San Antonio HVAC FAQs


Frequently Asked Questions when Choosing a San Antonio TX HVAC Contractor

Q: What is the process for getting detailed Estimates?

A: Having a complete outline of services and cost will not only protect you as the customer, but will also insure that your AC repair contractor is doing everything they are supposed to and not doing more than what is needed.

Q: How can I make sure I’m not overcharged?

A: AC repair costs can vary greatly, therefore the only way to truly ensure that you are not overpaying is to get multiple quotes on a job. Take the time to research the average price tag in your area for AC repairs.  Look for a company that will offer free estimates for your AC repair so that you are best able to compare your options.

Q: How do I find out if a contractor is licensed, certified or insured?

A: Many states and municipalities mandate that heating and cooling contractors meet minimum education and on-the-job experience requirements, as well as pass written exams in order to be licensed to work in the heating and cooling industry. In order to qualify for and continue to hold that license, HVAC companies frequently need to hold a minimum level of insurance and bonding. Any professional that works in your home should carry liability insurance to protect the homeowner in the case of accidental damage or injury.

Q: What warranties does the contractor offer?

A: Often times home owners get caught up in focusing on initial costs. Instead, evaluate whether a contractor can provide more energy-efficient options or longer warranties that may reduce expenses in the long run. Some factors to take into consideration when obtaining bids in addition to overall cost are energy efficiency of the repair work or installation to be done, and the length of any warranties offered.

Q: Why should I request references from past clients?

A: Due to the high cost of repairing, replacing or installing new HVAC equipment, it’s essential to get at least three written estimates from three different companies.The project’s cost is likely your most important consideration – and costs may vary widely from one company to the next – but it’s also very important to ensure that the project’s overall scope, details and completion dates are thoroughly documented.

Q: Should I get bids from other San Antonio Tx HVAC contractors before making a decision?

A: Important details to ask for in writing are the dates on which the work will be performed, the cost of all fees, labor, and equipment, potential future fees such as upgrades, and payment due dates.

Q: What details of services should I get in writing?

A: Important details to ask for in writing are the dates on which the work will be performed, the cost of all fees, labor, and equipment, potential future fees such as upgrades, and payment due dates.

Q: Should I check the BBB?

A: Any reputable contractor will be an active member of the Better Business Bureau. Companies that aren’t members of their local BBB are almost surely trying to hide past unresolved complaints.

Q: Why should I verify decent ratings and volume of complaints?

A: If you are unsure which licenses and certifications HVAC contractors are required to have, you may want to find out by contacting a government official or representative from your local area or state.You may also visit the Contractor’s License website found in the Sources section of this article to determine the licenses needed in each state and also to verify the license validity of a specific contractor.Ask the HVAC contractor to show you copies of their current licenses or certifications.You may also want to find out if the contractor has worker’s compensation insurance in the event they are injured on your property.

Q: What is the projected timeline for the project?

A: While unexpected problems might arise as walls are removed or structures are built, an experienced contractor should be able to give you a projected time for completion of the project you should enter into a “time and materials” contract.

Q: Should I request a guarantee on the work?

A: You wouldn’t purchase a car without some type of warranty against defects; you shouldn’t hire a contractor who can’t guarantee work, either. (In fact, Patio Enclosures offers a limited lifetime warranty on all sunrooms!) Contractors can guarantee against two types of problems: Defective Materials and Workmanship Problems

Your written guarantee should include clauses that state what the contractor will cover and for how long. This article discusses contract warranties in more depth.

Q: Should my contractor specialize in my brand of equipment?

 A: When seeking estimates for new or replacement heating or cooling equipment be sure to ask prospective companies what specific manufacturers or equipment brands they carry. Unlike other home improvement contractors, San Antonio Tx HVAC contractors often only carry a small selection of brands. If you’re doing your own price comparison research on new equipment, you may need to limit
your hiring choices to companies that specialize in your equipment brand of choice.

Frequently asked questions regarding your HVAC System

Q: What is HVAC?

A: HVAC is short for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. HVAC is most often used to depict the whole heating and cooling system consisting of the duct work, air filters, humidification controls, and registers.

Q: How do I know if I should fix or replace my HVAC system?

A:  By being considerate of increasing age, increasing ac repair costs, decreasing efficiency and noise pollution

Q: How often should I check my air filter?

A: We suggest checking filters monthly. If you have a disposable type filter, (these usually have a cardboard edge), and if it is dirty, just replace it. Don’t attempt to clean it. Some higher efficiency 1″ pleated air filters can go up to three months before needing replacement. But in the higher-use seasons, it’s better to check more often.

Q: Where is my air filter located?

A: Different systems have different filter locations. If you don’t know where your filter is located, now would be a good time to learn! Usually, there is a removable filter access door in the return air duct next to the furnace or indoor unit. This can be in a basement, crawl-space, utility closet, garage, or attic. Sometimes, especially with older systems, the filter is located inside the furnace itself, next to the blower motor. And some systems have a central filter grille installed in a wall or ceiling. The grille swings open, revealing the air filter.

Q: Do I have more than one air filter?

A: Some systems, especially larger ones may have more than one air filter. They can even be different sizes. If you have more than one heating and/or air conditioning system, then you definitely have more than one air filter.

Q: How does air conditioning actually work?

A: An air conditioner can change the temperature, humidity, even the general quality of the air in your home. More specifically, an air conditioner makes your home cooler, by absorbing heat energy from the house and transferring that heat outside, then replacing the air inside your home with cooler air.

Q: How often should I have my equipment serviced?

A: The best scenario is to have the heating system checked in the Fall and the air conditioning checked in the Spring. Oil-fired equipment should definitely be cleaned and serviced annually; at the beginning of each heating season.

Should I have my air ducts cleaned?

A: Contaminants in your Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) system can aggravate asthma and allergies. for a cleaner environment, for better efficiency and they may not have been cleaned during renovation work

Q: What is involved in replacing an old system?

A: Aside from the placement of the new equipment, Fix My AC will inspect several items and determine whether you need a new system. Some of the items include: ductwork, insulation, refrigerant piping, electrical service, wiring, thermostat, condensate piping, flue piping, flue terminations, chimney liner, slabs, filter, driers, registers, grills, drain pans and evaporator coil.

Q: What is involved in installing a new system?

A: If a system is being added to the home for the first time, most of the items noted in the previous question and answer may be required to install the new system. Besides the equipment, the most significant component is ductwork. The ductwork can be made of either metal or fiberglass. The ductwork needs to be properly sized to deliver the right amount of air to each room. A central air conditioning system uses supply and return ducts. The supply duct is attached to the outlet of the furnace or air handler and delivers air to individual zones in your home.

Q: How long can I expect my new system to last?

A: If you have a qualified technician perform regular preventative maintenance and service suggested for your unit, industry averages suggest that an air conditioner should last 12-15 years (sea coast applications may be less) and a gas furnace should last as many as 20-25 years.

Q: Where do I get replacement parts?

A: Refer to your San Antonio TX HVAC contractor or Dealer for help obtaining replacement parts.

Q: Is sound an issue for heating and air conditioning?

A: Yes. Loud heating and cooling equipment contribute to sound pollution. Although no financial savings are tied to lower sound levels, the sound rating of a cooling system can have a considerable effect on comfort and enjoyment of your home. The sound level of an air conditioner or heat pump depends on a variety of factors, such as the age and make of the unit, and whether the compressor is insulated or not can contribute to the amount of noise it makes.

Q: Why is it important to have maintenance on my HVAC system?

A: You probably wouldn’t get a brand-new car and assume to never have to inflate the tires, change the oil and examine any atypical noises. Your home comfort system is similar to your car’s engine, it’s a mechanical device with a motor, electrical components… and even fuel. So it is essential to have routine maintenance of your home comfort system by a qualified technician. If not maintained properly and routinely, even the best heating and air conditioning equipment could experience complications and become less ‘fuel’ efficient over time.A:

Q: How can I find carbon monoxide in my home?

A: The best method of detection is to use a carbon monoxide detector in a central location. A carbon monoxide detector is a device very similar to a smoke alarm. It monitors the air for carbon monoxide and emits an alarm if a specific level is detected. Ideally, you should have at least one detector adjacent to every living area, centrally located, or on each floor in your home. Carbon monoxide detectors are best when used in combination with a maintenance plan.

Q: How much water does a humidifier use?

A: Depending on the product you choose and the size of your house, a humidifier may use from 1.5 to 12 gallons per day when the furnace is operating.

Q: How can I eliminate carbon indoors?

A: How often to change your air filters can depend on the type of air filter you are using the overall indoor air quality, how many pets are in the home, the number of people occupying the home, and the level of air pollution and construction around the home. For basic 1″-3″ air filters, manufacturers usually to change them every 30-60 days. If you suffer from light to moderate allergies, you could upgrade the air filter or change them. Or, if you’re in a more remote area or less occupied home (like a vacation home) and there are fewer cars around, annually may be quite sufficient. Here are some general guidelines to how often you should change the air filter at home: Vacation home or single occupant and no pets or allergies: every 6-12 months “Average” suburban home without pets: every 90 days Add a dog or cat: every 60 days Add more than one pet or anyone has allergies: 20-45 days.

Q: What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

A: Unfortunately, the symptoms that are a result of carboxyhemoglobin saturation are easily overlooked because they appear to be flu-like. With mild exposure, most people experience headaches, fatigue and nausea. Medium exposure could cause a severe throbbing headache, drowsiness, disorientation, confusion and an accelerated heart rate. Extreme exposure could even cause unconsciousness, convulsions, cardiorespiratory failure, coma and possibly death.

Q: How can I better control my home energy costs?

A: With maintenance, high efficiency, zoning and programmable thermostats.

Q: What is covered in my warranty?

A: Your HVAC system should come with a written limited warranty on parts. This warranty states that a replacement part will be furnished for any part of the product that fails in normal use and service during the applicable warranty period specified in accordance with the warranty’s terms. Your authorized  Dealer can review with you the warranty periods for the products you select.