1. Study up — Research license and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors in Florida. Keep record of your maintenance history and model numbers. Potential HVAC contractors will better understand your heating or cooling needs with this information.
2. Get referrals — Ask people you trust for a contractor referral. The local utility company may offer a list of contractors in your area.
3. Contractor references — Some contractors list references online. Find reviews on installation, quality of service, and whether the job was completed.
4. Find available rebates — Heating systems are one of the larger purchases for your home. HVAC manufacturers offer rebates on energy-efficient cooling systems throughout the spring and fall seasons.
5. ENERGY STAR equipment — Half of the energy consumed in your home is from the HVAC equipment. Selecting Energy Star equipment will help save money on energy costs while protecting our climate.
6. Ask for a home energy evaluation — Contractors should perform a load calculation on the home to determine the appropriate size system based on the required load to properly heat and cool your home – larger isn’t always better. The type of windows, attic insulation, square footage, and direction of the sun facing your home factor into calculating the required load and duct size for your heating and cooling system.
7. Detailed estimates — A detailed proposal should include total cost, energy efficiency, warranties, and all materials involved with the installation.
8. Get it in writing — Protect yourself by signing an agreement prior to work being started. This will specify total costs and ensure the equipment installed matches the model numbers sold to you along with valid warranty information.
9. Pass it forward — Tell your friends and family about ENERGY STAR rated equipment. We can all make a big difference by lowering energy consumption across the nation.
10. Read the ENERGY STAR Guide