Most people want to feel comfortable with everything that goes on in their home, especially if it involves hiring someone. Your home is likely where you spend most of your time, so of course you want the best quality when it comes to every aspect. Picking the right heat pump and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) company is essential when it comes to keeping your home in the best shape possible.
Here are some tips on what to look for when hiring an HVAC company:
● Proper Qualifications and Certifications
Always ask companies about their qualifications and experience before letting them install your unit. If they can give you detailed answers to your questions, that should help you feel more at ease. There are also certifications that should be displayed on the company’s website.
● Years in Business
You can tell a lot about a company based on how long they’ve been in business. Long-term HVAC companies should have all the details of their services clearly figured out. They should have parts and labor warranties, along with a large number of government certified technicians on call 24/7.
● Reasonable Service Rates
Price is a huge factor for most families, and it can actually tell you a lot about the company’s skills. If the price sounds too cheap or too overpriced, you should keep looking. Of course, you’ll want to save money, but if you pay too little, you’ll get the results you paid for, and they might not live up to your expectations.
● Fast and Efficient Service
When you choose an HVAC company, you probably want your request to be a priority. Choose an installer that assists you as soon as they can. If your installer truly cares about your service, then they will be attentive and friendly during every interaction.
● Excellent Reviews
Reviews tell you a lot about a company, so always check them before hiring someone. Look for recent and relevant reviews.
If you find an HVAC company that lives up to your expectations, then you’re in luck. Your next step is to have a consultation, which should help you with picking the right heat pump and installing it.
What to Expect During Your First Consultation
An HVAC consultation is not part of a normal routine for most people. So, it can be difficult to know what to expect during your first one. Here are some basics that you’ll likely encounter during an HVAC consultation.
#1 – An Explanation of the Process
Communication is key for any interaction. So, your HVAC company should be upfront with you every step of the way. If they only give you a brief, one sentence summary of their plans for your unit, that should be a red flag. If at any point they don’t willingly give you enough information about the project, kindly thank them for their time and look for someone else to hire.
The best HVAC company will have a meticulous process for pre-installation and everything after that. They should have no problem explaining these steps to you so you can understand how they will be handling your units.
Their pre-installation process should include taking measurements around your home. These measurements need to be precise or else your heat pump might be too large for the space. An improperly sized heat pump will likely require additional modifications to your home, which could quickly add up cost-wise. Thus, it’s best to talk through the processes before the HVAC company gets to work. It can prevent any future problems before they occur.
#2 – A List of Essential Questions
A professional HVAC company shouldn’t just be an expert in their processes, but they should also become an expert for your home and your unit. During the first consultation, they should ask plenty of questions to make sure they understand your home perfectly. They should ensure that there is no confusion about what type of unit your place and lifestyle need.
Here are some topics they’ll likely ask about during your consultation:
● Overall comfort during different seasons
● Areas that are less comfortable than others
● Areas that are too hot or too cold in summer and winter months
● Noise levels of your current unit and where you hear the noise most
● Your feelings about the indoor air quality
Next, they will likely take a closer look at your ductwork. The sizes, positions, sealing, and airflow of the vents should be taken into consideration. From there, they will focus on other specific measurements, including the refrigerant line size, outdoor clearance for the unit, and the drainage design for the air conditioner.
If your potential HVAC company simply rushes through the consultation without covering most of these topics, then it’s time to keep looking. You should be hiring someone who genuinely cares about your satisfaction in the end. So, look for someone who will take their time and be thorough when examining your home.
#3 – A More Detailed Explanation
Once your HVAC Installer has gone through all the necessary pre-installation steps, they should be able to give you a more accurate explanation of the overall process. They will also inform you if there are any additional changes that need to be made based on their new information about your home.
This is when they will likely go into detail with you about the replacement options for your current heating and cooling system. They should give thorough explanations about the types of systems, the efficiencies, and the cost.
Again, your satisfaction should be the most important part of the job for them. Therefore, they should be recommending the unit that’s right for you and your home, not the unit that will make them the most money. After all, your positive reviews will help them get more work in the future.
#4 – Answering Your Questions and Concerns
If you have any questions throughout the consultation process, don’t hesitate to ask. A friendly, qualified professional will have no problem answering all your questions and concerns in detail. You should feel at ease with the heat pump installation process, so you should also feel comfortable further discussing details with the person you hire.
Here are some questions you might want to ask before moving forward (if not already answered):
● Are you licensed and certified? Can you provide proof of these certifications?
●Do you have liability insurance and workman’s compensation?
● Is a heat pump the right system for my home?
● What size heat pump is needed for my home?
● Will this heat pump be energy efficient for my home?
● Do any changes need to be made on the ductwork before installation?
● How does the payment work? Do you offer financing?
● What is the estimated time for installation? What is the timeline for the project?
Remember, if at any point you don’t feel right about the HVAC company you chose, go with a different company. A heat pump is a major part of your home, so you need to make sure it functions properly and lives up to your expectations.
Everything You Need to Know About Heat Pumps
Now that you feel comfortable picking the right HVAC company for your home, you’ll need to know the basics of a heat pump. Knowing this information before you install a new unit in your home is crucial.
What is a Heat Pump?
A heat pump is a unit that can provide both warm and cold air for your house. It does the job of a furnace and an air conditioner all in one. On warmer days, it can cool down a home like an air conditioner, but when there’s a chill in the air, it will heat the space up like a furnace.
It functions by transferring heat between indoor and outdoor units. When it’s used in a warm climate, it takes heat out of the indoor air and transfers it to the outside air. In cold climates, it does the opposite, absorbing heat from outside and bringing it inside.
Even though cold winter months might not seem to have any heat in the air, there is still enough for the unit to warm your entire home. It can even heat the outside air on its own to provide the best temperature for your house during all months of the year.
History of the Heat Pump
Peter von Rittiger developed and built the first heat pump back in 1855 to 1857. Then, in the late 1940s, Robert C. Webber was credited for developing the first ground source heat pump.
Webber started working on his heat pump after he was doing some experiments with his deep freezer. When he touched the outlet pipes of the cooling system, he burnt his hands. He saw that the freezer produced excess heat this way, so he hooked up the freezer to a hot water heater to see if it worked in reverse too. After some experiments with these ideas in mind, he eventually found his work to be successful.
At the time, Webber’s design used copper tubing buried in the ground. He ran Freon gas through it, which condensed in his cellar and put the expanded gas back through the coil after giving off heat. Today’s heat pumps have evolved so much since then, and they’re now one of the most cost effective and environmentally friendly options.
Types of Heat Pumps
Heat pumps often come in two different types: air source and geothermal. An air source heat pump uses heat from the outside air to heat your home. However, a geothermal heat pump is usually placed underground, so it extracts heat from the ground instead.
Additionally, heat pumps are often available in two different designs: split types and packaged units. Split types have two separate indoor and outdoor units, but packaged units come with both components in one. Packaged units can also come with different types of units, such as electric heating coils or a gas furnace. These can be used to supplement the heat pump during the coldest months of the year.
Choosing the best type, style, and deal for a heat pump greatly depends on your home’s needs. If you end up picking the right HVAC company, they should be able to give you the best recommendation based on your needs. But it’s also best to know about these types beforehand so you can ask questions when needed.
Heat Pump Benefits
For the most part, heat pumps are the best option for heating and cooling your home. Yet, like many products, they’re not the right choice for everyone. Some people might find that a furnace and air conditioner are better for their home. That’s why doing research ahead of time is crucial.
Heat pumps are often superior because they’re both cost-efficient and energy-efficient. Heating and cooling with a heat pump generally costs less than other systems. They move heat rather than generate it themselves, which is why they’re less expensive than traditional furnaces. Oftentimes, they also cost less upfront.
Additionally, heat pumps usually take up less space than furnaces because their heating unit is outside the home. This means that you’ll have more free space indoors. They’re also safer for the environment because they have a lower energy consumption. In general, they require less maintenance, and they’re known to last for around 15 years. So, there are plenty of reasons to choose a type of heat pump for your home.
Heat Pump Downsides
There are clearly a lot of pros when it comes to heat pumps, but like all products, there are a few notable cons too. It’s important to acknowledge these downsides before choosing a heat pump for your home.
Heat pumps tend to be a bit noisier than other systems. Luckily, the noise will mainly occur outside, away from where you relax, but you should consider this when choosing where to install the unit. After all, you don’t want to annoy your neighbors if your yards are close to each other.
Also, if you choose an HVAC company that isn’t as qualified as you’d hoped, there could be additional problems with your heat pump. Factors like a correct refrigerant charge are crucial, but some installers aren’t as educated about it. So, make sure your HVAC company is up-to-date on all the latest standards for heat pumps before you hire them. This could make or break your heat pump experience.
Are Heat Pumps Better Than Air Conditioners and Furnaces?
No system is inherently better than the other. It all comes down to where you live, what your needs are, and what your home is like. If you’re looking for an easier, energy-efficient, and more affordable option, then a heat pump might be perfect for you. Otherwise, if you’re looking for a reasonable option for an area with very cold seasons, you might want to look for a furnace and air conditioner instead.
Remember, the success of your new unit all comes down to picking the right HVAC company. They should be able to steer you down the right path and give you excellent advice. So, take your time when choosing an installer for your home because it’s a huge deal for your new unit. If at any point you feel uncomfortable with an installer, move on and find someone more qualified.
Are you still trying to find the perfect HVAC company for your home? Westisle Heating & Cooling has over 30 years of experience to help you with whatever you need done. Contact us today to find out how we can install your heat pump both quickly and efficiently.