How to compare quotes for new heating and cooling systems

Buying a new heating and cooling system can seem like a challenging task. How do you know that you're getting the best system for your money?

Here's a quick guide to help simplify this task and keep you from avoiding costly mistakes.

  1. Compare system Size, Quality and Efficiency Ratings. Make sure the systems quoted are the right fit for your home. Each home is unique, and you want to make sure the systems that have been quoted will meet your home's needs as well as the way you like to live. Look at the Size, Quality, and Efficiency Rating to make sure you're comparing apples to apples. A smaller system may cost less, but it might not make you comfortable in your home. 
  2. What about Add-Ons? When you have a new system installed, it's a great time to add additional equipment to make your system more efficient or even add in services, like duct cleaning. Think about your home, your health and family, and determine what you think will be the best use of your money. Maybe you want to put an in-duct air cleaner in your duct work, or upgrade your thermostat. Make choices based on your needs and lifestyle.
  3. Labor costs. You know that you "get what you pay for". When it's time to look at the labor cost, make sure you're checking for:
    1. NATE Certification - Your contractor and technicians should be NATE certified - the industry standard for heating and cooling.
    2. Reviews - Make sure other people are happy with the work and services they've received from the contractor.
    3. Installation details - Look at reviews specifically for installations. Did they get the installs right, and if not, did they work until it was right? These things make a BIG difference and are key indicators of the company's environment and work ethic.

Still have questions? Ask the contractors for clarification. A good contractor can translate the heating and cooling terminology to make it simple for anyone to understand.