A/C Installation Bid Comparison Checklist

When you purchase a new Air Conditioning system, you expect high performance.  Unfortunately, more than half of new systems in US homes do not perform to their rated efficiency as a result of improper installation.  In fact, improper installation can reduce performance by as much as 30%.  This not only affects your utility bills, but can lead to a variety of comfort problems, including insufficient dehumidification, dust from leaking ductwork, and poor air distribution.
Ask the contractors bidding for your business if they follow ENERGY STAR® Quality Installation Guidelines (www.energystar.gov/qispec) to ensure that you are not buying just a piece of equipment but a properly installed heating and cooling system that provides comfort and efficiency.

Ask the following questions to each contractor:

Contractor A: ECM
Brand: ______
Ton: ______
SEER: ______
Contractor B: ________
Brand: ______
Ton: ______
SEER: ______
Contractor C: ________
Brand: ______
Ton: ______
SEER: ______

EQUIPMENT ECM B C
Will you perform a complete home survey and energy assessment? Yes
Will you match the right equipment for my home using the Manual J Heat Load Calculation? Yes
Will you engineering and system design maximize my equipments efficiency and performance? Yes
Will you warranty provide an unconditional money back guarantee for 30 days no matter what? Yes
ELECTRICAL ECM B C
Will you inspect the fuse box for proper wiring, wire size and circuit breaker size? Yes
Will you upgrade the electrical wiring and circuit breakers if necessary according to code? Yes
Does your price include all necessary electrical work and permits? Yes
DUCTWORK ECM B C
Will you make modifications / recommendations about my existing duct work that will improve the performance of my A/C? Yes
Will you modify my return air grill to increase return air performance and airflow? Yes
Will you visually inspect my duct work for damage and air leaks? Yes
Will you repair all air leaks you identify with metal foil tape and mastic with joint compound? Yes
Will you replace the first four feet of my supply and return duct work plenum? Yes
MECHANICAL ECM B C
Will you fasten my condenser to the concrete slab using approved anchors that meet code? Yes
Will you install a new electrical whip and new wire from the new condenser to the disconnect box? Yes
Will you pull all necessary permits required for my air conditioning installation? Yes

¹Proper equipment size is vital for maximizing efficiency and comfort.  To size your new system, the contractor should calculate your home’s heating and cooling loads using the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) Manual J or equivalent.
²Your contractor should provide an Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) certificate to document that your system was properly matched.
³Duct sealing is essential to the operation of your heating and cooling system, it is most cases it’s recommended that total duct leakage be no more than 20%.

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March 27, 2014 December 2, 2015 admin