HVAC Questions & Answers

The truth about heating and air conditioning


Permits: Are required by law. Purchasing a permit is for your protection. After the installation is complete, the city inspector will inspect the installation to make sure that it is up to code and safe to operate. You are dealing with electrical, gas, freon and carbon monoxide. If someone tries to tell you that you don't need a permit, they are not being truthful. They can now cut corners because the work is not being inspected. Do it right the first time and make sure that you and your loved ones are safe. Compared to the price of the job, a permit is a minimal expense. Permits range from $40 to $300 depending on the type of job and the city you live in. HERS refrigerant testing and duct leakage testing is also required in certain zones.

Which Brand

Which brand is the best? If you obtain an estimate from a company that sells Carrier, they will say Carrier is the best. A Lennox dealer will claim that Lennox is the best product. Some units are manufactured at the same location. They have different labels for example, Rheem and RUUD or Carrier and Bryant or Trane and American Standard. Look at the consumer reports, compare warranties and the sound rating on the A/C units. If your new system ever needs repairs, are the parts easily accessible? Or, will you have to wait for the part when it is 90 degrees in your home because you own a Lennox or Carrier unit. After all, you are simply looking for a furnace that will warm you and an air conditioner that will cool you down. A system that has a low repair history, good warranties and is energy efficient so that you don't spend hundreds of dollars on your utility bills. Long parts and labor warranties along with preventative maintenance gives you peace of mind.

WHY DID WE CHOOSE TO SELL THESE PRODUCTS Rheem and Ruud, because of it's #1 rating on consumer reports, 10 year warranties and prices. Maytag, because of the low sound levels, highest efficiency ratings and 12 year warranties.

Maintenance tune

Maintenance tune up really necessary? YES
Protect your investment and prolong the life of your heating and air system. Just as your vehicle needs an oil change or a tune up, so does your heating and air conditioning system. Did you know that most manufacturers require preventative maintenance tune ups on your system in order for the warranty to remain in effect? Did you know that the majority of repair calls could have been prevented if the customers would have kept their system maintained? Like I said before, it is the same concept as an automobile. Get the oil changed and pay a minimal price for the tune up now or pay hundreds to repair it and possibly thousands to replace it when it breaks down. Our preventative maintenance tune up price is $49.00 (Price does not include freon if needed.)

Which company

Which company to hire when you are considering a new heating and or air conditioning installation.
Compare warranties, call past customers, check reviews on different sites, check to see that their contractors license is in good standing, they have liability and workers compensation insurance. Get three estimates, compare apples to apples, prices and last but not least, go with your gut feeling.

Thinking about hiring a home improvement store? The home improvement store hires a heating and air company like Polar Bear Heating and Air to do the installation. The money you save could almost pay for an upgraded system. Cut out the middleman.

My Furnace

Should I replace my furnace or have my furnace repaired? If your furnace is over 15 years old and it starts costing you for repairs, chances are it is going to nickel and dime you and you are better off replacing it. After all, a simple furnace replacement runs as low as $1,199.00. If your furnace is old but operational and you can't afford to replace it now, at least call the gas company out to check the heat exchanger or fire box for cracks. If the fire box is leaking, it can be deadly to everyone in the home. The bad news - If the gas company finds that it is a health hazard, they will condemn the furnace by red tagging it and you will have to replace it. The good news - It may have saved your life and the life of your loved ones. The other good news is that a newer furnace will be more efficient which means that you will save money on your utility bills. Whether you need a repair or replacement just give us a call.

What do I do if a heating and air conditioning contractor tells me that my furnace has a crack in the fire box? and that the furnace has to be replaced? Make sure the furnace is turned off and then get a second opinion by calling the gas company. They will check your furnace for leaks with no cost to you. BEWARE! There are companies out there right now, that are telling potential customers that their furnace has to be replaced just so they can make a sale. GET A SECOND OPINION FROM THE GAS COMPANY. They are not trying to sell you anything.

Should I replace my air conditioner or repair it. If you currently own a system that is 20 years old, the efficiency rating (SEER) is probably around 9. Today, the minimum SEER rating sold is 13. You save approx. 9% on your electric bill for every 1 step up. Example, Replace a 9 SEER with a 10 SEER and you save approx 9%. Now if you go from a 9 SEER to a 13 SEER, you will save about 36%. If running your A/C unit costs you $300 per month in the summer, it will now cost you approx. $192 per month to run. You save about $108.00 per month. Now, multiply by say 5 months equals $540.00 per year. This money that is being wasted now on an old inefficient system could be going toward a new energy efficient system. After the new system is paid off, it is pure savings from then on.

Should I replace my ducting? Have your ducts inspected by a licensed contractor. If the contractor finds any problems with the ducting, ask to see a photo of the ducting in your attic. Most consumers do not check the ducts themselves.
If the ducting does need to be replaced or sealed don't hesitate to have the work done.

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