Whether you’re replacing your AC unit or upgrading the furnace heating your home, you need to compare contractor estimates so you can save more on your HVAC improvement project. Evaluating multiple HVAC replacement estimates helps homeowners craft their budget and encourages contractors to be competitive with their pricing, especially since more than 75% of U.S. homes use air conditioning.
This is why you need to understand what you need for your project and why estimates may differ from each other in order to avoid costly mistakes later on during the installation process.
The Difference Between an Estimate and a Quote
Before you proceed, it’s important to know the proper terminology used with your HVAC project. You’ll receive several quotes, estimates or bids from different contractors, which will contain different sets of information. An estimate is roughly how much the contractor believes the job will cost. They’ll use their past experience and expertise to make this estimate. The actual cost of the project will usually be within 10-15% of this number, more or less. Meanwhile, HVAC replacement quotes, or bids, become contracts once they’re signed. This is a detailed document outlining all aspects of the project.
Factors That Can Affect an Estimate or Quote
It‘s a reasonable assumption that your new HVAC unit should be around the same size as the old one, but that’s not always the case. You might also expect the cost for your central heating and air conditioning system to come close to that of the initial installation, but that’s not always the case either. Continuing advancements in technology, HVAC market changes, manufacturers’ costs and even the climate can all affect the availability and quality of the systems that will meet your needs. This means the quotes can be quite different from the initial estimates, so it’s important to understand why an estimate or quote is extremely high or low.
- Your Home’s Age & Condition – The ability to efficiently cool and heat your home greatly depends on the size of your home and the amount of insulation in it. For instance, a 2,500-square-foot house will need a much larger AC unit than a smaller home, which will impact installation costs. A house with sealed, insulated, energy-efficient windows usually requires far less AC capacity to keep temperatures at a comfortable level. Other factors that can affect this could be insulation elsewhere in the house, such as in the foundation, roof, attic, basement, flooring and more.
- Local Climate Conditions – A home in the South would need an AC unit with a size capable of cooling the home enough to combat high summer temperatures, while a home in the Northern part of the U.S. would need a unit with a much larger heating capacity, both of which will affect the cost of the project.
- Ductwork Conditions – Ductwork delivers conditioned air from your HVAC system throughout your home through vents often found in your home’s attic. If you’re replacing your current air conditioning system, it’s safe to assume that you already have ductwork installed. However, ductwork can lose its efficiency over time if not maintained properly, which means it may need to be altered to work with your new AC system.
Whether you have an air conditioning problem or need a heating repair performed, consider hiring M & M Heating & Air Conditioning Service Co. Schedule your service today by calling (209) 952-6580. You can also fill out our online request form.