The Importance of Written Quotes for Heating and AC Replacement

It never fails, you’re going through the process of meeting contractors and gathering quotes for your replacement furnace and central air conditioner, and one of the price quotes lists several more optional features or items than some of the others. Unless you specifically ask the contractor to spell out every single thing included within their written quote, it’s not only going to be impossible to compare them to the others, it may cost you a thorough installation or more money in the end!

Ultimately, your written quote is a binding contract between you and the HVAC contractor as soon as it’s signed by both parties, therefore you should insist that everything is spelled out in detail, so you’re both protected by the contractual obligation. In this article, we’ll provide an overview of what you should expect to see written in your new HVAC system price quote, as well as a few common add-ons to watch out for.

It’s All in the Details – Insist on a Thorough Written Quote

Poorly written price quotes often contain very few exact details that you can expect from the contractor and equipment being installed. Getting a detailed quote is one of the many signs that you’re talking to a pro that we list in the guide to hiring an HVAC contractor. Small things like “replace flexible duct” and “replace flexible duct with 8-inch, r8 insulated and waterproof duct” have very different meanings.

Minimum Company Information on Quote

  • Full Company Name, Mailing AND Street Address
  • Main Office Phone Number, and Second Contact Number for Fallback
  • State Contractors License or Permit to Work Number
  • Information about Liability Insurance Company and Verification

Information About You and Your Home

  • Full Name and Address
  • Location of Unit(s) in Home
  • Complete HVAC Load Calculation
    Note: Contractors may use several methods to determine the right size furnace for your home. In the end, the ONLY true way to get the correct size is to perform a load calculation, which is now required in many states, just to get permits and inspections on your project.

Minimum Information About Equipment Being Installed

  • Brand Name
  • Model Name and Number For Each Component
  • Size, Capacity, and Efficiency Ratings
  • Details about Thermostat and Any other Add-On Equipment
  • Detailed Equipment Parts Warranty from Manufacturer (including start date)
  • Detailed Labor Warranty from Contractor
  • Additional Service or Maintenance Included from Contractor
  • Details about HVAC Permits and Inspections (Often required)

Relevant Information that Should be Included with Written Quote

  • Details about Removal and Recycling of Old Equipment
  • New or Existing Electrical Service Disconnect/Breaker Box
  • New or Existing Copper Refrigerant Insulated Lineset? Sizes
  • New or Existing Flue Exhaust or Chimney Liner
  • New or Existing Condensate Drain Line or Pump System
  • New or Existing Condensing Unit Concrete Pad
  • New or Existing Connection to Duct System
  • Any Changes to the Existing Duct System like Sealing or Cleaning

Exact and Final Price and Payment Details

  • Exact Final Cost of the Completed Job (Including taxes paid)
  • Details of Additional Costs for Unseen Tasks (per hour rate)
  • Payment Methods Accepted by Company
  • Payment Requirements and Terms
  • Manufacturer Rebates and Incentives as well as Info on How to Claim
  • Applicable Tax Credit Information (Fed and Local)

Additionally, in the notes section… any guarantees or promises the salesman makes to you during the quoting process should be outlined in writing. I cannot tell you how many times a customer has called and complained that the salesman told them the start-up technician would teach them how to use their new programmable thermostat, or that the installers would move the outside unit 20 feet and it didn’t get done, etc.

The bottom line is that it’s your money being spent, and its not a cheap project! In fact, the cost of a new furnace is going to be one of the top 3 expenses you have to pay to maintain your home. It pays to get the price quote in writing, and make sure you are protected!

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