is not operational or functioning properly. In our experience this is not usually the case, however, once a system that has had regular use and has been in service for approximately 20yrs and is experiencing repairs it is likely that more repairs will be needed either immediately or in the near future. Each step of the way we will be explaining our findings and if possible showing exactly what we are reading or hearing or seeing. So, that you have a clear understanding and feel comfortable making an informed decision.
How much does a new heating and AC system cost to replace (less the ducting)?
The quick answer is $10,000.00. This can sometimes be a couple of thousand dollars too high or a few thousand dollars too low. There are many factors involved. How large is your home? Will a properly sized system fit in the existing location? Is this truly a replacement or are we adding central heat or are we adding an AC unit? Are there any other challenges with the project such as; is the platform where the furnace is mounted need to be replaced? Is the return air duct large enough and if not, how difficult will it be to enlarge? This is the fundamental in air design “there is no such thing as too much return air” however the converse is true… the return air duct system can be undersized for the home and in most homes, this is the case. I make the same statement over and over again, it is better to enlarge and or add more return air ducting than to spend the money on extra bells and whistles or even higher efficiency models. The return air will potentially add life to the system and it will make it more efficient. And it should make the occupants feel more comfortable as well.
How long does it take to install a furnace and AC?
Every project has a different timeline and our timeline for completion is usually longer than any other company. We are not trying to finish the job. We are expecting to complete the project properly and being fastidious and timely are both important but if I have to pick over finishing or being meticulous I will always pick the latter. David is our install tech. and he takes great pride in his work. He is a highly trained professional with many hours in the field completing the most challenging installations I have ever seen! This, the fact that they are so challenging, is probably my fault! We have a reputation of being able to take on difficult challenges and bring simple solutions. One of these solutions that applies in some two-story homes is to bring balance to the upstairs in cooling mode without adding motorized dampers and zone system products. Because of the challenging projects that we tackle, my repeated statement to David is, “take your time and if you need another day or even two days then, take it!” So the answer to how long does it take, is that most projects take 3-5 days.