Your HVAC Expert
“Do You Really Need A New Heating System or Are They Just Trying To Sell You Something?”
I have received many calls from all over the US and Canada about this blog. If you need my help, please call me. Choosing the right furnace, boiler or heat pump can be a bit confusing to any home owner.
5 Insider Tips That Will Prevent You From Getting Ripped Off!
Not All Connecticut Heating Companies Are Alike.
Below are five insider tips that can prevent you from getting ripped off, but read on before skipping to the good stuff.
Your heating system is one of the most expensive appliances you’ll ever buy for your home, due to the intense labor and all of the materials that are necessary for a proper installation.
The manufactures state that your heating system must be installed as per the Local & National Mechanical Safety Codes.
All licensed CT contractors are supposed to follow the Local & National Mechanical Safety Codes.
“If they ain’t pullin’ a permit to replace your heating system, you can bet that they’re not following the safety codes.”
It used to be that these codes were all about safety. Now they are mandating efficiency codes and they are even making sure that the contractor is choosing the proper size heating system for your home. WHY? I’ll tell you why. Because consumers were being ripped off by heating system installation companies. Many of these companies were (and still are) taking shortcuts so they can get the job done quickly and they can charge the homeowner less money, just to land another job. A cheap price is not always the best option.
It is almost impossible to replace a heating system in 2 hours and do the job right (up to code).
Since you’ll be living with your new heating system for the next 15 to 20 years, it only makes sense to avoid such nightmares.
If you’ve been told that you need to replace your heating system, we will happily give you a
FREE SECOND OPINION
so you will have all the facts.
Below Are 6 FREE Ways To Avoid Getting Ripped Off.
1. You’ve heard this; My Heating Guy Said I Have To Get A New One.
Many heating systems are replaced that don’t need to be. Why would a deceiving heating contractor condemn a perfectly good heating system? Either to make money or their service technician wasn’t trained properly to fix it.
Many of these heating systems could have been inexpensively fixed compared to the price of a new heating system. The 3 reasons to get your heating system replaced may be: it has a cracked heat exchanger, it is old and inefficient or it’s too expensive to repair. If the repairman tells you that there is a crack in the heat exchanger, ask to see it.
Do you really need a new one? READ ON BEFORE BUYING A NEW HEATING SYSTEM.
2. What Brand Is The Best For Me?
Heating systems manufactured today, basically all have the same safety features. Similar controls, similar heat exchangers, similar choices of efficiencies, etc. Many of the manufacturers buy their parts from the same factory and put their name on it. All heating systems (no matter what brand) should last 15 to 20 years with the proper maintenance. Ok I lied… a heating system can last much longer than that, BUT the cost of keeping that old clunker going can cost more in fuel and repairs than a new high efficient heating system. I have replaced 2000+ heating systems. Many of them were “The Brand” (in their day) and most of them were about the same age.
Now, here’s the “dirty little secret” they don’t want you to know. Only about 5% of the satisfaction you’re going to get – is the result of the brand you choose. The other 95% is how well it’s installed (the contractor you choose). And there are 8 crucial procedures that should be done properly (if not, the brand is irrelevant).
3. Will I Save Money On My Fuel Bills If I Get A New One?
Simply installing a new heating system isn’t going to guarantee better heating and lower energy costs. If the HVAC contractor isn’t careful about checking to see that your ductwork is clean and unclogged, you could be throwing heating dollars out of the window. The installer MUST fabricate the proper size sheet metal fittings to connect to the new heating system. (Now you tell me how they can do that out of the back of a van or pick-up truck, without the proper tools)
If the Sheet metal fittings are not made properly, air will be leaking all around the heating system or even worse the air can be restricted, causing premature failure of your brand new heating system. That is one of the 8 crucial procedures that should be done properly.
Having a programmable thermostat installed is another way to save money on your fuel bills.
4. Should You Switch From Oil To Natural Gas?
First of all let me clarify something. YOU SHOULD NEVER JUST SWITCH OUT YOUR OIL BURNER WITH A GAS BURNER. That is a shortcut that will cost you dearly. The only two benefits you will get by only changing the burner is, it will burn cleaner and you won’t have to worry about running out of fuel.
You should replace the whole furnace or boiler because that is where you’ll get the most energy savings and there are pretty hefty rebates available from your utility company. There are also a tax credits available, ranging from $150 to $300.
The gas companies are now (finally) running new gas lines to many areas. You can call your local gas company to find out if or when your street is going to get gas. (Southern CT Gas: 1-800-659-8299, Yankee Gas: 800-989-0900, CT Natural Gas: 860-524-8361)
Your alternative to natural gas is switching to propane or a heat pump.
Propane heating systems are just as efficient as natural gas systems and they can always be converted to natural gas if the gas company decides to run gas to your home.
Heat Pumps: High efficiency Heat pumps are one of the most efficient ways to heat AND cool your home. You also get more money for utility rebates and tax credits. There are Central Heat Pumps that will Heat and Cool your whole house or there are Ductless Heat Pumps that you can use to heat and cool specific rooms. Ductless Heat Pumps are commonly used in many countries where oil costs upwards of $10 a gallon and they are gaining popularity in the United States as well, due to the cost of heating oil.
5. How Much Will It Cost For A New Heating System?
“Time to give away the Trade Secrets”
Ex: Furnace (Hot Air Heating) replacement:
$1,450… High Efficient Heating system
$150… Sheet Metal Fittings
$75… Condensate Pump & Piping
$150… Fuel Piping
$75… Smoke Pipe and Fittings (Flue)
$30… 4” X 8” X 16” Solid Concrete Blocks
$150… Electrical Wiring, Service Switch & Receptacle
$25… Fire Safety Switch
$60… Digital Thermostat or Digital Programmable Thermostat
$1,000… Installers Labor
($75 per hour for the Licensed Installer and $50 per hour for the helper x 8 hours)
$633… 20% Net Profit
$316.50… 10% Sales Commission
$63.30… Installers Incentive if they do a superb job
$ 137.48… Connecticut Sale Tax (6.35%) (Material Only)
$120… Permit Cost
$4435.28… Total Fair Price Installed
And that’s how we price our jobs.
Some heating system installations may be a bit more, some less, depending on the size of the home and ease or difficulty of the installation. If the installers have to work in tight conditions, if your home is larger or you need more ductwork than others, then it will be more. If your heating system is in an open basement and/or is easily accessible then it may be less.
You may also want to consider other products to improve the air that you breathe in your home, like a humidification system or a good air filtration system. These are what we call accessories or indoor air quality products (IAQ). They run about $500 to $1500 and a little more labor plus a 20% profit on top of that.
We try our hardest to make a 20% net profit so that we can fix our trucks or buy new ones, give employee incentives, provide health insurance, provide warranty service, give to a charity, give back to the community and other things that are important to the individual contractor. BUT it never seems to work out that way. The average heating contractor earns about 2% net profit or less. And that is why so many go out of business within 5 years. Many Contractors will under-price a job, just to get the job. They are not helping the customer because it will be impossible to find these contractors in 5 years, when things start to break. Some older companies fall into that rut too. They have been in business for so long that they forget to raise their prices or are simply afraid to raise their prices because they think they will lose customers. Well the problem with that is, you can’t take care of your customers if you are not making money. They will eventually end up in the same boat as those other contractors, WORKING FOR ME!
Well, that’s basically how a good solid HVAC contractor prices their jobs.
My competition is going to hate me when they read this…oh well.
6. How Many Years Is The Warranty?
There are two types of warranties in the heating business. There is the manufacturers warranty and the contractor’s warranty. The manufacturers warranty covers the equipment and all of the parts in it. The contractor’s warranty covers the labor costs involved in making the repairs to the equipment and any other work that needs to be done, like sheet metal work, electrical wiring, etc.
The Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) products have a separate warranty (usually less) than the heating system, so be aware of that when purchasing them.
Some companies have a guarantee that stops the minute they leave your driveway. Or they will say that they’ll give you a 10 year warranty and POOF, they’re gone in 5 years.
For your own protection, INSIST on a written 100% Guarantee on the Installation Work.
So You May Not Need To Replace Your Heating system after all.
You can always call me to get a
FREE SECOND OPINION
This way you’ll have all the facts.
Also, there is NO cost or obligation for one of our FREE estimates.