You might be able to find the air conditioner, furnace, or other HVAC equipment that you feel suits your heating and cooling needs online for a steal. It would seem that an online AC purchase might be the smart solution for an expensive heating and air conditioning issue. Less is more, correct?
Your contractor may have offered you a higher price to fix or replace your HVAC system; however, they are the ones who are going to be able to tell you what is the right unit for your home and ensure that your equipment is installed correctly. There are three consequences to improper installation and each serve to make up for the money that you thought you saved when you got a bargain on the unit on the internet.
1. Adios, warranty.
When you buy your equipment – furnace, air conditioner, heat pump, etc. – online, many manufacturers, like NuTone, can no longer validate the warranty. This is because there is no assurance that the equipment will be installed properly because you are no longer dealing with a contractor trained on that specific system. Without proper installation, neither the efficiency nor the longevity of the system can be guaranteed anymore.
When you buy a unit online, it may be too big or too small, causing the system to heat or cool your home inefficiently. A skilled contractor can perform a calculation in order to find the best sized unit for your home.
2. Your home has a size.
Like a tailor tries to find the right size clothes to match your body, a contractor has to fit the right size system with your home. If you hire an able contractor, they are going to be able to determine the right size system for your heating and cooling needs. For example, if a unit is not big enough, it will not be able to heat or cool your home efficiently, leaving you either hot or cold. A unit that is too big will not heat or cool your home evenly because it will do it too quickly. With a unit that is too big you can expect varied temperatures and stagnant air.
A trained heating and cooling specialist will perform a Manual J load calculation in order to determine the proper size of your air conditioning unit. Without the proper sizing, your HVAC system could be too snug or too large for your home, making its interior uncomfortable.
3. Complicated systems need smart installers.
Not everyone is going to have the skillset needed to properly install the equipment that you have purchased online. It is much more difficult than simply getting a “Mr. Fixit” or simply searching for the word “contractor” online. An experienced contractor isn’t going to jump on the opportunity to install an HVAC system that is no longer under warranty and may not be the correct size for your home. Installing that air conditioning unit or furnace would put the reputation of the contractor in jeopardy. An air conditioning contractor who is going to hop on this opportunity may not be as qualified to install your equipment as someone who turned down the job.
With improper installation, you can expect that your system won’t run as efficiently, or for as long, as the same system that was installed by a qualified heating and air conditioning specialist. Be prepared to schedule more costly emergency maintenance calls and have to replace your system a lot sooner.
How important are savings up front when they cost you more later?
When you go searching for a deal online, the lower price tag does look appealing. After all, installing a heating and air conditioning unit is a costly process. However, don’t let the lower price tag fool you. With no warranty, the wrong size, and improper installation, you are going to end up spending much more money trying to maintain your “bargain” system. That doesn’t sound like the smart thing to do.