Welcome back to HVAC Talk: Let’s Be Real. My name is Renee. I’m one of the owners of LCS. And I’m John. The install supervisor. Okay. So, this week we’re going to talk about estimates. So, if you’ve been planning or
budgeting for a new HVAC system, fall is actually a great time to have that done.
Just like when your favorite pair of jeans go on sale, or Monday night is
a half bottle of wine at your favorite restaurant, fall is a great time because companies start to slow down. Manufacturers offer
rebates, and you’ll really get the best bang for your buck. Now, when we are
talking about estimates, we’ve had people say to us, “Hey! I got a couple of
different estimates, and there was like a thousand dollars difference in between
them!” Well, let’s be real, there really shouldn’t be that big of a difference if
you’re comparing apples to apples. So, John and I are going to run
through some things that you’ll really want to look at when you’re looking at
estimates, and comparing to make sure that they really are the same. So, John,
we’re going to start with equipment. All right. So, let’s just put that up here.
Tell me a little bit about equipment and what you’ll look for on the actual estimate. When you’re looking at the equipment, you want to know is it an 80 percent-er? Is it a 90 percent-er? Is it a single stage? Is it a two stage? Is it a variable speed? On the
AC side, is it a 13-14 seer, or could be up to a 20 seer. You gotta know the differences on that. Okay. So, even if both quotes say 80%, could there be a difference between
those two? Oh yeah! A lot of companies don’t detail what they’re putting out there. It could be just a single stage 80 percent-er, and you don’t know that. And then the other company might have put a two-stage or, even a variable speed on there. Okay. And
is that going to make a difference in price? It’s going to make a huge difference in the price! Okay. So, definitely find out what equipment you’re getting, and get
the specifics on it, even like full model number. Yeah. Okay. Excellent. Now, along with equipment, let’s talk a little bit about filter. Filter? There’s so many different ones. They can have them built into the
furnace. They can have an external filter rack with just a one-inch filter, or you
can even have up to a four inch wide filter. Big difference is there, as
well. Okay. Awesome! And that, also, will affect on that placement of the filter, how easy it is to change. Yes. Okay. So, lineset. Now, the lineset, are they flushing it or are they putting you a new one in? That’s going to make a difference, as well, because the flushing is going to take no time at all. And, obviously, a new one is going to take some time to do. Okay. And those are things that may or may not be specified on the quote, so when you see that, ask. Yes. Absolutely. Okay. Perfect. And then the other big one are thermostats. Yeah. Do you want a basic thermostat? Did they quote you a basic? Did they quote you a Wi-Fi thermostat,
so you can play with it on your phone, or something. You gotta look at that as well. Okay. So, if on one quote it’s just a basic programmable and another quote might be a Wi-Fi enabled
with Alexa built-in and you can access it everywhere, there’s definitely a price
difference that you’re gonna see between quotes. Okay. So, aside from equipment, these are the major points with equipment. So, after
that we want to look at warranty. That’s a big one. Yeah. Mostly the labor warranty. The equipment warranty’s going to be the same with just about everybody. You want to look at, did they quote you just a basic one-year warranty? Is it a three-year? Or,
could be up to a ten-year warranty. Alright. And, what do you want? Maybe one has a one year warranty quoted in, and another quote has five or ten years, but maybe you’re only going to be planning to live in that house for another two or three years.
Well, base your decision on that. Or, maybe this is it until the
kids are grown and out of the house, you’re gonna be here for a while. That longer warranty’s gonna make a difference. Now, once a warranty quote is
in the quote, John, can it be removed or increased or decreased? Oh, absolutely! You can change it however, to fit your needs. Okay. Perfect. The biggest thing is, you
just want to make sure that they match on the quotes that they’re comparing. So,
if you want a three-year warranty, both quotes need to be a three-year
warranty, to be apples-to-apples. Okay. Annual maintenance. Did they quote that in? Some companies don’t. A lot of them will, but did they include just the first year? Does it include more years after that? Okay, or none at all! Yeah. Yeah. We’ve seen too, where, you know, we usually include the
first year of annual maintenance and then some companies don’t. And that’s
okay, but you just got to make sure that
you’re comparing apples-to-apples when you’re looking at that final price. Yes. Okay. Perfect. And then, finally, we have the other big point, is just miscellaneous. So,
when we say miscellaneous, it might mean indoor air quality products or just kind
of accessories to make the system look nicer. So, a couple of examples might be
linehide or a humidifier or something like that. UV lights. Lots of stuff. Yes. So, UV lights. My writing is great, by the way. Humidifiers. [What did we say?] Linehide.
John, want is linehide? Linehide is actually a plastic material that covers the
lineset, because you don’t want to look at that copper going down the side of your
house. It just makes it look a lot neater and cleaner. Okay. So, that’s something
that a company might quote that in because of how it will look (aesthetics),
but another company may not, and it’s okay either way, you just have to decide
if that’s something that you want and make sure it’s the same on both quotes.
Okay. So, all of these things, if we look at these items, if there are
differences in them, that’s going to definitely make a difference. It may seem minor. It may just be a thermostat difference, but that could
easily be a three or four hundred dollar difference in the quote. Equipment? That
could be like a thousand dollar difference, or more, than that. And
warranty is another big one. If one company quotes in a year warranty and
another one quotes in ten years, that’s a major difference, as well. So, these are
the highlights. Just make sure that you’re taking a look at those, and it’s a
big investment. Just make sure that you know what you’re getting. You feel
comfortable with what you’re paying for the value of what you’re getting, as well.
And, you know, look at other things too. Like, is this going to make you comfortable in your home? If you’ve got hot and cold spots, does this address that? It may, or
it may not. So, you know, one quote may have
some zoning options on it, or additional heat runs, or something like that. So, okay. So, those are our tips, as you are thinking about a new system for this
fall. Stay cool out there, or actually this
morning, stay warm out there. I think the heat is coming back. Thank
goodness! But, until then, we’ll see you next week on HVAC Talk: Let’s Be Real.