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Shopping for a New Air Conditioner: The Dos and Don’ts

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We won’t deny it - shopping for a new air conditioner is a big to-do list item.

In fact, it’s such an intimidating purchase for many of our customers that we wrote another whole post on the topic!

But the fact is, selecting the right new air conditioner for the size and configuration of your space isn’t all there is to it. There is more.

You also need to ensure the HVAC contractor you select knows how to install your new A/C unit properly and to code. If your contractor doesn’t have this expertise, even the highest-rated new air conditioner can give you problems right from the start.

In this post, learn what to look for in the HVAC contractor you choose to install your unit!

The Right Contractor Can Get You the Best A/C for Less Cash!

Gathering A/C installation quotes from HVAC contractors is not most people’s idea of fun.

But what is fun is when you select an awesome contractor who finds ways to help you conserve energy, trim your utility bills and fine-tune the installation of your new A/C for the longest useful life.

What is more fun than anything is when the air conditioning contractor you choose is certified by Ontario to help you apply for available energy-efficiency upgrade incentives, credits and rebates.

Every year, Ontario releases a list of energy-efficiency homeowner grants and credits.

But only certified contractors can help you apply for these rebates. The reason for this is simple: Ontario requires proof of proper installation before they will release the funds back to eligible homeowners.

We are proud to say Shipton’s Heating & Cooling is an Ontario-certified contractor, which means we can help you identify and apply for all credits and rebates for which you are eligible.

3 Red Flags to Avoid When Choosing an HVAC Contractor

Like most service-based industries today, the HVAC industry can be quite competitive. As you begin your process of choosing a contractor to assist with sizing and installing your new HVAC system, you likely won’t have any shortage of contractors eager to assist.

But this is definitely not the kind of job you want to entrust to just any contracting outfit! These 3 big red flags can help you avoid errors and choose the best contractor for your job.

1. Choosing a generalist to do specialist work

Within the industry itself, there are two different basic types of contractors: generalists and specialists.

In some cases, such as when you are building a new addition to your home, you may want a generalist (general contractor) who can pull together a diverse team of specialists to address all the needs of integrating the new space with your existing home.

But when it comes to choosing and installing specific features, such as new appliances, you will be better served by working directly with a contracting specialist.

Specialist contractors delve deep into their area of expertise, keeping abreast of the very latest cutting-edge technology and installation methods in the industry.

Specialists are also more likely to be Ontario-certified to help you apply for specialty energy efficiency and upgrade rebates, credits and incentives.

2. Assuming the lowest bidder will cost you the least money

Low bidding works to win new clients – if it didn’t, contractors wouldn’t do it!

But if you’ve ever booked a ticket for air travel only to find yourself mercilessly nickel-and-dimed for everything from snacks to seat upgrades, you already know why the lowest bidder doesn’t always equal the lowest bid.

Reading the fine print on your contract is absolutely essential to find out exactly what you do and don’t get for that “one low price.” Sometimes, the lowest bid isn’t actually the cheapest.

3. Taking a contractor at their word without doing your homework

It is always nice to believe you can trust everyone to be who they say they are and do what they say they will do. And this can work pretty well when you are in an existing network where everyone knows everyone else, such as with friends or colleagues.

But when you are picking out a contractor who is not known to you personally, you really want to do your own background check before making your selection.

Check online for customer testimonials and complaints. Look for affiliations with the local chapter of the Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, HVAC associations and other governing entities.

Read their warranty and ask questions to assess their commitment to customer service and long-term care of your new HVAC system. Ask for references and follow up to check them out.

When you take these extra steps, you can quickly begin to separate fly-by-night operations from contractors who take their work and reputation seriously.

Do You Need Help Selecting, Sizing or Installing Your HVAC Units?

Here at Shipton’s Heating & Cooling, we have spent nearly a century living and working here in the Hamilton and surrounding areas.

We also work closely with our sister company, Clean Air Solutions Hamilton, to provide the latest indoor air quality technology for better health and improved energy efficiency.

All of our prompt and polite technicians are highly trained to install, repair and maintain all makes and models of HVAC systems. We also offer our popular 24/7 emergency repair service – day or night, weekend or holiday, when you need us, we will be there.

We are proud to offer you a full line of Energy Star-certified air conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces, fireplaces, boilers and radiant heaters, as well as three money-saving tiered preventative maintenance protection plans to keep your HVAC investment delivering year after year.

Get in Touch

Contact us online or give us a call at 905-549-4616.

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