7 Tips for Finding a Contractor When Installing a New Heating System

July 17, 2018

Replacing a heating system is a big investment and one that could impact your comfort and energy expenses of your home for the next 15-30 years, so you want to make sure you select a heating contractor that has your best interests in mind. Here are seven tips to consider when choosing a heating contractor to install a new heating system.

Gather information about your current system.

Make a note of what type of heating system you have, the brand and model number, the age, and any service history you can recall. If you have them, collect some of your energy bills, especially those from the colder months. Think about whether you have issues with inconsistent temperatures or uncomfortable rooms in your home. Contractors will consider all of this information when making recommendations.

Do some research.

Check out the pros and cons of different types of heating systems – you might find it’s worth the switch. Look into AFUE, which is the efficiency rating of heating systems. Get a sense of what different types of heating systems cost. Don’t worry about trying to become an expert; it’s more about being informed of your choices.

Seek referrals from trusted sources.

Ask friends, family, neighbors, or coworkers that live in your area who they would recommend and learn a little bit about their experience. If you feel comfortable asking them how much it cost to have a new heating system installed, do it. Find out whether the system they had installed was an energy efficient model.

Contact heating contractors and ask for references.

Call the heating contractors on your list and ask them for references of recent clients. Follow up with those references to ask whether the work was completed in the timeframe and within the budget that were estimated by the contractor.

Schedule consultations.

Contact your list of potential heating contractors and request a consultation in your home. They should do a walkthrough of your home to determine what size system you need based on the size of your home, how much insulation you have, and your windows. This may be a different size system than what you have now. Ask that they check out your homes ducts, if you have them, to see if you have any air leaks or improperly sealed ducts that would lead to wasted energy.

Obtain multiple, detailed estimates.

Try to get three estimates so you have a few to compare. Ask that the estimated itemize equipment costs, installation costs, and any additional costs like warranties and service contract fees. Request detailed specs on the heating systems they recommend installing, including AFUE ratings (the higher the number the better) and payback period based on estimated energy savings. The lowest estimate isn’t always the best – consider the energy and maintenance costs over the life of the system.

Check for Mass Save® rebate eligibility.

Confirm with contractors that recommended equipment qualifies for rebates from the Sponsors of Mass Save. You could potentially receive up to $2,300 for installing high efficiency heating equipment, depending on fuel type, efficiency rating, and whether you are replacing a still functioning heating system.

For more information on heating equipment rebates from the Sponsors of Mass Save, click here.

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