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What to expect from an HVAC estimate

Posted on: February 21, 2013

At James A. Wheat & Sons, We feel an estimate should do the following:

  • Allow the Contractor to determine what needs to be estimated
  • Allow the Contractor to make suggestions to solve comfort problems
  • Allow the Contractor to educate the Owner enough to make a decision that’s best for them
  • Allow the Owner to feel confident in the Company they are going to work with

Most companies will address the first and last points, but many are simply looking for the quick sell and won’t get into the other two. The problem is, all they’re doing at that point is replacing your equipment—you may still be left with whatever underlying comfort problems you had! For the vast majority of jobs we review, the customer has had some kind of comfort complaint that they have been dealing with since they purchased their home; problems their HVAC unit alone can’t address. Hot second floors, cold basements or rooms over or behind a garage, dry or dusty air, and high utility bills are just a few of the situations that you may be living with. The time to address these concerns is when you are considering replacing your equipment.

What most companies will not tell you:

Higher efficiency equipment will not always make you more comfortable or reduce your utility bills! If they did, you would be able to get it in writing and a guarantee that it will.

In order to determine the best equipment for you and your home, we need to diagnose your home. This takes expensive equipment as well as certified and trained staff. We have developed two types of estimates to meet your needs:

Option #1 is our free estimate. We will send a comfort advisor to your property to inspect your current system and review with you any concerns about your home or existing equipment and what you expect from your new system. We perform a Manual J test to determine the correct size system for your home. This estimate takes approximately one to two hours depending on the home and your needs. We prefer to schedule this appointment when everyone is present who will be making decisions or have questions.

Option #2 is our whole-home assessment. It includes everything in our free estimate plus an entire home energy assessment, which will test your home’s air infiltration. This is a major data input for the Manual J process to determine the correct equipment size for your home. Without this test, a comfort consultant must guess the rate at which your home loses or gains heat. The infiltration rate of your home can be drastically different from even your neighbor’s home. Thus without this specific infiltration rate test, even a Manual J is a guess.

The whole-house energy assessment allows us to not only pinpoint the proper size equipment for your home, but also to pinpoint the root causes of discomfort or high utility bills. There is no obligation to make any changes but this knowledge is beyond value in determining the best system for your home!

If you’re a Maryland resident, the energy assessment will also qualify you for rebates available to you only if you have the assessment performed. The State of Maryland has made available rebates that are available only to owners who perform the test to determine actual energy saving opportunities to your home. Thousands of dollars are available to you once the test has been performed that would not be available to you without it.

The best part is that the test is only it only costs $100 to you. Our tester comes to the home to perform a no obligation, whole-home evaluation. There is no obligation to purchase your new system from us directly. However, if you do, we will even apply the $100 towards the new system.

Call today or click here to schedule your estimate.