Central AC question #3077662

Okay, so reading the (hundreds of) posts below, I get the impression that when replacing my central A/C, it's important to make sure the installer is competent and does the job correctly.
Only one little problem... *how* do I make sure the installer is competent and does the job correctly?
Any particular questions to ask, certifications to check for, etc?
Should I be looking for them to do a complete manual J / manual D / ?? assesment when replacing existing equipment? The replacement is due to a compressor failure so I'm probably looking at an outside unit plus evaporator coil (should the lines be replaced also?), but to reuse the existing furnace.
Speaking as a semi-ignorant homeowner, it doesn't seem to me the old unit was grossly under- or oversized - it cooled quite well but not excessively and did a good job of controlling humidity.
Eric Law
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One way, is if they have to pull a permit asked the inspector what he or she thinks about what the job looks like?
At lest you will know the job will operate in a safe manner because they have followed the existing codes for your area.
Another way is hire another HVAC company and have them send out a NATE Service Technician to double check the job. You have spent all that good money to have the job done right so why not A good technician can look over a job and be able to tell you something within a hour or so.
That way if you get a good review from the second company you have a peace of mind of having the job done right..
-- Moe Jones HVAC Service Technician Energy Equalizers Inc. Houston, Texas www.EnergyEqualizers.com
so reading the (hundreds of) posts below, I get the impression that when replacing my central A/C, it's important to <BR>make sure the installer is competent and does the job correctly.<BR><BR>Only one little problem... *how* do I make sure the installer is competent and does the job correctly?<BR><BR>Any particular questions to ask, certifications to check for, etc?<BR><BR>Should I be looking for them to do a complete manual J / manual D / ?? assesment when replacing existing equipment?&nbsp; The <BR>replacement is due to a compressor failure so I'm probably looking at an outside unit plus evaporator coil (should the lines <BR>be replaced also?), but to reuse the existing furnace.<BR><BR>Speaking as a semi-ignorant homeowner, it doesn't seem to me the old unit was grossly under- or oversized - it cooled quite <BR>well but not excessively and did a good job of controlling humidity.<BR><BR>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Eric Law<BR><BR><BR></BLOCKQUOTE></BODY></HTML>
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Consider the following:
a.) Ask neighbors and/or anyone knowledgable for names of good hvac contractors. b.) Go to BBB, pick, say, 6 contractors in your area with best records.
After this, I worked up specs for the job (given full details, folks here will help), started calling contractors asking for name of someone who could render informal estimate, then faxed the specs to them. They call back with a number.
Then called the 2 or 3 best estimates to do on-site evaluations.
If it's really a simple job and old ac worked fine, old specs = new specs (i.e. tonnage, btu's).
Beeeeeeeeeeeeeee careful (evaluating the job).
Puddin'

"Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens!" -Friedrich Schiller
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Ask everyone you know if they've used (and been happy with) a particular HVAC contractor, and for how long they've used them.
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Eric writes:

You can only do that by personally understanding the technology yourself.
If you're ignorant of the technology, then you're depending on hiring derivative opinions of others for advice, but properly selecting an advisor is also impossible with that ignorance. They all claim competence and quality and sound believable, or they wouldn't be in business. It matters not what they say or how they sound, only how they perform. And performance is only known to you by direct examination.
The only exception to this is if someone you love is an expert, and you can trust them to be critical in your place.
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assesment when replacing existing equipment?
Yes

outside unit plus evaporator coil (should the lines

I would install new lines... if not, make sure they're the correct size!
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