The size of the area you are trying to cool is directly related to what size air conditioning unit you need to buy (if installing new) or should already have (if you are making repairs). So why not get the most significant unit you can afford and install it?
Contrary to most things in life, bigger is not always better. If an air conditioner unit is too big for the home, it will shut on and off much more often which will cause wear and tear on your unit out much faster than if it were sized correctly.
An air conditioners ton is not related to how many tons of air it moves. It has to do with how much heat it can remove from the air. The compressor size is directly related to the tonnage size. The compressor is what helps to remove the heat. If it is not big enough, it will overwork and never shut off, and if it is too big, it will shut on and off too often.
Knowing What You Own
When calling an HVAC repair professional one of the questions, they will ask you is what tonnage your air conditioner is. Most people do not know the answer off the top of their head, and that is okay.
Every manufacturer attaches a waterproof label on the unit that will allow you to determine the response. If you are unsure, it is okay to say so and have the professional specify the size when he or she comes out to do the inspection or repair.
Things to Do Before Hiring a Professional
The number one thing you can do before hiring a professional is doing your research. How long has the company been around? What are the reviews from other customers regarding the service and follow up with the company? Is the company willing to provide you with recent references?
These are all valid questions about what type of service you can expect from an air conditioner company in the long run.
After narrowing down your search and making sure you are dealing with several reputable companies, your best bet is to get written estimates from each of the different companies. These estimates will ensure you are getting the best deal while still getting excellent service.
Average Labor Costs for an HVAC Technician
After much research, findings show that the average price of replacing an air conditioner compressor in the United States can vary from as low as $350.00 to $650.00 to as high as $1350.00 to $1800.00, depending on size and type. The best thing you can do make sure you are not being overcharged for the area you reside in is to get referrals from friends, get several bids from several companies, and do diligent research on the company you will ultimately choose to use.
It is important to let you know that there are a variety of scams out there that you as a homeowner must be aware. Below is a list of the top scams:
- If a technician suggests replacing parts when they do not need to be replaced. This tactic is a sneaky way for technicians to “talk” you into a new unit because it would be less than the actual repairs and parts. Typically, when an entire unit fails, it is due to one part. To prevent this, you need to seek multiple opinions.
- The technician says your refrigerant needs to be recharged. If this is the case, your unit is leaking, and you have a more significant problem. If the technician does not discuss any other issues, this might be a scam. To prevent this, you must know the scammer’s angle before they even open their mouth to tell you that something “needs” to be done.
- Closely related is when a scammer sells you more refrigerant that you received. You can combat this sneaky tactic by closely supervising the technician as they are completing the job. The coolant will be weighed before and after installation, and those numbers will be recorded. Your presence alone is often the best deterrent.
- If one HVAC company gives you a price that is significantly less than the other company’s estimates always ask yourself “is this too good to be true?” If the answer is yes then the next question to consider is what corners are being cut to get the job done at that prices? Cheaper is not always better if it means problems for you in the near future or if there is a “catch” that will cost you even more when it is all said and done.
- If a company is not willing to provide a written agreement, beware! All reputable companies have no problem writing a quote before leaving because they know this step could help them to secure the job.
- If a non-certified pushy salesman shows up to your home, invited or uninvited, this should raise a red flag. Getting work done on your air conditioner does not require a salesman to come to your home. Only a technician should be coming to inspect your unit for a problem.
- If an HVAC technician tells you that your unit is so dangerous it needs to be replaced immediately; they are trying to use scare tactics to get you to buy something you may not even need. Unless your unit is on fire, it is not a clear and present danger to anyone. Do not fall for this age-old trick.
- If a company is demanding an upfront cash payment before doing any work, run!
- Bait and switch is another scam that is popular. If an HVAC technician tells you one price and you have a written quote, then they cannot come back and charge you an exorbitant amount for “extra work that had to be done.” That “extra” work should have been listed in the initial estimate.
How to Stop Scams
There are two primary ways to stop scams. 1) Always get a second opinion and 2) trust your instinct. Without these two things, you could be scammed by a professional con artist.