How can homeowners, insure that a new heating and cooling system will be installed properly, and that the equipment will work as it was designed?

Heating and air conditioning systems have not changed much in their basic design and operation for almost 50 years. New equipment is certainly more advanced, but they are basically designed to do one thing; heat and cool your home. When these units have been installed properly, they should provide heating and cooling for 20 – 25 years. However, one of the keys to getting a top-quality system are the installation procedures and practices that were used.

New furnaces no longer have pilot lights. Instead, they have electronic ignition and controls, and are designed to use less gas to heat your home. New air conditioners also come equipped with electronic controls, and if installed properly, the equipment will use less electricity to cool your home. However, in order to have a new high efficiency heating and cooling system operate properly, and provide you with the projected energy savings; it must be installed using accepted industry installation practices.

Manufacturers provide technical manuals with all new equipment. These booklets describe in detail, how each system should be installed. The manufacturer will describe the correct sizes to be used for the copper refrigerant lines, the right size and material for the vent pipe, and the proper sizes for the intake and supply air ducting, as well as other installation guidelines. These guidelines should be followed faithfully.

However, what if the instructions are not followed? What if the directions provided are disregarded, then what? Well, then you’ll get a system, like many that I’ve seen, that:

  1. Do not operate as designed.
  2. Don’t last as long as they should have.
  3. Break down frequently, and
  4. Didn’t save as much energy as it could have.

You may pay more for a properly installed system, but it will be worth every penny. If you have questions about heating and cooling systems, or proper installation practices, call us, or attend one of our Free Saturday Workshops.

Check with The State Contractors License Board to insure that you choose a contractor with a valid license. Check to see if their Workman’s Compensation & Liability Insurance is valid and up to date. Make sure that they have acquired a permit from the city in which you live. This will insure that a city inspector checks to make sure that the work has been done in accordance with city building codes.

Jim Berry is a Sales Consultant with Kahn Air Conditioning Co., Inc. and previously was an HVAC service technician. Kahn offers free, monthly community workshops where homeowners can learn about heating and cooling systems. Call for more information, (818) 886-2600.

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